Elsevier launched new NeuroImage: Report as a companion journal to NeuroImage. What does companion mean here in terms of publishing content, cite-score and impact factors.

2 Answers 2


Companion journals are separate journals on the same topic. The content and bibliometrics, including impact factor, are different.

Usually, the newer journal is considered lower quality. It has different editorial standards.

An example of three companion journals:

  • Nature (1869)
  • Nature Communications (2010)
  • Scientific reports (2011)

The purpose of a companion journal is to increase the revenue a publisher gets from publication charges without decreasing the quality of the original journal.

  • 3
    'Usually, the newer journal is considered lower quality.' Do you have any data to back up the "usually"? The first example pair I thought of were Surface Science (founded 1964) and Surface Science Reports (founded 1981), and in that pair, the newer journal has by far the higher impact factor. Jun 12, 2021 at 12:25
  • I thought of Phys Rev Letters - I guess all the ‘old’ companion journals aren’t thought of as such…
    – Jon Custer
    Jun 12, 2021 at 15:13
  • Physical Review Letters was more prestigious than the older Physical Review from 1958 until Physical Review was replaced with new journals in 1970. PRX has since been placed "above" PRL and PRR is presumably at the bottom for prestige. Jun 13, 2021 at 1:55
  • 1
    @DanielHatton No data, but based on experience I'd say it's more than half for journals created in the last ten years. Jun 13, 2021 at 1:55

I think Companion journals are new journal published by an older journal because the old journal could not publish all articles submitted to it due differences in scopes but doesnt want to lose them.

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