Template:Cover abstract/Citizendium

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Citizendium
Citizendium's logo as of July 2010.

Citizendium is a pretender to the throne of Wikipedia as a free internet-based encyclopedia project. It was started in late 2006 by Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger.

Citizendium aims to boost its reliability by having articles vetted by experts and requiring real names for contributions. Articles are divided into "workgroups", until recently including one on "healing arts" (Citizendium's term for alternative medicine). Advocates ended up managing these articles largely on their own terms, removing criticism and cherry picking references. This led to the first sign that something had gone badly wrong, when a ludicrous puff piece on homeopathy was featured on the front page. The project has been plagued with pseudoscience and many of the original academic experts were driven away by Sanger and site administrators.

Despite lofty ambitions and a hugely publicized launch, participation has declined to about 20 regulars and only 50 people editing in any month. Citizendium is a cautionary tale of top-down management of volunteer projects and the dangers of credentialism.