[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
[xmca] Citing and Slighting
I just read Mike (Cole's) and Wolff-Michael (Roth's) editorial "The referencing practices of Mind, Culture, and Activity: On citing (sighting?) and being (sighted?)" with what I must confess is a mild dose of that most unworthy emotion, irritation. I will try to compensate for it with generous glop of humor, but I imagine some of this must be at the expense of the authors.
For those of you with no access to the article, I summarize. Michael and Michael hector prospective writers, in the name of the readers, about unnecessary citations which they consider "name dropping" and resume stuffing moves. We are given an amusing assortment of examples of this, not only as examples of bad practices, but in the editorial itself, for example when an overenthusiastic citation of Ilyenkov makes it appear that he is entirely responsible for the dialectical materialist account of modern science and poor Bakhtin is dragged in by the ears to make a completely uncontested point about monologism and dialogism (even more amusingly, the title of Bakhtin's book "Problems of Dostoevsky's Poetics" is given incorrectly).
What the editorial really LACKS is any explanation for this lamentable phenomenon beyond blaming the victims. As an author myself, I can assure the editors that it is not, in general, my own name that I drop or my own resume that I stuff. Why, then, do I do it?
Well, anybody who reads Wolff-Michael's editorials on a regular basis may notice that we are often enjoined to cite MCA for no other reason than to increase the journal's impact factor. And anybody who has access to my voluminous collection of MCA rejection slips will notice that one of the most common reasons for rejection is that the citations are incomplete.
As the authors say, this problem is by no means confined to MCA; I can name half a dozen journals where my articles were ONLY published after the insertion of references that I have very good reason to suspect were to the work of the reviewers. I must say, though, that MCA is better than their word on this: in general, my rejections do NOT say "revise and resubmit with more references"--they tend to say "Don't bother, kid. You're not in our league!"
I paraphrase, of course. But I could certainly quote and cite.
Seoul National University of Education
xmca mailing list