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Procedures for Addressing Allegations of Misconduct in OAH Publications

At its spring 2012 meeting held on April 19 at the OAH/NCPH Annual Meeting in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the OAH Executive Board approved the following “Procedures for Addressing Allegations of Misconduct in OAH Publications.”

The Journal of American History publishes innovative original research and scholarship advancing the historical profession’s finest traditions. Everything published in the Journal—articles, essays, reviews—must reflect scrupulous adherence to the highest standards of integrity in research and scholarship. Authors must have written the work submitted and published under their names; numbers, words, and images must be authentic and employed in ways that do not distort their meaning; and the research and scholarship of others informing an article, essay, or review must be acknowledged and cited. Departure from any of these standards may constitute misconduct and may jeopardize the reputation of the author, the Journal, and the profession. These same standards and procedures will apply to the OAH Magazine of History.

Allegations of misconduct should be brought to the attention of the OAH Executive Editor. The OAH Executive Editor shall make a determination as to whether action by OAH is recommended. If so, he or she will make a recommendation to a standing committee consisting of second-year members of the OAH Executive Board who have no conflict of interest. (If there is any conflict of interest, the OAH’s Executive Editor will appoint a third-year member.) This committee may conduct an independent investigation and will instruct the OAH Executive Editor as to whether any corrective or disciplinary action is required. Such action could include a statement published in the JAH or MOH about a published article or other action as determined by the committee. The committee shall include as a necessary part of its investigation an opportunity for the author to provide input in writing, by telephone, or in person, as determined by the committee. The committee may also recommend to the OAH Executive Board that it write a formal letter to the author’s home institution concerning its findings. Such a letter would not be sent until after the end of the appeals period.

The OAH Executive Editor will inform the author of the committee’s decision and also inform the author that he or she may appeal the decision to the Executive Board of the Organization of American Historians by delivering written notice of appeal to the Executive Director of the OAH no later than thirty days after the date of the written communication containing the notification to the author of the decision.

The decision will not become final until the appeal period expires without the Executive Director having received a request for an appeal or, if request for an appeal is received, until after confirmation or adjustment by the Executive Board of the OAH.

If an appeal is appropriately filed, the Executive Board of the OAH shall consider the findings and recommendations of the standing committee, the OAH Executive Editor, and any other facts and circumstances it deems relevant in confirming or adjusting the decision. The Executive Board will notify the author of its decision and any corrective action or discipline. No further appeal shall be offered to the author and the decision of the Executive Board will stand as final.