AMS Process for Filing, Investigating, Communicating Results, and Appealing Claims
Filing a Claim
Any individual is entitled to make a formal claim that a violation of a policy has occurred. It is not necessary for a claimant to have any formal relationship (e.g., author, reviewer, program committee member) to the Work that is claimed to be in violation of AMS Publications Policy, nor is it required that the claimant be a member of AMS; however, it is necessary that the claim involves an AMS work.
In order to make a formal claim that a violation has occurred, the claimant should:
- identify themselves (i.e., anonymous reports are not considered),
- indicate whether there is or is not a formal relationship to the Work (e.g., author of violated work, reviewer, or editor of violating Work),
- provide a detailed written description of the claim,
- provide detailed evidence supporting the claim,
- any other information that would help AMS efficiently to investigate the claim.
Claims should be submitted to:
Robert Harington, Associate Executive Director of Publications, firstname.lastname@example.org
Provided the minimum information required has been provided in writing, AMS will investigate a claim of Publications Policy violations. AMS will take some or all of the steps outlined below based on the circumstances of each individual case. AMS reserves the right to close an active investigation if additional information is requested but not provided by the claimant.
Some or all of the investigation steps to be taken:
- Upon receipt of a claim that this Policy has been violated, AMS will review the submitted claim and supporting documentation. If any additional documentation is needed AMS will request that documentation from the claimant, who shall provide that documentation to AMS before the formal investigation can proceed.
- When AMS formally opens an investigation into a claim the Associate Executive Director of Publications will inform appropriate AMS Governance and Publications staff.
- The managing editor (for journals) or series editorial committee chair(s) (for books) shall take the lead on the investigation and shall notify appropriate parties that a claim has been received and an investigation has been initiated. If the managing editor or committee chair(s) are unwilling, unable, or conflicted with the claim, the Committee on Publications (CPub) chair(s) shall take the lead on the investigation and shall follow the same steps outlined here, as appropriate.
- A manual review of the materials will be conducted.
- The Journal Managing Editor will notify the accused that a claim has been submitted but will keep the identity of the claimant confidential as outlined by policy. AMS will provide as much supporting documentation as possible to the accused without breaching confidentiality.
- The accused will be allowed to respond to the claim in a timely manner and provide supporting documentation. The accused's response will inform the next steps to be taken by AMS.
- If the accused denies the details of the claim AMS will continue to investigate.
- If the accused admits that the violation occurred and waives the right to appeal AMS's decision, then AMS will move to the penalty phase of the case.
- As appropriate and/or necessary AMS legal counsel may be consulted.
- The managing editor in collaboration with AMS staff will communicate with the individuals involved on both sides to update them on the status of the investigation and to inform both sides of decisions taken by AMS with respect to the claim(s).
Communicating Results of Investigations
Once a decision has been reached in relation to an allegation, that decision will be communicated to all parties immediately by the AMS Associate Executive Director of Publications or by the managing editor(s) or series committee chair(s), as appropriate. Upon notification, the investigative phase will be deemed to have ended, and there will be no further communication with any party by AMS unless there is an appeal to the AMS President.
Once a determination has been reached that decision will be communicated in writing to all affected parties by the AMS Associate Executive Director of Publications.
In all cases, if a violation has been found, all parties will be informed of the penalties and the actions to be taken. Upon notification, the investigative phase will be deemed to have ended, and there will be no further communication with any party by AMS unless there is an appeal to the AMS President.
Confidentiality Rights of Stakeholders
All aspects of an investigation are treated with the utmost regard for confidentiality. The names and contacts of the person(s) making a claim and their relationship to the allegation will be kept strictly confidential and used only for the purpose and duration of the investigation.
However, to ensure timely and effective resolution, details of a claim may be circulated to individuals on a need-to-know basis. As part of the investigation, it may be necessary for AMS to contact current and/or past employers of the accused. Additionally, some institutions have specific requirements for their employees to disclose any pending legal/ethical matters. If either the claimant or accused's institutions contact AMS to request information regarding the investigation, it is AMS's policy to disclose that a claim has been received and to indicate whether a formal investigation is ongoing but to restrict the amount of information that is shared at AMS's discretion. If AMS is contacted with an official request to provide evidence, documentation, and/or testimony for a related judicial proceeding, AMS will comply with such a request.
Stakeholders Right of Appeal
All claimants and the accused have the right to appeal official decisions. All appeals must be in writing to the AMS President no more than 30 days from the date of notification, with a copy sent to the AMS Associate Executive Director of Publications. An appeal must contain new material that was not already evaluated or substantive information that might lead the AMS President to issue a different decision than the one initially made.
If no appeal has been requested, the decision shall stand and the appropriate penalties shall be implemented.
In the event an appeal has been requested, the AMS President's decision shall be final and once communicated to the parties, the decision shall be carried out with both parties being notified of the final decision within 120 days.