19 March 2024

Turning Social Capital into Scientific Capital: Men’s Networking in Academia

Professor Margaretha Järvinen has published a new article in Work, Employment and Society together with Nanna Mik-Meyer from CBS. The article shows how successful male academics build relationships with co-authors (especially from the US), potential reviewers and journal editors in order to better their chances of publishing in ‘top’ journals. It also shows that academics who do not practice strategic networking lose out in the publication race.

Front page

Universities have changed in recent decades with the introduction of various performance measurement systems, including journal ranking lists. This Bourdieu-inspired article analyses three types of strategies used by male associate professors in response to journal lists: building social capital at conferences and during stays abroad; marketing of research papers to potential reviewers and journal editors; and tactical co-authorship. Drawing on 55 qualitative interviews with male associate professors in the social sciences in Denmark, the article shows that journal lists, and the forms of strategic networking they are associated with, represent a new doxa in higher education. However, it also reveals that participants are unequally positioned when it comes to acting in accordance with performance metrics. Although comprehended as neutral, journal lists are based on (and contribute to) dividing lines between acknowledged and unacknowledged research – lines that tend to pass unnoticed among winners as well as losers in the academic publishing game.

Link to published article: https://doi.org/10.1177/09500170241234602

Link to authors’ final version:  https://www.sociology.ku.dk/staff/professor-and-associate-professor/?pure=en%2Fpublications%2Fturning-social-capital-into-scientific-capital(90ada811-3fd5-4c4b-8d4b-4783dfa1f4dd).html