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  • 1 Department of Research Methods in Education, University of Granada, Campus de Cartuja, Granada 18071, Spain
  • 2 Department of Mathematics, University of Córdoba, Calle Alfonso XIII, 13, Córdoba 14071, Spain ma1torom@uco.es
  • 3 Department of Didactics, University of Murcia, Campus de Espinardo, Murcia 28071, Spain monicavr@um.es
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Abstract

This article analyses scientific growth time series using data for Spanish doctoral theses from 1848 to 2009, retrieved from national databases and an in-depth archive search. Data are classified into subseries by historical periods. The analytical techniques employed range from visual analysis of deterministic graphs to curve-fitting with exponential smoothing and AutoRegressive Integrated Moving Average models. Forecasts are made using the best model. The main finding is that Spanish output of doctoral theses appears to fit a quasi-logistic growth model in line with Price's predictions. An additional control variable termed year-on-year General Welfare is shown to modulate scientific growth, especially in the historical period from 1899 to 1939.

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