Published Date

January 5, 2012

Resource Type

AHA Policies and Documents, For Professional Development


Research Methods

AHA Topics

Professional Life

Approved by AHA Council, January 5, 2012

A conflict of interest arises when an individual’s personal interest or bias threatens or appears to threaten to compromise his or her ability to act in accordance with professional or public obligations. Historians frequently encounter such situations as participants in some form of peer review—for example, reviewing grant applications, vetting manuscripts for publication, evaluating annual meeting program proposals, or selecting prize or award recipients. Historians should identify and, where appropriate, recuse themselves from any decisions or other actions in which a conflict of interest or the appearance thereof arises; they should avoid situations in which they may benefit or appear to benefit financially at the expense of their professional obligations. Reviewers should abstain from consideration of submissions by current or former students, current institutional colleagues, or anyone with whom they have had a significant financial or other collaborative relationship. As a general rule, they should recuse themselves if their relationship with a paper presenter or author would prevent them from forming a fair and disinterested judgment.