About Us

The Population Dynamics Lab (PDL) is an open science forum currently hosted at the University of Washington’s Center for Studies in Demography & Ecology. This collaborative platform provides researchers, interdisciplinary scholars, and applied demographers a place to share and publish computational methods and empirical tools for population research. PDL is committed to open science, reproducibility, and providing peer-feedback and community engagement in methodological and theoretical advancements in demographic and population research. PDL also aims to increase the visibility and recognition of those innovative methods through attributable and citable DOIs for the research products hosted on the site.

Why submit your work to PDL?

Many population researchers are at the forefront of combining computational data science tools with demographic methods and measures to meet the growing demands for reproducibility and greater accessibility of research products, while also generating scientific innovations. Their work is generating research products (e.g., code, synthetic data, and visualizations) that are invaluable for the scholarly and practitioner community, but not routinely or systematically peer-reviewed until much later in a publication process. PDL seeks to provide a platform for easily citing and curating these invaluable research products, ensuring proper attribution to scientists while providing a peer-reviewed and accessible space for these innovations.

PDL offers a place for researchers to share short, innovative methodological and computational developments in population research via three related products: (1) The Download – a short visual and descriptive illustration of a demographic method;  (2) The Denominator – an in-depth technical presentation of the illustration found in The Download; and (3) a Repository – a curated location for reproducible code related to content in both The Download and The Denominator. Accepted submissions receive a unique DOI for each of these components for easy, specific citation and access.

  • In The Download, PDL illustrates the power of demographic methods for a broad audience, by providing accessible descriptive and visual illustrations of meaningful applied insights, teaching materials, and smaller components of methodological solutions that deserve more attention than they can receive in a full length scientific manuscript.
  • In The Denominator, PDL publishes peer-reviewed reproducible computational or empirical methods for applications in population-based research and usually related to the presentation found in The Download.
  • In the Repository, PDL archives and curates reproducible, citable code, data, and methods documentation of demographic research.

We are seeking submissions for methodological and computational developments across all substantive areas of demography including, but not limited to, dynamics of population growth and composition, population disparities, health & mortality, migration, fertility, and families & households. At present, we are only accepting submissions implemented in R.

What is the peer review process?

Our editorial team includes leading demographers and data scientists dedicated to advancing population research, growing applicable computational tools, and supporting reproducibility. The peer review process will provide extensive review of code, documentation, and reproducibility of results prior to publication. Our focus is to provide rapid, technical and computational peer feedback prior to, or just after, publication in a journal or book, so as to offer reproducible research methods, and to foster connections between disciplines, institutions, and individuals. By sharing their work on this site, demographic scientists are agreeing to make it available to a wide audience, collaborate, receive feedback, and provide timely revisions and updates. Contributors are also available for public comments from the media or other inquiries.

Interested in working with PDL?

Ask us about joining the editorial board or team! Get in touch at poplab@uw.edu

Institutional Sponsorship

University of Washington’s Center for Studies in Demography & Ecology


Partial support for this research came from a Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development research infrastructure grant, P2C HD042828, and training grant, T32 HD101442-01, to the Center for Studies in Demography & Ecology at the University of Washington, along with a Shanahan Endowment Fellowship provided by the University of Washington’s Graduate School.