While gaming systems to get on to a NYT best seller list happens in popular publications the reality that things can be done to game prestige listings in academic publishing need not be overlooked. It has become evident in the last decade that paper mills can sell services to people in nursing and some of the sciences. It might be prudent to not assume any realm of academics is immune to gaming systems and human corruption.
As West has been doing for a while now, linking to author here and there, there are writers he mentions who have sounded off on how the reality in academics is that there's a prestige racket, an honor/shame dynamic going on.
Those, it seems, most determined to convince themselves and others that there's a social dynamic "beyond high school" may be wrong. The status games of school years don't go away, they just get better disguised from those who have convinced themselves that we humans don't play by those rules once we've decided we've "grown up". If anything the rules seem to be easier to game and to have more informal and formal options for gaming than they did back in public schools where you either had that status or you didn't.