If you were trying to instill norms of decency into the minds of hardened, dull-witted felons, this is pretty much how you would do it:
Historians should not list among the completed achievements on their resumes degrees or honors they have never earned, jobs they have never held, articles or books they have never written or published, or any comparable misrepresentations of their creative or professional work.Got that? Now don't pretend you didn't know later on when the press catches you out. Furthermore:
Historians should not misrepresent their sources. They should report their findings as accurately as possible and not omit evidence that runs counter to their own interpretation. [...] They should oppose false or erroneous use of evidence, along with any efforts to ignore or conceal such false or erroneous use.Sorry about that passage. I like quoting it but it's way too esoteric for an AHA audience. Let's get back to the basics:
An undetected counterfeit undermines not just the historical arguments of the forger, but all subsequent scholarship that relies on the forger’s work. Those who invent, alter, remove, or destroy evidence make it difficult for any serious historian ever wholly to trust their work again.See that, historians? Your undetected forgeries are creating problems for others. What an ethical dilemma. But at least those "others" can retaliate by not sourcing your fraudulent works in their studies. Or can they:
Plagiarism violates the historical record by failing to reveal the secondary sources that have contributed to a given line of argument. It is a form of fraud, and betrays the trust on which the historical profession depends."I didn't know I was betraying the trust on which the historical profession depends. I was just writing real fast and my notes got lost."
I picture this membership reading the guidelines and saying, "Now, as of today, I promise to stop suppressing and misusing sources, to stop plagiarizing, to stop forging and/or destroying evidence, and to stop falsifying my own personal history. For I am the proud member of the American Historical Association and I'm turning my life around!
"Just ask my parole officer."