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Citizendium home page in July 2016.

The Citizendium (si-tih-ZEN-dee-um, "a citizens' compendium") is a wiki-based free encyclopedia project founded in 2007 by Larry Sanger, who also co-founded Wikipedia. It allows users to write and edit articles on many subjects, as long as they register and edit under their real, verified name. Citizendium articles are released under a Creative Commons license that allows acknowledged duplication. We allow material from other wikis to be used with attribution. The project currently has 18,257 articles in varying stages of development.

A better summary is probably to be had here. We no longer are following the "expert guidance" model used in prior years.


The Citizendium is run according to a set of policies. The community itself, through consensus and discussion, is responsible for shaping the content of articles, as well as funding, appointments, and other administrative matters. In the past, members were elected or appointed to represent the project, make interim decisions and mediate disputes. At present, the wiki is operated by a small, dedicated group of volunteers.

Members of the project used to be called "Citizens" and were, at one time, divided into "Authors", who were regular project members, and "Editors", who were recognized experts. This model of operation was not successful, and now, all contributors are equal. Other roles include: the technical staff, who maintain the software and servers of the wiki; the Treasurer, who administers the project's finances; and the Editor in Chief and Assistant Editor, who may arbitrate controversies if it becomes necessary.

Open collaboration

Citizendium is similar to Wikipedia in that it is an open wiki: the public is invited to participate and edit most pages. Anonymous edits are not allowed, but in principle members can edit most pages.

Real names

Citizendium requires that all contributors be logged in and edit under their real name, as this is thought to reduced vandalism, encourage a civil atmosphere, and help readers to judge how accurate an article may be. Any applicant must not only declare that the name they have submitted is their own, but must submit evidence that verifies this. Common verification methods include use of a non-free e-mail address, such as one used at an educational institution or company, or the submission of scanned identity documents such as a driver's license (information other than the applicant's name may be blacked out). Minors are asked to provide less personal information. All contributors must also maintain at least a short public biography about themselves, to give readers some idea of the knowledge or abilities the Citizen has brought to their edits.

In contrast to the pseudonyms common on Wikipedia, Citizendium contributors believe the use of real names adds to the credibility and accuracy of Citizendium articles and that real names lead to the likelihood of more courteous interactions among contributors.

Citable articles

Some years ago, a (then) Editor could declare a version of an article essentially complete and of reasonably good quality. A copy of this approved version was made available, locked to further editing, on a subpage of the main article. The article itself remains freely editable and can later be re-approved and replace the citable version.

Article inclusion policy

Citizendium has the following content policy. There is no requirement that article topics be "notable", which means Citizendium does not exclude topics solely on the ground that their topics have not been covered extensively in the media or reliable online websites. Citizendium asserts that what may be completely trivial to one person might in fact be quite important to another, and our content policy allows you, for example, to write an article about a small, obscure local park.

However, the wiki does not allow articles that involve self-promotion or advocacy of causes. Debates about inclusion generally belong in Forum_Talk:Content but may also occur on the Discussion page of specific articles.