Council Policies


H-Net Executive Council Policies

[Approved 7.15.2011; Amended 09.19.2022]

Article 1 - Policies Relating to the Officers and Executive Council

Article 2 - Policies Relating to the Networks

Article 3 - Policies on Copyright and Intellectual Property

Article 4 - Policies on Membership

Article 5 - Terms of Use

Article 6 - Policies Ratification and Amendment of the Policies


Article I: Policies Relating to the Officers and Executive Council

Section 1.01.  Consultation with networks.  In determining policy for the networks, the Executive Council shall take into consideration the inevitable differences in constituency and mission among the various networks. This task will necessarily involve consulting with the editors and advisory boards of each network and, where necessary, with the scholarly and/or professional organizations which have affiliated with that network. Every effort shall be made to make decisions that are consistent with acknowledged disciplinary contours and scholarly procedures of said subject areas consistent with H-Net’s mission and the impact of decisions on all networks and their audiences.

Section 1.02. Executive Council Meetings and Voting.  The Executive Council shall meet quarterly, as determined by the President after polling Council on availability. All attempts to maximize attendance shall be taken by the President, including announcing quarterly meetings at least one week in advance of the meeting. When necessary, emergency meetings may be called by the President or Executive Director. When the Executive Council meets, 9 votes are required for a policy to be adopted. If a quorum is not present, or if the Executive Council prefers voting on matters using the H-Net platform, it may. In such circumstances, a motion may be made on the Executive Council’s private network. It must be seconded within 48 hours. At that time, the Executive Council will have a minimum of five days of debate and a minimum of five days of voting or once the motion receives majority support from the Executive Council. It is strongly recommended that all Executive Council motions include a timeline for debate and voting in the original motion which abides by the minimum lengths set out in this section. If so, then Executive Council must abide by that timeline unless amended during debate. If no timeline is introduced, then the President must clearly state the timeline within 24 hours of the motion’s seconding. The debate period may not begin until a timeline is clearly stated. This section does not apply to the Consent Agenda process, as noted in Section 1.09.

Section 1.03. Filling Unexpired Terms of Executive Council Members.  If a vacancy on the Executive Council occurs before October 1st, the first runner-up in the most recent Executive Council election shall be seated for the interval between the time of the vacancy and January 1st. If there are unexpired terms as of January 1st, those terms shall be filled in order of the next highest votes. If there are no runners up or no one is willing to serve, the Executive Council may appoint a suitable candidate to the vacant Executive Council seat. The temporary appointment will expire on the January 1st following the appointment, and the appointed candidate may run for election to Executive Council for a new term if they wish, with the remainder of the term filled by election during the regularly scheduled election period. If there is a vacant At-Large Council seat which is being filled by election during the regularly scheduled election period, then the three candidates with the highest vote totals will earn the three-year terms and the fourth highest vote total shall fill the vacated seat.

Section 1.04.  Failure to Adequately Perform Duties.  Any Executive Council member or appointed officer who fails to adequately perform their duties due to prolonged incapacity, inaction, or malfeasance may be removed from office and barred from seeking further H-Net office. Removal may be initiated by any two officers or Executive Council members who believe an officer or Executive Council member is not performing adequately. Showings of cause for removal may be made by any Executive Council member. After the Executive Council member or appointed officer in question has been given the opportunity to rebut showings of cause for removal, a vote shall be taken of the full Executive Council. A vote of at least three-quarters of the total number of Executive Council members, not including the officer or Executive Council member subject to removal, who shall not vote, is required for removal. Once an officer or Executive Council member is removed, a separate vote shall be held on the question of barring them from seeking office in the future and if so, for how long the bar shall remain in effect. A vote of at least three-quarters of the total number of Executive Council members is required for barring.

Section 1.05.  Resignations from Office.  Resignations must be made to the appointing body, which is the Executive Council for appointed officers, and the editors via Editor-Resources for elected officers. Any appointed officer who wishes to resign their office must communicate that intent in writing to the President and Executive Council.

Section 1.06.  Announcing Annual Elections.  H-Net’s Home Office will circulate an announcement concerning the start of H-Net’s annual election season before October 1st of each year and will facilitate the rapid circulation of elections-related information to Council and H-Net’s voting members. The elections announcement will indicate that the election season begins no earlier than October 1st and concludes no later than November 15th and will specify an official nominating season during this period, to last at least two weeks, a campaigning season immediately thereafter, to last at least one week, and voting season of at least seven days ending no later than midnight, eastern time, November 15th. The Home Office will circulate this announcement to relevant H-Net Networks, including Editor-Resources, and make sure it appears on the relevant portions of its website. Prior to October 1st of each year, the Home Office will email a reminder to the President Elect to form the Elections Committee. This amendment does not extend additional authority to the Home Office over the nominating or campaigning process beyond facilitating the rapid circulation of nominations, campaign messages, and other material necessary to fair elections.

