A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past, and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is concerned with events preceding
- The historian must treat sources with appropriate reservations;
- The historian must not dismiss counter evidence without scholarly consideration;
- The historian must be even-handed in treatment of evidence and eschew "cherry-picking";
- The historian must clearly indicate any speculation;
- The historian must not mistranslate documents or mislead by omitting parts of documents;
- The historian must weigh the authenticity of all accounts, not merely those that contradict his or her favored view; and
- The historian must take the motives of historical actors into consideration.
Schneider uses the concept of the "objective historian" to suggest that this could be an aid in assessing what makes an historian suitable as an expert witnesses under the
Schneider proposes that by testing an historian against the criteria of the "objective historian" then, even if an historian holds specific political views (and she gives an example of a well-qualified historian's testimony that was disregarded by a United States court because he was a member of a feminist group), providing the historian uses the "objective historian" standards, he or she is a "conscientious historian". It was Irving's failure as an "objective historian" not his right wing views that caused him to lose his libel case, as a "conscientious historian" would not have "deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence" to support his political views.