1. Cite yourself.
Brian Tomasewski and I published a paper in the Journal of Historical Geography. This was an analysis of places in the Toluca Valley, based on the spatial depiction of the specific towns mentioned in individual native historical sources. We used those data to make come inferences about changing political dynamics. The journal sent the manuscript blind to reviewers--that is, the authors' names were omitted. One reviewer provided a helpful detailed review, but complained that the paper didn't cite Michael Smith's work sufficiently! Smith has worked in the Toluca Valley, noted the reviewer, and many of his papers are relevant to this manuscript. Then, the journal editor evidently didn't make the connection between the Smith mentioned in the review and the name of the second author, and asked us to cite this guy Smith. Now some authors cite themselves too much and others too little. I sometimes worry that I am closer to the former than the latter position, so I try not to go overboard. I later told the reviewer I was a co-author and we had a good laugh.
Tomaszewski, Brian M. and Michael E. Smith 2011 Politics, Territory, and Historical Change in Postclassic Matlatzinco (Toluca Valley, central Mexico). Journal of Historical Geography 37: 22-39.
2. You should have written a book, not this paper.
All too often, reviewers complain that an author has not written the paper that the reviewer would like them to write. In this case, I had not written the BOOK the author had wanted. One reviewer of this paper gave it a critical review--twice. First for a journal that rejected the paper, and then for the journal that eventually published it. As I recall, the criticisms were very general, more like objections to my overall approach than specific problems with the manuscript. After extensive revision (thanks to a number of very helpful and detailed critiques), the paper was published. This reviewer later told me that it would take a book to produce the kind of work they wanted me to write, not an article!
Smith, Michael E.2010 Sprawl, Squatters, and Sustainable Cities: Can Archaeological Data Shed Light on Modern Urban Issues? Cambridge Archaeological Journal 20: 229-253.
3. Yankee Imperialist Pig.
Shortly after the publication of an edited volume, a colleague in Mexico asked me to submit a paper (in Spanish) to a local journal on the general subject of one of my chapters in that volume. This person suggested that a Spanish translation of the chapter would be sufficient, but I thought it would be more appropriate to write a new paper based on the original chapter but with some new material and perspectives. I wrote the paper and submitted it to the journal. One of the reviewers was harshly critical, complaining about lazy U.S. scholarship. How dare I merely translate a book chapter and try to pass it off to a Mexican journal as a separate paper! And what's worse, the manuscript does not even say that it is a translation of a book chapter. This kind of arrogant scholarship, an example of academic imperialism, should not be tolerated!
I was really angry and ready to withdraw the paper. Luckily, my colleague smoothed things over and the paper was published. Authors often complain that a reviewer didn't really read the paper carefully. In my case, it is clear that the reviewers did not compare the paper to the original book chapter.
Academic imperialism is something archaeologists working in foreign countries need to watch out for. Academic imperialism refers to foreign scholars sweeping in to a foreign country, doing their research, and leaving, without much interaction with their local colleagues and without publishing in the journals of the country and region. I work hard to avoid academic imperialist practices, which is one reason I was so angered by the clueless review.