Posted by: Johan Normark | April 16, 2010

A missed book review opportunity

What kind of publication ranks among the highest in academia? It is for sure not book reviews, they rank among the lowest and hence I have never bothered with writing anyone. If you write several reviews you can quickly expand your publication list (and some people cluster their publication lists with dozens of book reviews). What counts in academia is your own published research in peer-reviewed journals. However, if you still need to read certain books for your own research why not review them for a journal or two?

Two days after I left Sweden for Thailand and Malaysia I got an email from Cambridge Archaeological Journal (CAJ). They wanted me to review The Kowoj: Identity, Migration, and Geopolitics in Late Postclassic Peten, Guatemala, edited by Prudence M. Rice and Don S. Rice. Unfortunately, the email was sent to my old Göteborg University email account which I rarely use. During my vacation Göteborg University also changed the email system and I could not access my emails until yesterday. I guess CAJ has found a new reviewer by now.

In any case, I am not sure I was the right reviewer since Late Postclassic Peten is not what I know best. I do have some knowledge of identity as I have published articles on ethnicity and gender. Neither is the book needed for my own research so it may have been too much work for too little result. Let’s see if CAJ contacts me for another book review in the future.



  1. Any review is a good review…

    • If it help to attract more readers maybe. Instead of one person maybe even as many as twenty people may read it.

  2. Good job! I like your post.

  3. I hope you’ve updated your e-mail addresses or at least had the old adresses you rarely check, forwarded to your current address.

  4. I am a slow learner when it comes to these practical issues…


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