Section 1.07.  Council Statements. H-Net’s Executive Council may circulate messages to H-Net’s network editors, review editors, and advisory board members, as well as to H-Net’s subscribers, concerning H-Net policies, principles, and business. Executive Council may establish its own guidelines for raising motions for statements, approving them, and circulating them, as long as approval of messages requires at least a majority vote of Executive Council. Executive Council is responsible for updating all network editors on its activities after each Council meeting.

Section 1.08.  Good Faith Reciprocity. H-Net expects professional and learned societies and publications as well as Internet-based organizations and services to act in good faith relative to H-Net’s mission and principles. In cases where H-Net or a member thereof can demonstrate to H-Net’s Executive Council a clear pattern of malicious or harmful behavior on the part of an external organization toward H-Net and/or at least one H-Net network, Executive Council may vote to withhold access to its services, networks, and platform. The motion to withhold access must specify the cause for withholding access and indicate who specifically this pertains to. Decisions to withhold services should not pertain to the membership of external organizations.

Section 1.09.  Consent Agenda. Council may approve certification of editors and boards and approve new networks via the Consent Agenda process. Certification of editors and boards and approvals of new networks are among the most important functions of the Council. Final approval of a network commits the organization to the network’s proposed audience. Certification puts H-Net’s name behind an editor’s work and indicates that the organization will support that editor during her term.

(i) Procedure: On Mondays, consent items will appear on the Council network. If no voting member presents a formal objection or requests removal from the agenda, the item passes the Council without taking the yeas and nays on the following Friday. Simple discussion of an item does not remove it from the consent agenda. A voting member must request its removal and indicate what action the member wishes to be taken: hold a formal vote, table the item, or request more information followed by a formal vote.

(ii) Certifications: Nominations for teaching, network, and review editors are placed on the consent agenda by the pertinent Vice President or Associate Director. A complete nomination includes a letter from the candidate indicating acceptance of the terms and conditions of the position, a brief statement of qualifications and plans for working on the network; an endorsement of the nomination by the network board and editors (or by the pertinent Vice President if no board or editor endorsement is available). The Council normally does not assess a candidate’s field qualifications: that is the job of the advisory board. To be certified, a nominee must indicate acceptance of H-Net’s rules and show sufficient background and interest to persuade members that the nominee will be a responsible and professional steward of the network’s resources and good citizen at H-Net.

(b) Network Proposals:

(i) Preapprovals: draft proposals for new networks are forwarded by the Vice President of Networks. These drafts are usually in rather primitive shape: they include a mission statement, list of editors, and statement concerning goodness of fit at H-Net. As proposals, they are tentative. Approval of the proposal authorizes the Vice President of Networks to pursue a formal application with the nominee. These proposals should be screened carefully: does the applicant have a firm grasp of the intended audience? of existing resources in the field? of H-Net’s services and mission?

(ii) Final Approvals: a final application includes a mission statement, staff listing (at least 5 editors and 3 advisory board members), indication of plans for book reviewing, list of any sponsoring organizations, an impact statement discussing consultations with affected networks in related fields, and any other details the Vice President of Networks may be requesting. Final approval constitutes an enduring commitment to the network audience that extends beyond the term of any of its editors.


Article II: Policies Relating to the Networks

Section 2.01. Network Staffing. All H-Net networks should maintain a minimum staff of six field experts who are active in the life of the network. These field experts must be certified by the Executive Council for specific positions (such as network editor, review editor, or advisory board member, etc.). Neither a majority of a network’s staff nor of its advisory board may concurrently serve as officers, board members, directors, or managers of the same outside organization. A network’s staff must include at least five individuals who serve in an editorial capacity, at least two of whom must be network editors. A network’s staff must also include at least three certified advisory board members, who may be drawn from the network’s editors.

(a) Recruitment. All network advisory boards must maintain a statement accessible on their main network webpage indicating how the network manages the recruitment of new editors and new advisory board members and whether the network is currently recruiting. In cases where networks have fewer than six staff members, they must maintain a statement, subject to review by Executive Council or a designated H-Net committee, indicating that they have open positions and providing guidelines, in conformity with H-Net’s certification process, for applying to serve with the network.

(b) Certification. All H-Net network editors, review editors, and advisory board members must be certified by the Executive Council. Certification requires a statement of interest and intent by the candidate and approval from the network’s advisory board. Each candidate’s statement must originate with the candidate and must be submitted along with the board’s endorsement. In order to be certified, candidates must complete any and all official H-Net training material associated with the position that they are applying for to the satisfaction of H-Net’s Home Office and Executive Council. If candidates fail to complete the training successfully or to do so a timely fashion, H-Net staff will report this to Executive Council, who may withdraw the candidate’s application.

(c) Advisory Boards. Network advisory boards support network activities, mediate disputes among and against a network’s editorial staff, and maintain network policies, which are subject to review by Executive Council and must be in conformity with H-Net’s Executive Council Policies and Bylaws.

