Editorial Workgroups and Management
Editorial Workgroups in General
Editorial workgroups, their types and purpose. In general, editorial workgroups are collections of Citizendium editors tasked with loose oversight of sets of articles. Editorial workgroups are of three types: discipline, subdiscipline, and project. Discipline and subdiscipline workgroups oversee specific subject areas, such as philosophy or particle physics, while project workgroups oversee certain classes of article, overlapping the discipline and subdiscipline workgroups, that have special requirements, such as biographies of living people. The purpose of editorial workgroups is to act as a resource to, and arbiter of, contributors working on a set of wiki articles. Workgroups may set policy and standards that are appropriate for that set of articles. Workgroups may also set up meetings in physical space--for example, as part of a larger professional meeting.
The membership of a workgroup defined by the composition of its [mailing list/forum]. A [mailing lists/forum] will be set up for all editorial workgroups. A workgroup is precisely defined by the roster of members who are on the [mailing list/forum] for that workgroup. No other list will be regarded as official.
Workgroups reactive, not proactive; and other restrictions. It makes up no part of the purpose of editorial workgroups to direct the work done on the wiki; that is, while workgroups may establish some general policy for an area, its oversight over actual work done is reactive, not proactive. Similarly, it is far beyond the remit of a workgroup to make up new rules, that apply only to the articles in its care, that make it difficult for whole classes of people to work where, when, and as they want. In short, workgroups will not be permitted to make the wiki operate any less as a wiki. Furthermore, a workgroup may not establish policy that, if established at all, should plausibly govern a broader set of articles than the articles in the care of the workgroup.
Subject workgroups are divided into discipline and subdiscipline workgroups, but do not form a hierarchy. A discipline workgroup, such as philosophy or physics, may form workgroups for subdisciplines, such as ethics or particle physics, and assign classes of articles to those workgroups. While a discipline workgroup may establish policy and standards for all the articles in the discipline, that policy and those standards are interpreted by the subgroups; there is no chain of command or of appeal from subdiscipline workgroups to discipline workgroups.
Every article assigned to at least one workgroup. Every Citizendium article will be assigned to at least one workgroup. Some articles will be assigned to more than one workgroup; see the policy on shared articles. Articles should not be assigned both to a discipline workgroup and a subdiscipline workgroup in the same discipline. If it is thought that an article would be best managed by a subdiscipline workgroup that has not yet been created, then the article will be (at least temporarily) assigned to the discipline workgroup.
Editorial Workgroup Formation and Function
The formation of discipline workgroups. A comprehensive set of discipline subject workgroups will be formed at the same time, by a process of rough consensus from among the editors subscribed to the "Citizendium-Editors" mailing list, and the results of which will be articulated by the Editor-in-Chief.
The formation of subdiscipline workgroups. Each discipline workgroup will be expected, as one of its first tasks, to formulate a list of at least 10 and not more than 40 subdiscipline workgroups. Subdiscipline workgroups should not be tasked with any responsibilities, however, until there is a quorum of at least three [or five??] members and at least one suitable Chief Subject Editor for the group. See policy on starting subdiscipline workgroups.
The formation and operation of project workgroups. The Editor-in-Chief will, with advice from the community of editors on the Citizendium-Editors mailing list, form project workgroups. Each project workgroup will be managed by its own Project Leader, who will select the membership of the project workgroup, and to whom editors may apply. For details on the operation of project workgroups, see policy on project project workgroups.
Eligibility for workgroup membership. All subject editors are automatically eligible for membership in a discipline workgroup, i.e., the discipline that would typically teach their specialization at a university. Specialty editors are not eligible for workgroup membership, unless there is a workgroup that precisely corresponds to their specialization. But (unlike authors) they may represent their own positions in dispute resolution before workgroups that govern their specialization.
Workgroup proliferation. Note, we do not anticipate the indefinite growth of numbers of workgroups. But it is entirely possible that, as subdiscipline workgroups grow in size, members may feel that they can be optimally split into further and smaller groups. They are permitted to make this determination themselves, although subgroups may not be formed unless most of the anticipated subgroups would have quorums if constructed. Note that articles are then to be reassigned to new subgroups, they are not to be regarded as under the control of the parent group.
General policy against overstandardization. In making policies and standards, editors must constantly weigh the advantages of uniformity against the disadvantages of teaching and maintaining the policy or standard. Generally, a policy or standard must be shown "pay for itself" in terms of clearly expressed and obvious advantage for the project.
Chief Subject Editors
Chief Subject Editor responsibilities. For each discipline and subdiscipline workgroup, there will be a Chief Subject Editor, who is appointed for a one year term, and whose main function is to speak on behalf of the group.
Chief Subject Editor selection. Chief Subject Editors will be selected through a specific process of sortition, to keep editor relations as apolitical as possible. Subject editors for a given discipline or subdiscipline declare their willingness to serve as Chief Subject Editor to a neutral third party (sortition administrator). A list of such declared persons is then sent secretly to all members of the workgroup by the sortition administrator. Members are instructed to submit "objections" to up to n% [TBD] (a specific number will be provided for each sortition) of the names on the list. The sortition administrator then receives objections from any members. If more than n% [TBD] (a specific number will be provided for each sortition) of the workgroup objects a certain person, then the sortition administrator removes the person from the list. If no persons remain, then the list is repopulated by the person or persons who received the fewest objections. If one person remains, that is the chief subject editor. If more than one person remains, the sortition administrator uses a random number generator to determine which person is the chief subject editor. No Chief Subject Editor may serve more than two consecutive terms.
[This section needs extensive review by the Citizendium-Editors mailing list.]
[This section will be drafted after further discussion with the Citizendium-Editors mailing list. This section should include sections regarding both Content disputes between authors (for which there aren't any editors on hand) and Content disputes between editors.