Bylaws -- Editorial Policies -- General (N)etiquette Policies -- Policy on Allegations of Misappropriated Scholarship


By-laws revised 8 August 2016. (First ratified 1 December 2004, previous revision 1 April 2005)

Available as msword or .pdf download.


Many of the functions performed by the co-editors are similar to those of editors of journals or book publishing houses. The co-editors try to encourage scholarly discussion on the list and intercept inappropriate messages. These messages may belong somewhere else, or in the judgment of the co-editors they do not aid the scholarly debate. In either case, the co-editor will notify the contributor and explain any action taken. Co-editors will not alter the meaning of messages, but will, if necessary, add names and e-addresses and modify the subject line of a post.

1. In the belief that the more participants, the richer the discussions on the list, the co-editors encourage all members to participate actively and contribute for the enrichment of all. If you have a reaction to a new book, a new thought relating to French history, or something related, share it with the other members of the list, and get some helpful feedback.

2. Queries should be as informative as possible. Please provide background information so that list members who know little about the topic can still benefit from the discussion. If, for example, you simply need the address of an institution, try telling the membership exactly what service the institution performs. If you need bibliographic information and have exhausted the resources available to you locally, explain the context of the problem and the works already consulted. This will help list members know what you are looking for and prevent them from duplicating work you have already undertaken in searching for the information. If you need teaching materials, explain the problem that you are trying to deal with in the classroom and the methods which you have tried so far.

3. Messages should be courteous or they will be returned to you for editing. If you are angered or upset by something on the list, do not respond immediately. Remember that once you send out your message, it cannot be retrieved.

4. Make sure the information you are sending to the list is appropriate to the entire list, rather than for the information of one person, to whom it might rather be sent directly.

5. The co-editors may cluster several messages that relate to one topic or discussion thread, resulting in a delay of a day or two before you see your message posted.

6. When receiving several similar responses to a query, the co-editors may post the first response only, in order to avoid mailbox clutter. Authors of subsequently arriving messages that do not add further information are asked for their indulgence.

7. As a service to its members, H-France publishes requests for and offers of housing of interest to its members. The publication of these notices does not constitute their endorsement by H-France, and H-France will reject housing notices that are discriminatory against any persons.



To facilitate a smooth operation of H-France according to the principles stated above, the co-editors ask all that all who submit messages observe the following guidelines:

1. Controversy is welcome on the list; personal vendetta is not. Please avoid sarcasm in your messages, as they will be returned to you for editing. Witticisms that may sound clever when said with a wink of the eye or a subtle tone of voice, often fall flat, or worse, in print.

2. Please make sure that your name and email address are on your message.

3. If replying to an H-France message, please use the "reply-to" rather than the "from" button. This will make it clear that your message is intended for distribution to the list rather than for the co-editor only.

4. Please fill in the subject space in the header of your message. This will make it easier for other H-France readers to manage their own lists on incoming messages.

5. Re-read your message before you send it to the list. Treat your message as you would an article you are sending to a journal. Your message will be read by more than a thousand people all over the world. Consider your reputation in the eyes of all these people when you send a message to the list.



The following outlines the procedures used when a reviewer brings an accusation of Misappropriated Scholarship in a review commissioned by H-France for publication in H-France Review.

1. A reviewer brings evidence of misappropriated scholarship in a book that he/she has been asked to review.

2. The Chief Book Review Editor and Editor-in-Chief make an initial determination, based upon the reviewer's presentation of this evidence, as to whether or not there is substantial evidence that the author of the book has made unattributed use of other scholars' ideas and arguments.

A. If the evidence is not substantial, the editors communicate such to the reviewer and arrange for the review to be re-written or cancelled.

B. If the evidence is substantial, the Chief Book Review Editor and Editor-in-Chief work with the reviewer to prepare a review that provides clear evidence of the allegation being made. Since H-France reviews are not limited by space considerations, appendices can be provided that use side-by-side text comparison to demonstrate appropriated material. In addition, the Editors can guide the reviewer towards wording that expresses the problems of scholarly integrity within a work without using inflammatory language.

3. The Editor-in-Chief appoints two persons from the Editorial Board, to be joined by two persons appointed by the Executive Director of the Society for French Historical Studies (SFHS), to a Review Committee to have authority over any publication decisions.

4. The Editor-in-Chief presents the review to the Review Committee, seeking its authorization to proceed with publication. The Committee will seek legal counsel if it believes it should.

5. The Review Committee may:

A. reject publication of the review if it concludes that the review does not substantiate its charges or that the review's allegations are excessive.

B. pass the review back to the Editors, requiring revisions before publication, which the Editors will pursue with the reviewer.

C. approve the review for publication.

6. Once the Review Committee approves publication of the review, the Editor-in-Chief will contact the author of the book in question, offering him or her the opportunity to prepare a timely response essay. In addition, the author of the book may request that the Review Committee reconsider its authorization to publish based upon evidence that the author provides which demonstrates that the evidence provided by the reviewer in the review misunderstands or misrepresents the material presented in the book. If the author of the book chooses not to write a response essay or fails to write one in a timely manner (generally within three weeks), The Editor-in-Chief may proceed with publication of the review.

7. Once the response essay is submitted to the Editor-in-Chief, the Editor-in-Chief and the Chief Book Review Editor edit the response essay in consultation with the author of the book.

8. When the Editors and the author of the book agree on a final text for the response essay, the response essay is given to the Review Committee for its approval before publication.

9. The Review Committee may approve or seek revisions of the response essay. Once the Review Committee authorizes publication, the Editor-in-Chief will then seek final preparation for publication to the list and web page of the review and the response essay.