(i) Each network must maintain a published policy specifying the relationship between the membership of its advisory board and the membership of its editorial staff. Where advisory boards overlap in membership with a network’s editorial staff, the advisory board must indicate the method by which editors are included in the board.

(ii) In cases where membership of a network’s advisory board falls beneath the minimum required number (3), the network’s advisory board must either recruit additional board members or adjust their network policies to permit additional advisory board members from their editorial staff. In cases where a network has a wholly vacant board, the network’s editorial staff may recruit individuals or appoint their own members to serve on the network’s board, with nominations requiring a majority vote of existing editorial staff. Votes are subject to certification by H-Net’s Executive Council.

(d) Network Renewal Policies. Advisory boards have the option to establish, by a majority vote, a policy requiring network editors, review editors, advisory board members, or some subset of these, to renew their positions with the network on an annual basis. Votes are subject to certification by H-Net’s Executive Council. Renewal policies must be publicly viewable through the network’s website.

(e) Coordinators and Chairs. Advisory boards have the option to nominate members of their certified network staff to serve in the positions of coordinator or chair. Such nominations require a majority vote of the board and are subject to certification by H-Net’s Executive Council. Coordinators and chairs may be subject to annual reapproval by a network’s board and are subject to review by Executive Council. The Vice President of Networks may also nominate a certified editor or board member to serve as a coordinator or chair of a network, subject to a vote from Executive Council.

(i) Coordinators. Coordinators maintain communication among the network’s advisory board, editors, and subscribers, serve as designated contacts for communication with H-Net, and document network policies and initiatives in ways that enhance transparency. Coordinators compose a review of the network’s activities and submit it to H-Net at the end of their term and may circulate this as well to their network.

(ii) Chairs. Chairs serve as coordinators and manage their network’s recruitment activities in conformity with its recruitment policy and H-Net guidelines. For the network at which they serve, chairs may nominate new editors and advisory board members to H-Net for certification and oversee the implementation of a network’s renewal policy.

Section 2.02.  Network Approvals. All new H-Net networks must be approved by the Executive Council through pre-approval and final approval processes that uphold the principles and guidelines in Executive Council policies.

(a) Pre-approval process. Proposals for new networks must begin with a pre-approval form that provides a mission statement, editorial staff, and advisory board.

(i)  Mission statements. Network pre-approval forms must provide a mission statement that identifies the network’s intended audience; its intellectual, scholarly, educational, or professional purpose; its editorial style; and any special policies or circumstances that affect its operations or editorial policies.

(ii)  Editorial staff. Network pre-approval forms must provide the names, institutional affiliations, and emails of at least five field experts who have agreed to serve with the proposed network in editorial capacities, with at least two agreeing to serve as network editors.

(iii)  Advisory board. Network pre-approval forms must provide the names, institutional affiliations, and emails of at least three field experts who have agreed to serve on the proposed network’s advisory board. 

(b) Final approval. After pre-approval, all proposed networks must finalize their mission statement, have all editors apply for certification as well as complete official H-Net training, and draft a preliminary list of resources in their field of study for publication on the network. A field expert’s nomination to serve in an editorial and/or advisory capacity will be implied by their inclusion in the pre-approval form. A final mission statement, complete list of certified editors and board members, and draft list of resources will be submitted to Executive Council for final approval.

Section 2.03.  Dispute resolution.  H-Net’s procedure for resolving disputes about editorial decisions involves a professional review of the issues by the network’s editors, with appeals sequentially permitted to the advisory board, the Vice President of Networks (for matters related to general network content) or the Vice President of Research and Publications (for matters related to H-Net reviews or other publications), the President, and at the President’s discretion, the Executive Council.

(a)  Overview. Academic debate and discourse inevitably, and usually constructively, invite controversy. H-Net considers submissions to its networks and website to be a form of publication. The editors of H-Net’s networks normally apply common, if evolving, professional standards in judging the value of content for publication. All network welcome messages will indicate any departure or special application of these standards to the network’s mission. Those standards entail the balancing of intellectual freedom with the need for civility and restraint. H-Net and its editors reserve the right to edit and refuse to publish incoming messages, essays, or other documents for clarity, civility, accuracy, or adherence to commonly accepted standards of professional scholarship. No such material will be published in altered form (except for cosmetic changes necessary to prepare it for publication) without the owner’s consent. Material that in the judgment of the editors harasses, defames, slanders, or libels others, or that abuses intellectual property rights, is subject to rejection or revision.

(b)  General principles. Authors of submissions to H-Net networks deserve a fair, reasonable, careful reading and assessment of the material they provide. Authors acknowledge responsibility for the content of their submissions. Editors acknowledge responsibility for exercising proper, professional, and reasonable judgment about the content of material published on their networks or web sites. Network editors, review editors, advisory board members, subscribers, and staff members deserve fair treatment from each other. H-Net prohibits harassment, intimidation, and abuse. All disputes and complaints must be handled confidentially through H-Net’s established procedures. Any subscriber, inclusive of Network Editors, Review Editors, Advisory Board Members, and H-Net Office staff members who attempt to harass, intimidate, or abuse other subscribers or H-Net staff members may have their editorial privileges and/or subscriptions terminated by H-Net’s Executive Council. Harassment, intimidation, or abuse can also result in denial of privileges on H-Net’s servers and any further legal and professional remedies that the editors, board, and H-Net consider appropriate to the offense.

