Making Science News: The Press Relations of Scientific Journals and Implications for Scholarly Communication

  • Martina FranzenEmail author
Part of the Sociology of the Sciences Yearbook book series (SOSC, volume 28)


Scholarly journals primarily address the scientific community to facilitate communication but a few journals are regularly used as a source for issue selection in science journalism that widens the scope from the peers to a broader public. At the forefront are the multidisciplinary journals Science and Nature, looking for so-called “firsts” that are relevant both for science and society. A professional press service allows for broad news coverage of published new scientific findings. Because of their impact on science and the mass media alike, it comes as a surprise that the medialization discourse has fairly ignored the role of scholarly journals. This chapter tries to fill this gap by investigating the journals’ operation modes concerning the science/media coupling. The argument that is to be developed is that expectations of both scientific rigor and newsworthiness are conflicting in high-impact journals and thus can irritate the self-reproduction mechanism of science. An empirical analysis of a sample of 58 original articles in stem cell research will unfold the characteristics of a media conflict in science.


Stem Cell Research Scholarly Communication Scholarly Journal Scientific Significance Editorial Decision 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



I would like to thank Sascha Dickel, Fran Osrecki and the reviewers for their comments on a draft of this chapter.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bielefeld University

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