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


By-laws ratified 1 December 2004 Revised 1 April 2005


H-France is a permanent organization whose purpose is to promote scholarly work and discussion on the history and culture of the Francophone world and to disseminate information of interest to scholars of the Francophone world through electronic communication. H-France is a bilingual organization operating in French and English. It chiefly fulfills its purpose through the management of an electronic discussion list, a review program, and a web site.


The H-France web site, which includes copies of all H-France book reviews, is accessible publicly without limitation. Subscription to the H-France discussion list is open to those prepared to participate in scholarly discussions, such as teachers, professors, scholars, librarians, graduate students, and others knowledgeable in French history and culture. Undergraduate students may join the list but must be sponsored by an instructor who is a list member.



The Editorial Board is the governing body of H-France. It establishes goals and editorial policies for H-France, determines all technological issues, and must approve all funding and budgetary decisions. It may adopt any rules or procedures for the conduct of its business that are not contrary to the by-laws. The Editorial Board operates through electronic correspondence and is presumed to be always in session. The full names of the members of the Editorial Board are listed on the H-France web site and published annually to the H-France list. The Editorial Board is composed of an Editor-in-Chief, the most recent past Editor-in-Chief (for two years following retirement from office), a Chief List Editor, a Chief Book Review Editor, a Chief Web Editor, a Financial Officer, eight at-large members, and any institutional sponsors.

1. Editor-in-Chief

a. Appointment

The Editor-in-Chief serves a renewable three-year term beginning on January 1st. Appointment to the position of Editor-in-Chief is made by nomination of the Editorial Board and approval by the Executive Committee of the Society for French Historical Studies. The Editor-in-Chief remains a member of the Editorial Board for two years following the expiration of the term of office.

b. Duties

The Editor-in-Chief is the chief executive officer of H-France and is responsible for implementing the policies and decisions set by the Editorial Board and for coordinating activities among the three primary branches of H-France operations (list, review, and web site). The Editor-in-Chief serves as chair of the Editorial Board, with the responsibility to prepare its agenda, establish committees and sub-committees for special projects, call for votes, or establish other organizational procedures as may seem fit. Working with the Financial Officer, the Editor-in-Chief is responsible to obtain funding for H-France as needed. The Editor-in-Chief conducts correspondence on behalf of H-France with interested parties, other scholarly organizations, and any associated organizations, particularly the Society for French Historical Studies, and is the only individual authorized to speak for H-France. The Editor-in-Chief prepares an annual report on H-France operations and membership. This report, which includes a general financial statement, is presented to the Editorial Board.

2. Chief List Editor, Chief Web Editor, and Chief Book Review Editor

a. Appointment

The Chief List and Web Editors are nominated and approved by the Editorial Board. The Chief Review Editor is nominated by the Editorial Board and after consultation with the Editors of French Historical Studies. The Chief Review Editor's appointment is approved by the Executive Committee of the Society for French Historical Studies. The renewable appointments last for three years and are staggered among the three offices.

b. Duties

The Chief List, Chief Web, and Chief Review Editors are responsible for the day-to-day operations in their respective areas, overseeing the assignment and fulfillment of duties among the various editors in each area and ensuring that policies established by the Editorial Board are implemented. The Chief List, Web, and Review Editors bring to the Editorial Board issues that arise in their respective areas that require new or clarified policies and are responsible to coordinate the editorial activities in their respective areas of responsibility. Each January, the Chief List, Web, and Review Editors provide to the Editor-in-Chief synopses of the activities accomplished in their areas of responsibility the previous calendar year to aid in the preparation of the annual report.

3. Financial Officer

a. Appointment

The Financial Officer serves a renewable three-year term beginning on January 1st. Appointment to the position of Financial Officer is made by nomination of the Editorial Board and approval of the Executive Committee of the Society for French Historical Studies. At the time of appointment to the position of Financial Officer and during the term of office, the individual may not serve as an editor for H-France.

b. Duties

The Financial Officer serves as treasurer of H-France and has custody of all of its funds. The Financial Officer receives monies due H-France, disburses sums owed by H-France, and administers surplus operating funds, if any exist. The Financial Officer maintains and administers a bank account into which H-France funds are deposited and from which H-France expenditures are disbursed. The Financial Officer advises the Editorial Board concerning the financial status of H-France and presents an annual report in January each year to aid in the preparation of the H-France annual report.

4. At-Large Members

a. Appointment

Eight at-large members serve staggered four-year terms beginning January 1st. Appointment to the position of at-large member is made by nomination of the Editorial Board and approval of the Executive Committee of the Society for French Historical Studies. In choosing nominees to at-large member positions, the Editorial Board seeks to have itself generally reflect the diversity of the H-France membership.

b. Duties

At-large members of the Editorial Board have no specific duties but may be appointed to serve on committees at the discretion of the Editor-in-Chief. All editors and officers must be nominated by the Editorial Board.

5. Institutional Sponsors

a. Appointment

Individuals who sponsor H-France operations at a specific institution may sit a representative on the H-France Editorial Board.

b. Duties

The duties of institutional sponsors will be identical to those of at-large members.

B. Editors

1. Appointment

Appointment to the position of H-France editor is made by nomination of the Editorial Board and approval of the Executive Committee of the Society for French Historical Studies. The Editorial Board determines the number and duties of H-France editors.

2. Duties

H-France editors work within the policies established by the Editorial Board and under the leadership of a Chief Editor for a specific area. Editors are responsible to implement H-France policies and to bring to the attention of the appropriate Chief Editor difficulties raised by those policies or other issues of concern with regard to H-France operations. For every four-year period working as an H-France editor, editors are entitled to a six-month sabbatical from their editorial duties.

C. Removal of Officers and Editors

In the event that an officer, editor, or board member of H-France becomes unable or unwilling to exercise the duties of the position or performs those duties in a manner deemed inadequate, the individual may be removed from that position upon a two-thirds vote of the Editorial Board.


A. H-France shall engage in exclusively "educational" activities as these terms are used in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of the United States of America. In the event of H-France's disbanding, any remaining funds or assets will revert to the Society for French Historical Studies or its heirs as long as such organization(s) remains a tax-exempt organization under section 501(C)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code or the corresponding section of any future tax code. In the event that the Society for French Historical Studies or its heirs no longer exists or no longer holds tax-exempt status, the Editorial Board will distribute any remaining funds or assets to a tax-exempt organization with a tradition of supporting the scholarly study of the history and culture of the Francophone world as selected by the Editorial Board.

B. The H-France Editorial Board may establish associations and affiliations with other scholarly organizations as deemed fit and approved by the Editorial Board.

C. H-France commissioned works (such as reviews and essays) and the H-France web site are copyrighted by the Society for French Historical Studies.

D. Authors who post items to H-France assign copyright to the Society for French Historical Studies only the right for re-distribution for non-profit educational purposes.


Revisions to the H-France by-laws must be approved by a two-thirds majority of the Editorial Board.



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.