(c)  H-Net considers all correspondence between editors, advisory board members, subscribers, and officers to be of a confidential and business nature. Correspondents may not publicize or disclose the contents of these communications without the permission of the authors, except when consulting with authorized legal representatives. Specific allegations of legal or professional misconduct should be addressed as a confidential communication directly to the Vice President of Networks (for matters related to general network content) or the Vice President of Research and Publications (for matters related to H-Net reviews or other publications). Communications of this nature must refer to specific instances and indicate the remedy desired. The Vice President of Networks or the Vice President of Research and Publications will consider the matter and consult with affected editors, other parties involved, network advisory boards, and, where necessary, H-Net’s Editorial Affairs or Publications Committees. The objective of these consultations will be to discover the facts, consider possible remedies, and implement solutions acceptable to affected editors, editorial advisors and members of the Editorial Affairs or Publications Committees.

(d)  General complaints or comments about editorial policy or practice should be first addressed to the network editors, in a signed email sent to the network address. H-Net expects that the vast majority of such issues can be effectively resolved through direct communication among the parties involved. Editors are encouraged to consult with each other and the network advisory board and must notify the author of the complaint of any decision thus arrived at.

(e)  The author of a complaint may request a review of editorial decisions by the network advisory board. In such cases, the editors may explain their position to the board, but must recuse themselves from voting, if the matter comes to a vote.

(f)  If any issues remain unresolved, then editors, the board, and/or the originator of the complaint may refer the matter to the Vice President of Networks (for matters related to general network content) or the Vice President of Research and Publications (for matters related to H-Net reviews or other publications), who will follow the procedure further outlined in this article.

(g)  At the discretion of the Vice President of Networks (for matters related to general network content) or the Vice President of Research and Publications (for matters related to H-Net reviews or other publications) will attempt to resolve the complaint, in consultation with the parties, the Editorial Affairs or Publications Committees, and H-Net officers as necessary.

(h)  A decision by the Vice President of Networks or the Vice President of Research and Publications may be appealed to the President of H-Net, who may, at the President’s discretion, submit the appeal to the Executive Council.

(i)  In cases considered by the Executive Council, the Vice President of Networks or the Vice President of Research and Publications will disclose all pertinent correspondence, indicate the decision arrived at, and serve simply as facilitator. The Vice President of Networks or the Vice President of Research and Publications (as appropriate) will not vote on the appeal, but will apply whatever decision the Executive Council arrives at.

(j)  H-Net reserves the right to seek qualified legal advice in all cases whatsoever.

    Section 2.04. Editorial Guidelines for H-Net Networks.  The following policies are based upon the developing practices and conventions of H-Net networks. Individual advisory boards should establish their own guidelines and policies consistent with the ones published here, and in cases of conflicting regulations, the H-Net policies as interpreted by the Executive Council shall apply.

    (a)  Policies governing the management of subscriptions and network logs are intended to protect the privacy of subscribers and the integrity of online communities fostered through H-Net networks and web.

    (b)  General Principles

    (i)  H-Net is a nonprofit consortium of scholars and teachers who use networked communications to advance education, service, and teaching in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

    (ii)  H-Net believes that vigorous, open, and constructive academic debate and content via its networks are best promoted by professional peer-review through teams of editors and advisory boards in consultation with subscribers and users of H-Net. Gatekeeping is vital to maintaining the impartiality, integrity, reliability, accountability, and quality of the services and content we provide.

    (iii)  H-Net supports fair access to and fair use of digital materials, and seeks to balance the rights of intellectual property holders with the informational and instructional needs of students, scholars, libraries, and the informed public.

    (iv)  H-Net believes in nondiscrimination in its services, goods, facilities, and employment opportunities--paid and unpaid--on the basis of creed, race, ancestry, color, ethnic origin, citizenship, sexual orientation, place of origin, gender and gender identity, age, marital status, family status, receipt of public assistance, or religion.

    (v)  H-Net supports the vital and legitimate interests of professional and learned societies and publications.

    (vi)  H-Net supports classroom instructors through the provision of useful teaching materials and communications networks.

    (vii)  H-Net believes in democratic decision-making and editorial independence in the management and operation of its services, networks, and web site.

    (viii)  H-Net believes in responsible citizenship on the Internet, and will promote practical efforts to conserve resources, protect the integrity of data, expand access, preserve accountability, and extend cooperation to fellow Internet-based organizations and services. 

