This occurred last April, and I'm surprised it didn't result in his termination then (the APA Blog must be desperate for people to do the work). The philosopher who wrote me about this asked that I not name the organization, so I will refer to it simply as XXX.
The latest news of Nathan Oseroff reminds me that I had a strange interaction with him recently. I suspect a number of other people have had similar experiences; I don’t know if they have passed them on. If you post about this, please keep it anonymous, since I am no longer on the executive committee of XXX, and don’t want to speak for them.
In 2014, we hosted the annual meeting of the XXX at [name omitted]. Interestingly, Nathan Oseroff submitted a paper, which was accepted for a poster presentation but not as a talk. He then asked to present his poster remotely. He mailed the poster, and had a friend attend the session with a Skype link to Nathan. I thought it very accommodating on our part to let him do this. (We had one other paper that was presented remotely; but the author, from Australia, uses a motorized wheelchair, making air travel impossible.)
Last April, I got the following e-mail:
> Dear [name omitted],
> I am an Associate Editor at the American Philosophical Association
> blog. I want to be upfront that this email concerns serious
> allegations about XXX that have been relayed to me. Due to the
> nature of this topic and the fact that I am not attempting to
> undermine or impugn the reputation of XXX or any of its past
> organizers, institutions, affiliated groups or people, I want to make
> it clear that I have decided to keep the identity of XXX anonymous
> and mask any identifying information in published material out of
> respect to XXX. My concern here is only for raising awareness of
> the issues and institutional reform.
> I have been informed by anonymous sources that a number of
> highly-regarded, yearly philosophy conferences in North America do not
> undergo a standard review of anonymized abstracts or papers.
> Furthermore, I have been informed that there have been allegations
> that there has been minimal review of past XXX conferences; other
> allegations include the claim that abstracts at past XXX conferences
> have been intentionally de-anonymized before reviewing them. I
> understand that these allegations are shocking; however, they have
> both come from reputable sources. Out of a desire for transparency, I
> can only ask an incredibly blunt question: Can you confirm or deny any
> of these allegations?
> Nathan Oseroff
> Associate Editor, APA blog
I just referred him to the present executive board of XXX and left it that. But this is bizarre in all sorts of ways. It is not the place of APA or anyone acting in the name of the APA to be policing other organizations. The accusation is also weird: Most conferences will have invited speakers, who are obviously not invited blindly. Many conferences do not use blind review, and it is understandable if conferences give priority to, e.g. dues-paying members of the organization. If we did not wish to do blind review, it would be really strange for us to ask for blinded submissions and then unblind them. The accusation is also strange because in practice, XXX accepts almost everything. The year we hosted [at my institution], every submission was accepted either as a paper or a poster.
I know that the executive committee sent a letter to the members of the APA governing board, but I do not know if they received any response.
If Mr. Oseroff has been abusing his position at the APA Blog to harass other professional organizations, please let me know.