The work of the Wikipedians has astounded the world, but the amateur nature of Wikipedia's contributions, whose authors remain anonymous, is not for everyone. Some experts are hostile toward the idea of Wikipedia and many avoid Wikipedia altogether. We may take Wikipedia as an early prototype of the application of open source hacker principles to content rather than code. I want to argue that it is just that, an early prototype, rather than a mature model of how such principles should be applied to reference, scholarly and educational content. Where Wikipedia shares the culture of anonymity found in the broader Internet, the Citizendium will have a culture of real-world, personal responsibility.
Citizendium has a form of peer-review, in which the site's content is subject to "gentle expert oversight." In reference to creating a new encyclopedia project Sanger stated: "I think there is a need for a more reliable and free [online] encyclopedia. If we can create a more reliable and free encyclopedia, particularly if we adopt a different system than Wikipedia's, then we should." As Citizendium's editor-in-chief, Sanger commented in late October 2007 about its first anniversary, from its initial private launch date of October 30, 2006. Citizendium's readers, he said, have only just begun to see the power of the project's model:
Citizendium is wiki-based, and several aspects set it apart from Wikipedia. Prospective contributors on Citizendium are required to sign in using real names. Users of Wikipedia may contribute anonymously, or create a username. This username does not necessarily have a connection with their real name. Experts in their field of expertise have a role in the Citizendium community to approve articles on the basis of accuracy. The Good Article and the Featured Article systems on Wikipedia employs a review by editors. Wikipedia is perceived to promote consensus and not truth and verifiability is the inclusion criteria – reporting on what other sources have to say. Citizendium experts have the final say for article content and it is not necessary to cite a source for a content decision on Citizendium. Citizendium attempts to prevent future wiki-vandalism in the tradition of Stephen Colbert.