I don’t know how much money many sociology journals have on hand but one British journal recently discovered a sizable surplus:
A prominent journal accumulated a surplus of more than £1 million unbeknown to most of its board, a former board member has revealed.
The Sociological Review is one of the UK’s top sociology journals. The fees paid by Wiley-Blackwell for the rights to publish it led it to amass funds in excess of £1.2 million by 2013. However, according to Pnina Werbner, emeritus professor of anthropology at Keele University, she was unaware of this during her time on the board between 2008 and 2013…
Professor Savage said that the journal had “an ambitious plan” to use its surplus to “better support the discipline of sociology, as well as the journal itself”. But he warned that tax liabilities might reduce that surplus “significantly” if the journal’s application for charitable status were rejected.
For some reason, this reminds me of local governmental bodies that sometimes debate returning surpluses to their constituents. I don’t imagine reviewers or subscribers will be getting bonus checks anytime soon. But, it does appear to be an opportunity for an influential journal to do something unique.