From Buzzpedia
Revision as of 13:20, 14 October 2010 by Clofdahl3 (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search

This page contains the Buzzpedia Charter, a policy that explains how collective decisions are to be made and enforced on Buzzpedia.


Decision Making

Like Wikipedia, Buzzpedia uses a hybrid form of decision making. The sections below spell out when different forms of governance should be applied, and how they should be carried out.

Popular Vote

Holding a popular vote is a good way to get input from the class as a whole, but may be time consuming. Votes may also be subject to input from uninformed policies.

Matters requiring a vote

For raising issues that need to be voted on, this should be pursued through a forum. For the time being, whether or not we have a facilitator or group of facilitators has been disregarded.

Only major issues that would enact large changes within the Buzzpedia will require a vote.

Voting procedures

Voting should be enacted only on major issues pertaining to the entire project.


Allowing debate on an issue to continue until consensus is reached can be a good way to get input from all interested parties. It also allows for decisions to be made organically and informally. However, it may not always be possible to reach consensus in a timely manner, as disagreements may be hard to overcome.

Resolving issues through a consensus encourages group participation while arousing and maintaining interest other than a dominant hierarchy that inhibits the authors and readers of the articles from interaction through domineering decisions.

Matters to be left to discussion by interested parties

Guidelines for civil discussions

Methods for resolving deadlocks

Conditions where debate should be cut off

In some cases, where all else has failed, debate may need to be cut off for a timely decision to be made. In such a case, the unresolved debate should be taken care of via one of the other methods of decision making.

Unilateral Decision Making

In order to ensure the Buzzpedia runs smoothly and efficiently, a small subset of the users will be appointed to "super-user" status. These moderators are in charge of making sure that the general will of the people gets carried out quickly and correctly. Their job is vital in keeping the project on track and on time.

Unilateral decision makers and their areas of responsibility

  • Administrators
  • Moderators
    • Changes to site wide policy(i.e. Governance Policy, Style Rules, Source Rules, etc) will be carried out by moderators, there will be three moderators selected from each section. Moderators that do not carry out the will of the whole people, they can be removed as a moderator by the other moderators.
    • Moderators should also be tasked with the everyday maintenance of the site, making sure that the Buzzpedia runs smoothly and efficiently.
  • Chairpersons

Guidelines for making unilateral decisions

Methods for selecting, and removing, unilateral decision makers

When the governance policy is completed and ratified, each class will vote, or come to a consensus on who their moderators will be. This number, currently 3, will be the same from each class. This would lead us to have 9 initial moderators. If, at any time, the modeators feel as though they are overwhelmed by the amount of work they are having to do, they can appoint more moderators. But, they must abide by the following rules:

  • All classes must be evenly represented
  • The number of moderators can never exceed 25% of the total number of registered users on Buzzpedia
  • The majority of the existing moderators agree that more moderators are needed
  • The majority of the existing moderators agree the the proposed moderator is a good fit for the needs of Buzzpedia

A simliar process is put forth for the removal of a moderator. Two-thirds of the existing moderators (except for the one being removed) must agree that the moderator in question is any or all of the following:

  • Not doing the job adequately
  • Abusing the power of the position
  • Making decisions and/or changes without understanding what the general public wants

If at any point, a moderator wants to step down, they may do so for any reason. In order to fill the void created, a new moderator from the same class should be appointed by the existing moderators.

Technical Privileges

Some users can be assigned admin status allowing them to lock pages, delete pages, and ban other users from the wiki. These powers will be needed to enforce community decisions.

Of the moderators chosen, one from each class is to be granted administrator privileges. It should be the moderator who has at least has the want to be an administrator and the technical knowledge of how the Buzzpedia works.

The administrator duites can be transferred within the moderators if the current administrator either no longer wants to be in the position or the other moderators feel that the administrator is not doing a competent job.

Assigning technical privileges

At the beginning of the Buzzpedia, there should be one administrator selected from each class (they are also a moderator). Thereby, the person selected gets the responsibilities of the moderator and of an administrator.

Guidelines for using technical privileges

The administrator privileges should only be used to carry out routine maintenance on the Buzzpedia, for example deleting pages that are obviously extra or not needed. The administrators are also responsible for banning members who are a disturbance to the site. In order to ban a member, ALL the administrators must agree unanimously that the member should be kicked out.

Formal Areas of Responsibility

The job of creating the Wiki may be easier if the work is formally subdivided.

Responsibilities and privileges of page creators

Page creators should not have any special say for minor edits to their pages. All major changes must be brought up for discussion. On the discussion page, the author has no special say and must present his argument along with all other contributors on the discussion page. If consensus is reached about a change for an article on the discussion page, then the ruling of the consensus must be carried out (change or no change to an article). In the event of a voting tie, the author of the article will be the deciding vote.


Committees are a good idea.

List of committees and their areas of responsibility

Plagiarism Committee

  • The plagiarism committee should be ready to make sure references match up with the information provided in a user's article. Their job includes but is not limited to :
  • Making sure information is not copied from an article and that its rightful authors get the notoriety they deserve.

Page Layout Committee (may be a smaller group of people)

Grammer Usage Committee

  • The grammer usage committee should be ready to make sure correct English grammar is used, words are spelled right, and sentence format makes sense.

Citing Committee (making sure things are cited correctly)

Source Committee(making sure sources are valid and are appropriate to use)

Style Committee (making sure articles adhere to the Buzzpedia Style Guide)

Oversight of committee work

There will be a committee chair in charge of his or her committee's work. This chair will make sure that the work in his or her committee is spread out equally and that the work is getting done. If the committee chair fails to do this, then the chairs for other committees have the right to "impeach" the chair and select a new one.

Coordination between committees

Each student must volunteer for at least one committee he or she feels they will contribute most to. A user is less likely to do their job if they do not like their committee. Each student should think carefully about the committee they choose in order to make having committees successful. All the head committee chairs should meet once a week for a brief meeting to discuss the progress within each committee. This brief meeting will eliminate any major problems or issues between committees through frequent coordination and discussion.

Plagiarism Procedures

Plagiarism is a serious threat to the wiki, and must be policed against. However it can be difficult to diagnose plagiarism, and accusing someone of academic dishonesty is a serious matter. For this reason, the following rules have been established to govern how the Buzzpedia project deals with possible cases of plagiarism.

Methods for detecting plagiarism

Plagiarism is a hard thing to spot if one is not actively searching for it. To detect plagiarism, all sources should be checked to make sure that a contributor has correctly cited information and has not taken paragraphs of work that is not original work of their own.

Notification of suspected plagiarism

An author should be notified of suspected plagiarism through the discussion tab of the respective article. The author should then be given sufficient time (3-4 days) to correctly alter the article.

Personal tools