Citizendium debuts

March 27th, 2007 by Ross Scaife

from the CHE:

Citizendium Starts With a Little Knowledge

Citizendium, the peer-reviewed “progressive fork” of Wikipedia (The Chronicle, October 18, 2006), has opened for business. The site unveiled its public face on Sunday and as of this afternoon boasts more than 1,100 articles — a far cry from the more than 1.6 million entries in Wikipedia’s English version, but a decent start.

So far the new encyclopedia has a fairly random smattering of material: articles on topics relevant to scholars, like Jacques Derrida and the First Punic War, mingle with puzzling entries on the Bruneian dollar and Don MacLean (the basketball player, not the songwriter responsible for “Vincent.”) And while some pieces — like an essay on autism — seem to be well fleshed out, others — like a write-up on dachshunds — are mere placeholders for more-thorough articles.

None of this is meant as criticism. In fact, it’s fascinating to watch an encyclopedia start from the ground up. It will be worth watching to see whether the encyclopedia’s embrace of soft hierarchy — unlike Wikipedia, Citizendium requires contributors to identify themselves, and it lets a panel of scholars make final decisions on edits — slows its growth. –Brock Read

The entry on the Greek alphabet looks substantial as well.

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