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RE: [xmca] Citing and Slighting

Dear Michael-


It is so funny that you mentioned Mozart because recently I submitted my
critical reply to the MCA editors' paper titled "Too many references, just
cut a few and it will be perfect: APA vs. Chicago". As you see I'm referring
to the movie Amadeus in the title of my paper and I used the entire exchange
between the Emperor Joseph II and Mozart as the epigraph to my paper. It
looks like that my paper has been accepted and will be published soon in
MCA. In my paper I elaborated on the point about citations as hyperlinks
that you wrote in your message.  I'll be interested in your comments on my
upcoming paper.


Take care,




From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu] On
Behalf Of Michael Glassman
Sent: Thursday, June 10, 2010 10:00 AM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: RE: [xmca] Citing and Slighting


Hi David,


I haven't read the editorial but I have to agree with you that "name
dropping" is one of the more bizarre editorial critiques I have come across.
It reminds of of one of my favorite movie scenes from Amadeus in which after
one of his first operas Mozart asks the Franz Joseph how he liked the music.
Fran Joseph says that well it was all right but there were problems.  Mozart
asks what poblems.  And Franz Joseph says that well, there were too many
notes.  To which Mozart states that there were just as many notes as needed,
no more and no less.


Generally this is true of citations I think.  Of course you should refrain
from citing yourself unless necessary, or friends - but otherwise - WTH?
I've been doing some research on hyperlinks lately - and their history is
that they are meant to function a great deal like citations - but in many
ways citations don't only represent origination of information source but
also associations - that these works offer associations and trails of ideas
- when we write we are not only attempting to talk about a new idea but also
pull together a web of information and integrate what we are writing into
that web. This is both the author's responsibility but also the author's


The couple of times I have gotten the name dropping critique (never
explained or expanded upon) it has always struck me as the reviewer waving
his hand in the air and saying "too many citations."





From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu on behalf of David Kellogg
Sent: Thu 6/10/2010 3:56 AM
To: xmca
Subject: [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
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
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
I paraphrase, of course. But I could certainly quote and cite.
David Kellogg
Seoul National University of Education

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