Just had another publication pop up online! This one is an examination of paradigm change in demography and an argument for developing a new sub-field around the history of population science. I’m pleased to say this one is also in Demographic Research, an open-access journal with some of the most cheerful and helpful editors around. This paper’s called Quantifying paradigm change in demography and was written by Jakub Bijak, Daniel Courgeau, myself, and Robert Franck.
Our paper for Population and Development Review is still being looked at, but with luck we may hear about it soon. In the meantime take a look at this one, and do support Demographic Research if you publish in this area — we should all be supporting high-quality open-access journals as much as we can.
Here’s the abstract:
Background: Demography is a uniquely empirical research area amongst the social sciences. We posit that the same principle of empiricism should be applied to studies of the population sciences as a discipline, contributing to greater self-awareness amongst its practitioners.
Objective: The paper aims to include measurable data in the study of changes in selected demographic paradigms and perspectives.
Methods: The presented analysis is descriptive and is based on a series of simple measures obtained from the free online tool Google Books Ngram Viewer, which includes frequencies of word groupings (n-grams) in different collections of books digitised by Google.
Results: The tentative findings corroborate the shifts in the demographic paradigms identified in the literature — from cross-sectional, through longitudinal, to event-history and multilevel approaches.
Conclusions: These findings identify a promising area of enquiry into the development of demography as a social science discipline. We postulate that more detailed enquiries in this area in the future could lead to establishing History of Population Thought as a new sub-discipline within population sciences.