CZ Talk:Application Review Procedure

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This is the discussion page for the CZ:Application Review Procedure. Citizendium is only just launched, and as applications arrive we go through as best we can. Just as actual cases in Law and Medicine force application of theory, so do the actual applications received by the constabulary bring up questions of how our policies about user accounts are properly implemented. We are evolving, and will refine policies as needed to keep to our principles and to best create our reliable compendium of knowlege. All Citizens should be able to comment here, and discuss their views on the questions posed. These issues have all been raised by real applications, but details are not given to protect privacy.

To date, the first and last of the 4 bulleted requirements have not raised questions of interpretations (real name and endorsement of fundamental policies). However, e-mail addresses and user bios have raised issues. Citizens are welcome to answer the questions posed - but not to reply to each other here - debates between us are for the forums.[1] .

Please note: this page serves to document at least some of the specific issues raised in applying our general rules to actual cases of applications for new accounts. Dialog between responders will be moved to the Discussion Forums. [2]

Please address the questions, only. If you wish to modify your answer, please do so by editing your answer, rather than by supplying additional posts to the same question.

What is an acceptable e-mail address for the application?

The e-mail address serves not simply as a means of communication in the application process but also as a means to verify identity. The e-mail address is not released to the wiki or public. So- if an applicant indicates that he or she is a student enrolled in a university that is known to supply e-mail addresses to its students, should that e-mail address be supplied? Why or why not?

I don't think it's unreasonable to ask that. Most US universities give email addresses to students and faculty free of charge. Even though some people (like myself) don't use them that frequently, they can still effortlessly provide it. -- ZachPruckowski (Speak to me) 11:22, 26 March 2007 (CDT)
Yes. The same applies for business and domain name owners. Stephen Ewen 17:35, 26 March 2007 (CDT)
Have no problem there. Would ask that we make that clear on the application page, so that constables don't have to make the request, in effect having to review and respond to an application twice. --Matt Innis (Talk) 09:15, 27 March 2007 (CDT)

What is an acceptable level of honesty for an application?

If an applicant states that there are no publications, but investigation shows that there are publications that are not family friendly, or that are vehement to the point that would preclude an accepted application to a professional society, should the applicant be accepted? Rejected? If more information is required, what exactly should be asked for?

If an applicant wants to not mention publications, I don't think it's a problem. If the person's application can stand without the publications as an editor, they should be allowed as an editor. Otherwise, they should be allowed as an author. Unorthodox ideas should not be cause for denying participation. -- ZachPruckowski (Speak to me) 11:22, 26 March 2007 (CDT)
Full disclosure is better. If an applicant is a writer of pedophilia erotica, we probably do not want the person at all. In all cases, if a person's writings depict illegal activity in a way that encourages, advocates for, or portrays positively that activity, they should be excluded, with "illegal" defined by what would be held as such in developed liberal countries (advocating for democracy in China, although illegal there, would be an example not falling under this rule). This is a logical extension of the family friendly policy and only makes sense. Lack of disclosure about published writings of the nature I am speaking of is a form of anonymity and should be rejected as incompatible in principle with CZ's policy of non-anonymity. - Stephen Ewen 15:50, 26 March 2007 (CDT)

What are acceptable credentials to list as an applicant? What about "diploma mills"?

One reason that we have dropped degrees from user names is because a number of applicants have requested that degrees, such as the MD degree, be part of the user name. In some of those cases, the degree granting school is not credentialled except for "alternative medicine" in foreign countries, and does not have any set course requirements or evaluations before awarding the degree, but is willing to award the degree on the basis of a letter and the payment of a fee. There are Divinity Degrees and liberal arts degrees that are currently available on the same basis through the internet and other venues, in the USA, and elsewhere.

Should such degrees be listed on applications by users, or are they misleading if tendered as part of a biography?

They are misleading if tendered as part of a biography. We should perhaps be silent on the issue and let people tender them. If tendered, the person is perhaps not the sort to which we should grant entrance. - Stephen Ewen 18:34, 26 March 2007 (CDT)

If the user is accepted, and given an account, can such degrees then be listed on user pages? Whether or not a user lists such "credentials" on the application, is it fair to list these on a user page?

No. I think that a part of the real names policy is implied rather than stated explicitly-and that's real credentials. I personally, think that a good part of education is learning to think critically, and part of that process involves evaluating the underlying point of view of authors when we read. Yes, on Citizendium editors approve articles, not authors, but that approval comes only at a single point in time. I think that it is reasonable to expect that if somebody claims a Ph D in chemistry, for example, or a Doctor of Divinity, that the author has actually taken at least graduate level courses in these fields and not purchased a diploma. Otherwise, it's a form of impersonation that is deceptive to collaborating authors. My 2 cents. Nancy Sculerati 16:07, 26 March 2007 (CDT)
Real names, real credentials. Of course. There has got to be websites listing diploma mills, and we use good judgement otherwise. No diploma mill degrees on user pages. Period. Stephen Ewen 17:43, 26 March 2007 (CDT)

What about vague educational claims such as, "I graduated from a small liberal arts college in the southwest and then earned a law degree"?

Unacceptable. A terrible precedent. Specificity required. Stephen Ewen 03:03, 27 March 2007 (CDT)

A suggestion from our Editor-in-Chief

I'd like to make a suggestion, because there's a deep and consequential assumption made in the above proposals, which together represent a significant course change in how we would deal with applications. The assumption, which needs to be examined carefully, is that CZ should go to some lengths to confirm particular, enumerated types of information, as opposed to checking something or other, in order to make sure that a person is not making up an identity out of whole cloth--which is what we have been doing.

Anyway, this is another perfect issue to marshall arguments in a somewhat more systematic fashion. See: Summaries of policy arguments.

Nancy has raised the issue of "acceptable level of honesty" on the forums here: [3]

I wish I had time to participate more...between press interviews, keeping up with e-mail, etc., it's hard for me just now. This of course will change! --Larry Sanger 15:12, 27 March 2007 (CDT)

Please see CZ:Should we confirm stated credentials or check bios cursorily?. --Larry Sanger 15:29, 27 March 2007 (CDT)