    (c)  Unless specifically exempted by the Executive Council, all networks must be edited by individuals certified in advance by the Executive Council. Editors may not designate a replacement who has not been certified by the Executive Council and the network’s advisory board. In cases of extreme emergency, temporary editors may be appointed with the approval of the Executive Director or the Executive Director’s designee. In such cases, the temporary editor must announce their role and duties to the network at the first opportunity, and must self-identify as the temporary editor in network-related correspondence.

    (d)  The welcome and informational files of each H-Net network must contain a statement of the network’s mission, intended audience, editorial style, and subscription management practices. It must also contain or link to reliable contact information for the network’s editors, its advisory board, and H-Net’s offices. Networks may include other information, including links, membership details, and material about sponsoring organizations. Welcome messages must also contain or link to H-Net’s official copyright policy.

    (e)  H-Net networks may not go unattended for more than five consecutive days without approval by the Executive Director or the Executive Director’s designee. Editors must notify the network of any anticipated absences or lapses in coverage of greater than five days.

    (f)  All postings to an H-Net network must include the following information, either in the mail header or in the body of the message:

    (i) the name or signature of the author; H-Net’s edited networks do not publish anonymous material. Messages to our discussion forums must be signed with the author’s name and applicable contact information.

    (ii) the name of the current network editor who forwarded the message to the network;

    (iii) the date the message was received or posted to the network;

    (iv) a subject line;

    (v) the name of the network;

    (vi) where the message was forwarded from, if applicable.

    (g)  Editors reserve the right to:

    (i) edit messages for clarity, ease of transmission, and concision;

    (ii) request revision of or decline to publish material that in their judgment is defamatory, non-germane to the network's mission or the current discussion thread, engages in ad hominem attacks on the reputations or character of others (‘flames,’ in Internet parlance);

    (iii) to regulate the pace and quantity of postings by assembling digests of posts, holding posts for later delivery, or assigning features and posts to other editors.

    (h)  Editors will not alter the meaning of a message without consulting the author.

    (i)  Due to the high incidence of viruses on the Internet, editors should not send mail attachments or files to their networks. H-Net’s technical staff can provide protected sites for such materials.

    (j)  Advertisements of for-profit activities are not permitted on H-Net networks and web pages without the permission of the Executive Council. Exceptions are short descriptions of new products, software, books, or other materials that are, in the judgment of the editors, of interest to subscribers. Reliable contact information should be provided and commercial hype deleted. Editors should be wary of endorsing any product or service. Advertisements of rental apartments or housing for traveling or visiting scholars may be posted if they are edited for concision and are covered by suitable posting policies established by the network advisory board.

    (k) Advisory boards must establish policies covering the posting of electronic petitions or electioneering for positions in a professional or political office, subject to review by the Executive Council. In general, material that is part of a recognized election procedure endorsed by a scholarly organization affiliated with the network, or that is pertinent to or directly supports the network’s mission as advocate for a particular organization or interest, is acceptable so long as its distribution does not compromise the editorial independence or impartiality of the editor. Editors have the option to post short notices of petition efforts germane to the profession or the network's mission and which point to a non-H-Net site or resource for further information and action. They may not use H-Net networks to gather signatures or campaign in such a manner as to undermine the editors' impartiality.

    (l) Editors should avoid sending out virus alerts unless the alert is already endorsed or disseminated by either H-Net's technical staff or a recognized virus research or verification site.

    (m) Any full-time, salaried professional position for 6 months or more and does not exclusively support dissertation research must be published by the Job Guide before it can be posted on any network. It would include any full-time postdoc, fellowship, scholarship, tenure-line or fixed-term employment for any reason, along with dissertation support that requires teaching and/or service. This would exempt short-term contract and consulting work, part-time adjuncts, one-semester pay-by-the-course instruction, teaching or research assistantships that are part of a program of study, short-term residential fellowships of the kind favored by libraries and archives, hourly work less than 30 hours per week, volunteer positions, from the requirement. All network postings of Job Guide ads must include the link to the ad at the Job Guide. Waivers of the posting fee can be made by staff on a case-by-case basis, according to need or as the Council may direct.

    (n) H-Net networks should not distribute surveys for market or scholarly research without advance approval of the Executive Council and the affected network advisory board, unless the material is the actual subject of discussion and is not actually a survey of the subscribers. Networks may post announcements of surveys conducted outside of H-Net.

    (o) Editors may not redistribute messages originating from internal H-Net communications networks, including Editor-Resources, HNet-Council, E-Review, planning networks, advisory board networks, or organizational networks designated as confidential, without the approval of the editor of the originating network, the author of the original message, and where appropriate, the Executive Council. The exception is messages on H-Announce that are not clearly designated as “for editors only” or “not for public posting.”

    (p) Editors may not redistribute personal or private correspondence without the clear permission of the author of the correspondence; messages that refer to off-network conversations or opinions should be screened carefully. Editors assume proportionate responsibility for the consequences of forwarding such messages to a network.

    (q) Rental Notices on H-Net Networks.

