Any collection of information that is collaboratively edited, as Wex is, has to strike a balance between the scale and quality of its offerings. That balance is affected strongly by the way it conceives and governs its pool of author/editors.
We agree with the founders of Wikipedia that materials that are left open for the world to edit will, in general, evolve into better and more authoritative resources over time. However, this approach raises serious policing issues in the short term. Some are quality-related; others have to do with problems of objectivity or of inappropriate use of the encyclopedia as a platform for advertising. The LII has a very small staff, and would find such problems difficult to control.
We also believe that a selective author pool, while comparatively limited in the volume of material it can generate, will generate higher-quality material in the short term. For these reasons, we've opted to keep the authoring pool selective for now, but we welcome qualified contributors -- see below.
We are interested in contributors with
- demonstrated expertise in particular areas of law
- a desire to educate law novices
- the ability to communicate effectively with an extremely diverse audience.
Our criteria are fluid, but in general we prefer formal legal education and give preference to legal academics and distinguished practitioners. The idea is to build the most authoritative source we can with a minimum of re-editing and tussling over content. A primary concern is that the material be useful to novices in particular areas of law -- a group comprised by practitioners learning about a new area, law students, and the general public. A desire and an ability to teach diverse groups is essential.
When not to contribute
The goal of Wex is to be informative, objective, and balanced. We are not interested in contributors who only want to participate because they wish to advertise their expertise for commercial reasons, or who have some political or intellectual axe to grind.
How to get started as an author
The first step is to let us know you're interested. Drop us a note with a summary of your interests and qualifications here: join-wex ## lii.law.cornell.edu
Assuming all is well, we'll respond by sending you information about how to make contributions to Wex. You can find more about the philosophy and mechanics of making contributions in the section on getting started as an author.