The evolution of life-history theory: A bibliometric analysis of an interdisciplinary research area
SourceProceedings of the Royal Society B - Biological Sciences, 286, 1899, (2019), article 20190040
Article / Letter to editor
Display more detailsDisplay less details
SW OZ BSI ON
Proceedings of the Royal Society B - Biological Sciences
The term 'life-history theory' is a familiar label in several disciplines. Life-history theory has its roots in evolutionary models of the fitness consequences of allocating energy to reproduction, growth and self-maintenance across the life course. Increasingly, the term is also used in the conceptual framing of psychological and social-science studies. As a scientific paradigm expands its range, its parts can become conceptually isolated from one another, even to the point that it is no longer held together by a common core of shared ideas. Here, we investigate the literature invoking the term 'life-history theory' using quantitative bibliometric methods based on patterns of shared citation. Results show that the literature up to and including 2010 was relatively coherent: it drew on a shared body of core references and had only weak cluster divisions running along taxonomic lines. The post-2010 literature is more fragmented: it has more marked cluster boundaries, both between the human and non-human literatures, and within the human literature. In particular, two clusters of human research based on the idea of a fast-slow continuum of individual differences are bibliometrically isolated from the rest. We also find some evidence suggesting a decline over time in the incidence of formal modelling. We point out that the human fast-slow continuum literature is conceptually closer to the non-human 'pace-of-life' literature than it is to the formal life-history framework in ecology and evolution.
Upload full text
Use your RU credentials (u/z-number and password) to log in with SURFconext to upload a file for processing by the repository team.