    Posts that announce or refer to a specific property for rent must adhere to the following criteria in order to qualify for publication on any of H-Net's public networks:

    • the rental must be offered as a service to scholars, teachers, and researchers in need of temporary housing while pursuing their profession. Vacation rentals, income-generating rentals, and other such postings are prohibited.
    • the notice must indicate the property’s value to traveling scholars by noting its proximity to sites, resources, or institutions needed by scholars in the network's field of coverage.
    • the notice may not indicate pricing of any kind.
    • the notice may not indicate the address or specific location of the property beyond the city or district where it lies.
    • the notice may not indicate any specific contact details, including the phone number, street address, or postal address, of the advertiser, landlord, or individual currently residing on the property.
    • the notice must provide an email address to which interested parties can write for further information.
    • the notice must include a disclaimer, provided either by the editors or the advertiser, that H-Net assumes no liability for the conditions in or any circumstances involving the rental or related transactions.

    Section 2.05.  Subscription Management Policies

    (a) H-Net owns the subscription lists and logs for all H-Net networks. For technical, privacy, and professional reasons, the integrity of the subscription list and logs must be guarded carefully.

    (b) Access to the subscriber list: direct access to the subscription list is limited to current network editors. Editors may not share the network’s subscription list with unauthorized individuals; only editors, H-Net staff and officers, and network board members may view the subscription list. In all other cases the editors must obtain permission from the Vice-President of Networks or the Executive Director to share the subscription list or membership information beyond what is already available in the member’s H-Net profile. Under no circumstances shall editors post the entire subscription list to their network or web site.

    (c) Networks may establish their own qualifications for subscription. In no case may subscription be denied on the basis of creed, race, ancestry, color, ethnic origin, citizenship, sexual orientation, place of origin, gender and gender identity, age, marital status, family status, receipt of public assistance, or religion. Editors must inform applicants of the reasons for denial of a subscription.

    (d) Subscription qualifications must be written into the network’s welcome, informational, and survey messages and clearly stated on its web page.

    (e) For technical and practical reasons, all networks that do not screen subscriptions by survey must set subscriptions to include the “confirm” qualifier, in order to force verification of subscribers addresses before a subscription is accepted.

    (f) Mass deletions of groups of subscribers, or of an entire network, may not be performed without the approval of the Executive Director or the Executive Director’s designee.

    (g) Network and web-displayed discussion logs may not be altered or expunged without consulting the network advisory board and the approval of the Executive Director or the Executive Director’s designee or the Executive Council.

    Section 2.06.  Implementation.  Network advisory boards may establish basic procedures for implementing these guidelines, subject to review by the Executive Council.

    Section 2.07.  Decommissioning Networks. It is expected that networks will be able to maintain a regular schedule of postings and that network members will actively contribute to the community. However, networks may go silent for extended periods of time or may cease to serve the purposes for which they were created, and so may need to be decommissioned. The decommissioning process can occur at the request of the Advisory Board and editors of a particular network, or at the recommendation of the Editorials Affairs Committee and the Vice President of Networks. In either case, the Vice President of Networks and the Editorial Affairs Committee are charged with determining if the network can be revived, either with new editors or with a reframed mission. If that attempt is deemed impossible, or if it is unsuccessful, the Vice President of Networks shall move in Executive Council for the network to be decommissioned, providing a written rationale for this request. A majority vote of Executive Council is sufficient to decommission any network. If the vote is successful, it will be the responsibility of the Vice President of Networks to make an announcement to the network, provide for the archiving of the network’s logs, and to put up a placeholder announcement at the network’s web address.


    Article III: Policies on Copyright and Intellectual Property

    Section 3.01. Preserving Copyright  H-Net is a nonprofit communications service intended to advance the teaching, research, and service of scholars, educators, and students. Preserving copyright rights is a collective responsibility: H-Net users and editors must respect the intellectual property of others. Consistent with the objective of encouraging creativity in scholarship and education, editors and users are encouraged to transmit copyrighted works to or through H-Net, with the express permission of the copyright holder or in accordance with the fair use provisions of copyright law. H-Net considers posting to H-Net networks or Web, as contrasted with private e-mail correspondence, to be a form of publication.

    Section 3.02. Reviews.  Unless otherwise indicated, reviews commissioned by H-Net and published under its imprint are subject to a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

    Section 3.03. Non-Licensed Reveiews.  Reviews which are not covered by the Creative Commons license will be so labeled. Reviews copyrighted by H-Net may be redistributed and reprinted for nonprofit, educational purposes, with full and accurate attribution to the author, location, date of publication, and H-Net: Humanities & Social Sciences Online. For any other proposed use, permission from the Vice President of Research and Publications is required.

    Section 3.04. Distribution.  Although authors of messages to H-Net networks retain the copyright in those messages, sending a message to an H-Net network for posting constitutes permission to H-Net and its subscribers for electronic distribution and downloading for nonprofit educational purposes with proper attribution to the author, the originating network, and the date of original posting. If an author wishes to limit distribution of messages by subscribers, the author should so specify in the message. Original messages to H-Net networks may not be assumed to be in the public domain, and may not be used for other than educational, nonprofit purposes without the permission of the copyright holder and notification to H-Net. [See "Terms of Use," Article V.] 

