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Subgroups can represent a subset of editors and authors from a workgroup with a niche or specialist interest, a vehicle for collaboration between different workgroups, a navigation tool, or all of these concepts.


The breadth of some workgroups is huge, so it makes sense to break them down into more natural subgroups. Within biology and engineering alone whole academic departments can be based on a subset of those workgroups disciplines, e.g. Botany.

Despite their name, there is also an interdisciplinary need for subgroups. Take, for example, a subgroup such as Biochemistry; it involves editors and authors from at least three different workgroups: Health Sciences, Biology, and Chemistry.

A further advantage is that readers can use the subgroup categories to focus on articles in their particular discipline. An electrical engineer can first look at the Electrical Engineering Subgroup, or a military historian can first look at the Military History Subgroup. Those readers would find it harder to find specific articles somewhere amidst a great many articles in the Engineering Workgroup or the History Workgroup. Related Articles subpages probably serve these readers better as they get tuned to the Citizendium's other navigation tools but as a first bite these subgroup categories serve as an effective corral for some topics.

How to join a subgroup

If you have found a subgroup in which you would like to participate, simply add the proper author category to your user page. For example, to join the Chemical Engineering Subgroup, you would add [[Category:Chemical Engineering Members|YOUR LAST NAME, FIRST NAME]] to your user page.

How to create a subgroup

Workgroups are a collection of topic areas in the Citizendium that rarely change. To add a new workgroup requires top-down approval from the Editorial Council. However, any citizen may propose and initiate a subgroup.

Who can start a subgroup?

Any author or editor can initiate a subgroup by following the procedure below. Once started, authors may wish to publicize the subgroup on the workgroup home talk pages. Subgroup participants will eventually need to have workgroup editors affiliate their workgroups with the subgroup.

This bottom-up approach is preferable to having to go as high as the Editorial Council, as with requests for new workgroups. This approach should encourage the creation of experimental subgroups and lead to fertile collaborations within the Citizendium.

Once created, authors may write new articles in the subgroup, may add existing articles to the subgroup (see below), and start developing the subgroup's Main Article towards approval.

Adding articles to subgroups

The subgroup name will be added to the metadata of any article falling under the umbrella of that particular subgroup of authors. Subgroups names are added in the metadata template in one of the three fields of sub1, sub2, and sub3. These fields can be used to denote the affiliation of any article to up to three different subgroups. One article can be in no more than three different subgroups (this will limit the narrowness of subgroups). An example edit can be seen at the Chemical engineering article where the Category:Chemical Engineering Subgroup was used as a pilot for this idea.

Subgroup Home, Main Article, and Category Pages

The home page for each subgroup will be at "CZ:NAME Subgroup". For example, the home page for the Chemical Engineering subgroup is [[CZ:Chemical Engineering Subgroup]].

Each subgroup will also have a main article page, within the main namespace, where editors and authors of the subgroup are encouraged to define the field. For example, the main article page for the Chemical Engineering subgroup is Chemical Engineering. Editors and authors should work towards creating the article and moving it towards approval. Once this main article is approved, the subgroup can seek affiliation with related Workgroups.

Each subgroup will also have a "Category:NAME Subgroup" page that lists all the articles within the subgroup, where NAME is the desired subgroup name. For example, the Chemical Engineering subgroup category page is [[Category:Chemical Engineering Subgroup]]. This category is created automatically by the subgroup template, and every article tagged as being in the subgroup is automatically tagged as also being in this category; no action is required by editors or authors to create or maintain the subgroup category.

How to create the subgroup pages

Complete the following steps:

1) Create a template titled "Template:NAME Subgroup".

2) Add the following to the template: {{Subgroup|NAME|A|B|C|D}}. A-D are four optional parameters which are the names of each of the affiliated workgroups. Order is not important.

Thus, Template:Chemical Engineering Subgroup has {{Subgroup|Chemical Engineering|Engineering|Chemistry}} in the body of the template.

