International Journal of Human Diversity and Evolution
Coverage: 1923-1941 (Vols. I-XIX) & 1962-2023 (Vols. 1-61)
ISSN 0323-1119 (Print)
ISSN 2570-9127 (Online)
Journal Impact Factor 0.2
News: Volume 62 Issue 2 is in progress.

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'Galeta P, 2024: demrat: an R package for predicting growth and fertility rates in skeletal samples using age-at-death ratios. Anthropologie (Brno) 62, 2: 0-0'.
The growth and fertility rates of past populations can be estimated by analyzing the age-at-death distribution of skeletal samples. The procedure involves regressing growth or fertility rate on the age-at-death ratio, which is a proxy that captures the number of skeletons in two broad age-at-death categories (e.g., D5+/D20+). Galeta and Pankowská (2023, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0286580) recently developed a new prediction algorithm. They proposed to estimate growth and fertility rates using a unique prediction formula for each skeletal sample. Each formula is based on a unique reference set of simulated skeletal samples that match the size of the target real skeletal sample. The simulated skeletal samples are generated from populations with similar mortality levels to those assumed in the time period represented by the target skeletal sample. A correct setting of the sample size and the level of mortality increases the accuracy of the estimate. The approach, however, is computationally intensive because it involves generating many simulated reference skeletal samples. In this paper, we present the demrat package, written in the R programming language, which automates the simulation. The functions of the package provide a complete workflow from a real skeletal sample to the prediction of demographic rates. In addition, we offer a web application that allows non-R users to deploy predictions using the demrat package with a user-friendly, point-and-click graphical interface. Although the demrat package allows for estimating demographic rates for a single skeletal sample, we recommend predicting demographic rates in a larger set of skeletal samples and producing smoothed general demographic trends over large areas and/or long periods of time.
R package – Age-at-death ratio – Growth and fertility rate – Paleodemography – Stochastic error

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