    Section 3.05. Fair Use.  Senders of messages must obtain permission to reproduce copyrighted work beyond the scope of “fair use.” Editors must make a good-faith effort to confirm that material whose origin or content appears to be entirely derivative or nontransformative and which exceeds fair use does not violate copyright in the original.

    Section 3.06. Contextualization.  Given the legal uncertainty surrounding “fair use” in the digital environment, editors and advisory boards are encouraged to place any reproductions as fully as possible within the educational, nonprofit, and transformative context of their network or web site. This could include, but is not limited to, extended quotation of the work; prefatory comments or questions that frame the work within an existing thread that prompt new discussions, or that point to new directions in research; summaries of the work, reinforced by quotations or excerpts and references to the original source..

    Section 3.07. Reproductions. All reproductions of works in part or whole should be clearly identified.

    Section 3.08. Resolving Disputes.  Disputes over posting of copyrighted materials shall follow the same procedures as outlined in Article II pertaining to disputes over editorial decisions. 

    Section 3.09. Appeals Process.  The Vice President for Networks will serve as facilitator in the appeals process.


    Article IV: Policies on Membership

    Section 4.01.  Free memberships. Persons or organizations in this classification receive memberships without cost to them.

    (a) General members: Members of this classification include persons who subscribe to H-Net networks, use H-Net services, and who otherwise wish to register with H-Net as a member. Subscribers can be members of H-Net but they are not voting members unless specifically certified as such by the Executive Council.

    (b) Voting Members: Eligible persons are voting members, entitling them to vote and to seek election or appointment to H-Net leadership positions, if they have been designated by the Executive Council as voting members, maintain active subscriptions to Editor-Resources, and continue to fulfill all conditions of voting membership as determined by the Executive Council.

    (c) Partner members: Members of this classification are organizations that wish to endorse a network. Eligible organizations include registered or chartered nonprofits, corporations, educational institutions or units thereof, learned, scholarly, or professional associations. Endorsement shall occur upon written agreement between the organization and H-Net and after consultation with the affected network advisory board. Networks may propose partner agreements to the Executive Council. Unless provided for by the written agreement, endorsement shall not in any way affect the governance, editorial policy, staffing, or content of the endorsed network. Partner members may be acknowledged at the network web site and in its informational literature. The term of each partner membership shall automatically renew each year unless otherwise provided for by the agreement.

    Section 4.02.  Donor Members. Donor Members receive membership in H-Net upon giving to H-Net according to the criteria established in the following categories.

    (a) H-Net Associate: Individual donors who give to H-Net in any of the individual donation categories established by the Executive Council become Associate Members of H-Net and receive member benefits as provided for by action of the Executive Council.

    (b) Institutional members: Registered or chartered corporations, nonprofits, educational institutions, learned societies, or other organizations who donate to H-Net as institutions, do not choose to be Affiliate members, or are not in another member category become institutional members of H-Net. Institutional members can work through partnerships with H-Net to sponsor special H-Net services or activities, develop new resources for the partnership, or pursue joint projects. H-Net may create levels of benefits and partnerships within the category of memberships. Institutional members may be eligible for benefits and services as established by action of the Executive Council.

    (c) Affiliate members. Organizations that donate to H-Net and wish to sponsor a particular network or networks may join H-Net as Affiliate Members. Affiliation shall occur upon a written agreement between the organization and H-Net that details the benefits, services, and shared responsibilities of the affiliation. Depending upon the level of donation, Affiliates are eligible for member benefits as provided for by action of the Executive Council and indicated in the written agreement.

    Section 4.03.  Term of membership. The Executive Council shall establish the length of term for each type of membership. If none is specified by written agreement or the H-Net policies, membership in all donor categories shall be for one year from the date that membership was approved by H-Net.

    Section 4.04. Personal Information.  H-Net will require only so much contact or personal information from members as is necessary to identify and affirm their status as members, to include but not be limited to name, occupation or professional status, and email address. H-Net will not sell, transfer, or share membership contact information without the consent of the affected members.

    Section 4.05. Political Propaganda/Campaigns.  The purpose of memberships in H-Net is to further the organization's nonprofit, educational, and scholarly mission. No organization, in the pursuance of its membership activities, shall carry on any political propaganda or campaigns for or against any candidate for public office.


    Article V: Terms of Use

    Section 5.01.  H-Net is a nonprofit educational scholarly society seeking to advance the teaching, research, and service of scholars, educators, and students through the use of new media. The following policies constitute the terms of use of our site by members and nonmembers of our organization, and serve to clarify all previous H-Net copyright policies. This policy supersedes any previous policies that are determined to be inconsistent with it. Submitting, downloading, redistributing or republishing content constitutes the user’s acceptance of these terms and conditions:

    (a) The management of H-Net’s content, services, and resources is subject to policies determined by the H-Net Council as administered by the organization's officers in compliance with H-Net’s bylaws, published policies, and Articles of Incorporation.