ONLY EDITORS can endorse affiliation with workgroups and add them as A-D parameters to the Subgroup template (see next section).

3) Create a subgroup home page (if not already created) of the name "CZ:NAME Subgroup". The template {{NAME Subgroup}} should be placed at the top of the CZ home page for the subgroup and its talk page as well as each category in the subgroup. For example, our model subgroup currently has the following pages:

CZ:Chemical Engineering Subgroup
CZ talk:Chemical Engineering Subgroup
Category:Chemical Engineering Subgroup
Category:Chemical Engineering Approved
Category:Chemical Engineering Members
Category:Chemical Engineering tag

Any categories at the foot of a page and/or descriptive text for each page is automatically added based on the parameters A-D of the template.

Affiliation with Workgroups

Affiliation requires the approval of one active editor from each workgroup that is approached. This affiliation must be formalized by adding the workgroup name as one of the A-D parameters of the {{Subgroup}} template at 'Template:NAME Subgroup' (See previous section). The editors should document their endorsement of affiliation on the 'CZ:NAME subgroup/Affiliation' subpage.

Editors are reminded to review the subgroups within a particular workgroup prior to affiliating with a subgroup as some subgroups may be redundant. For example, we may not want two similar subgroups such as Protein Structure Subgroup and Macromolecule Structure Subgroup. Workgroup editors would have to be vigilant in order to prevent such redundancy.

If editors from another workgroup feel there is an interdisciplinary connection, they too might consider adding their workgroup to the subgroup template. Subgroups may well come and go in a Darwinian manner depending on the various interests of editors and authors and whether it is affiliated with any workgroup.

If a Subgroup becomes redundant or inactive two editors from an affiliated workgroup can revoke the affiliation. This too should be documented on the 'CZ:NAME subgroup/Affiliation' subpage and the workgroup name removed from the {{Subgroup}} template at 'Template:NAME Subgroup'. This adds to the legitimation of a subgroup.

In any article cluster's metadata, legitimated subgroups have priority over un-legitimated subgroups. Constables will resolve article-subgroup disputes on the basis of this priority.

Legitimated Subgroups

Subgroups increase their legitimacy by completing the following:

  1. having created the Home, Main Article, and Category pages.
  2. having gained affiliation from workgroups.
  3. having an approved Main Article.

How to navigate subgroup pages

The navigation bar at the top of a subgroup page will lead one to all the relevant pages using standard hyperlinks.

Subgroup navigation.jpg

Each affiliated workgroup is linked in the subpages navigation header and an affiliated workgroup category is placed at the foot of the CZ:Subgroup home page (See an example of the affiliated subgroups category for the engineering workgroup at Category:Engineering Affiliated Subgroups). This type of category will be used to track all the subgroups that affiliate with any given workgroup.

How to customize subgroup headers

Each subgroup will have a grey coloured navigation bar by default. See the genetics example here. It is possible, however, to have a jazzy workgroup banner at the top IF there is an image at the location "Image:NAME banner.jpg" where NAME refers to the subgroup name. Below is an example for Chemical Engineering. See the banner insitu at the home page for the Chemical Engineering Subgroup.

Example of a Subgroup specific banner.

How to invite your colleagues

Once you've created a subgroup, it would be good to invite other citizens to join it with an invitation on their talk pages. A subgroup should develop its own subgroup article for approval.

Authors and editors can add themselves to a subgroup by adding the appropriate category tags to their user page ([[Category:NAME Members]], where NAME refers to the subgroup name). Anyone may leave a subgroup by removing the category from their user page. You may not remove others from a subgroup.

There are no subgroup-specific editors. The subgroup members who are workgroup editors do not have special editorial rights outside their designated workgroup! Note: there may well be articles tagged in the subgroup's collection that an editor who is a member of the subgroup cannot recommend for approval as it is outside their own workgroup.

See Also

List of Subgroups