Each article has a single Curator (or simply "curator") who is ultimately responsible for the article's contents. Each article's curator is a world-recognized authority on the topic covered by the article.
When an article is first published, its established expert becomes the article's curator. After publication, the curator can be changed based on the decision of the contributors to each article, in which case the article's curator need not have been among the article's original authors.
Scholarpedia relies on its curators to ensure the integrity and quality of its articles by requiring that each article be publicly approved (or anonymously rejected) by a Scholarpedia curator.
All Scholarpedia Curators are able to:
- Sponsor a proposed article, thereby vouching for the credibility and authority of the article's authorship, and
- Approve a Scholarpedia article for publication.
For a revision to become visible in an article, it must either be explicitly or implicitly approved by the article curator.
The decisions of each curator regarding revisions to the articles they curate are final.
- Articles are written for Scholarpedia in a range of ways. Some are written by topic experts exclusively, while others are a collaboration between one or more topic experts and other more junior co-authors. If every article author became a curator, then non-experts would, necessarily, become curators. If non-experts can become curators, then the significance of curator approval is greatly diminished, weakening the peer-review and article maintenance processes.
- Furthermore, if an article can have multiple curators, then responsibility for the article's upkeep is diluted. This can, even if only occasionally, have at least two undesirable consequences:
- "Shared blame" can result in neither curator taking responsibility for poor edits to the article that have been made by other individuals
- "Shared responsibility" can result in neither curator being proactive in improving the article, either due to an expectation that the other curator will do so, or due to a worry of offending a colleague, or due to the diminished credit the curator would receive for his or her contribution.
- Because there are many possible articles, qualified experts will have many opportunities to gain curator status. For instance, if two experts co-author multiple articles for which they would be equally qualified to curate, they can simply alternate who becomes Curator.
Curator revision approval
Curator article approval
Curator article sponsorship