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  • Author or Editor: Mónica Fernández x
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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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Abstract  

This paper presents an overview of the general model of scientific growth proposed by D. J. de Solla Price. Firstly, the formulation of the model is examined using the seminal sources. Later, forerunners, offshoots and criticisms to the model are discussed. Finally, an integrative review using retrieved empirical studies exposes the complexity and diversity of models of scientific growth and the absence of consistent patterns.

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