    (b) H-Net considers any posting to its discussion forums or website to be a form of publication. “Publication” means the public display or distribution of content through whatever medium H-Net owns, controls, or licenses, at H-Net's sole discretion.  Subscribers should not submit a message, document, or image to an H-Net network that contains material the subscriber does not, or in the future would not, want publicly available, unless the subscriber clearly indicates to the network editor in writing before publication what portions are not to be published.

    1. H-Net expects each Editor (including Reviews Editors), Network Contributor and Reviewer to be familiar with professional academic standards of conduct consistent with the field of study most impacted by a particular review (see for example the "Statement on Standards of Professional Conduct" for historians published by the AHA:
    2. H-Net network contributors and reviewers each own his/her review which is published under the Creative Commons license (see H-Net Policies Article III: Policies on Copyright and Intellectual Property H-Net and its editors have a professional obligation to edit and publish responsibly, but H-Net as a scholarly community and non-profit corporation assumes no legal liability for the content (e.g., of book reviews) published on its networks.
    3. H-Net strongly recommends that networks not publish reviews of publications where there is evidence of academic misconduct (e.g., plagiarism).
    4. If a network believes that a discussion or a review which suggests or alleges academic misconduct is of such value that it needs to be published, then the editor (e.g., in the case of a book review, the commissioning reviews editor) must present the drafted content and accompanying evidence for the alleged misconduct to the Vice-President of Research and Publications for verification before the content can be approved for publication.
    5. H-Net staff will not communicate directly with an author, publisher, employer or any other concerned party regarding an allegation of academic misconduct that arises through the moderation and/or review process. 
    6. An H-Net reviewer or H-Net network member may choose to report misconduct by an another author. Any related communication must be from an individual, not from or on behalf of H-Net or any affiliated network. Members should be aware that such a report can trigger legal and academic disciplinary processes beyond the original initiator’s control.

    (c) H-Net’s edited networks do not publish anonymous material. Messages to our discussion forums must be signed with the author’s name and applicable contact information.

    (d) H-Net’s editors and staff exercise sole discretion in determining what and when to publish, and may decline to publish content submitted to them. There is no automatic right of access to H-Net’s audiences through H-Net’s servers, and access to our site may be restricted or otherwise prohibited to individuals who violate H-Net’s terms of use, at H-Net’s discretion.

    (e) The publication of content by H-Net does not alter the rights of the copyright holder, unless specific agreement has been made with H-Net.

    (f) Submitting material to us for publication perpetually licenses H-Net to distribute and permanently archive that material for nonprofit, educational or scholarly purposes through whatever media it owns, controls or licenses. Any further use of such material beyond H-Net requires the permission of the copyright holder, subject to the statutory exclusions defined by fair use, including quoting, citing, or excerpting for nonprofit, educational or scholarly purposes with proper attribution to the author and H-Net. It is the responsibility of the copyright holder to preserve and enforce the copyrights.

    (g) H-Net exclusively owns its discussion logs, the web displays of the discussion logs, the names of its networks, its subscription lists, and reviews commissioned by H-Net that are not otherwise licensed.

    (h) H-Net considers the logs or records of its discussion forums, (or web displays of those records), to be a permanent archive to be maintained perpetually for use by scholars and the public. Although requests for removal or retroactive editing of material from this archive will be considered by H-Net, only material that presents a clear and present danger to an individual, that is legally libelous or defamatory as determined by H-Net or competent legal authority, or that is a violation of applicable copyright, can be removed, edited, or otherwise altered once it has been posted or published, at H-Net’s sole discretion.

    (i) Individuals may not use H-Net’s media or the content we publish to harass, intimidate, spam, or otherwise abuse members or nonmembers. H-Net reserves the right to prosecute individuals who misuse its servers or services.

    (j) H-Net’s editors and officers will make a good faith effort to publish content that is consistent with our nonprofit, educational mission, and will not alter submissions without the consent of their authors (beyond reformatting and cosmetic changes to prepare for publication), but H-Net assumes no liability for the specific content of material to which it does not own copyright. Authors assume liability for the content of their messages and postings.


    Article VI: Policies Ratification and Amendment of the Policies

    Section 6.01. Ratification.  To take effect this document must be ratified by a simple majority of the Executive Council.

    Section 6.02. Amendments. These Policies may be amended or replaced by Executive Council.

    Section 6.03. Amendment Procedures.  Amendments to the Policies may be proposed by any member of the Executive Council. Once proposed, they must be approved by ten members of the Executive Council. Once they receive ten votes, they shall be posted to Editor-Resources and comments invited. At least two weeks after it was posted on Editor-Resources, the Executive Council shall vote on the amendments. It will take ten votes from the Executive Council to ratify any changes. The Executive Council may vote either online or at the subsequent Council meeting.