Branding Spin-Off Scholarly Journals: Transmuting Symbolic Capital into Economic Capital

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In this article, we analyse a relatively recent commercial strategy used by large academic publishers to capitalize on the brand names of their most prestigious scientific journals. Using Pierre Bourdieu’s model of capital conversion, we explain how publishers transfer the symbolic capital of an already prestigious journal to derivative journals that share in the prestige of the original brand and transform it into new economic capital. As shown by their high impact factors, these newly created journals benefit from the name recognition and reputation of the originals after which they are named. Plus, through a manuscript routing mechanism, the publishers recycle some of the submissions rejected by their highly selective flagship journal by redirecting those manuscripts, along with their reviews, to derivative journals or to one of the lower-impact journals on their list, which may require an article processing charge for publication.

This content has been updated on 26 November 2020 at 10 h 56 min.