Submission Guidelines


Submissions to the Population Dynamics Lab require two products, one for the The Denominator and one for The Download

  1. For The Denominator, submissions are technical and methodologically detailed contributions written for a demography audience. The purpose is to share a new technical or methodological development OR a new insight about an established method with a  knowledgeable audience. These contributions may include equations, reproducible code, tables or figures, and sample or synthetic data.  
  2. For The Download, a single figure, visualization, or table illustrates the fundamental insight resulting from the contribution to The Denominator. This illustration is accompanied by a brief description of the findings and the main practical insight for a general, or lay, audience. The insight should offer a ‘ah ha!’ or ‘so what’ of the value of the demographically-informed approach provided in The Denominator. We expect these insights to be helpful illustrations for journalists, students, and teachers.

The Denominator

  • Contributions between 800-1500 words in length.
  • At least one figure and up to as many as three figures (.jpg, .jpeg, .png, .pdf) or visualizations (.gif) and at most one table. Be sure to explicitly reference your figures and or tables in the main text.
  • Contributions describe the technical problem or methodological insight and why it is important to address, as well as provide complete descriptions of the method, technique, data, and any evaluative assessments of the technical or methodological approach. Contributions can include equations and are written for a demographically knowledgeable audience.
  • References provided will not contribute to the word count. If an appropriate link is available, references to that link should also be hyperlinked in the submission forms.

The Download

  • Contributions no more than 500 words in length.
  • Select one figure, visualization or table from The Denominator contribution to be published in The Download.
  • Contributions provide a succinct and accessible description of the main takeaway from the more technical contribution in The Denominator, and are intended for a broader and more general audience.

Computation & Reproducibility

All submissions to the Population Dynamics Lab must be accompanied by a URL link to a Git repository. This is usually in the form of a GitHub repository; however, GitLab, Bitbucket, Gogs, AWS CodeCommit and similar repos are also accepted. The code must 

  • implement the methods as described in The Denominator;
  • create the figures and tables which appear in The Download and The Denominator; and,
  • be extensively commented to allow users who are familiar with the basics of R to understand what is happening even if they have never used the method or libraries your code utilizes. 

When data use agreements prevent sharing, authors may create synthetic or toy datasets or simple examples with their submission. Reproducibility and comprehensibility of code submissions will be assessed by our Computation & Reproducibility Editorial Team. Once code has been evaluated, local copies of code and data required to run the code will be hosted by the Population Dynamics Lab in line with the National Science Foundation’s guidelines on reproducible research. More guidelines for code structure for submission may be found on our Population Dynamics Lab GitHub.