Genus—Journal of Population Science was founded in 1934 by Italian statistician Corrado Gini. Genus covers all aspects of population studies, adopting an interdisciplinary approach to examine the correlation between various social and economic phenomena which impact on the evolution of the population. The journal is owned and supported by Sapienza University of Rome.
Now in its 72nd Volume, Genus has a long and established history of publishing important research related to population theories, population dynamics and mathematical demography. This year also represents an exciting new chapter for the journal, as it is the first volume to be published by SpringerOpen, with the journal moving to an open access model.
To celebrate the launch of the journal with SpringerOpen we spoke with Graziella Caselli, one of the Editors-in-Chief.
How did you become involved with Genus—Journal of Population Sciences?
Corrado Gini was the Editor of Genus from its foundation in 1934 until 1965, the year of his death. After that, his pupil Nora Federici, who was Professor of Demography at the Sapienza University of Rome, became the new Editor. In 1993 she was replaced by her own pupil, Antonio Golini. In 2009, the succession went once again to a pupil and Professor of Demography—myself. This confirmed a certain continuity in both the university and the discipline, and also, unintentionally, an alternation of gender in the editor of the journal.
In your opinion, what is the main aim of the journal?
Since its foundation, the aim of the journal has been that of addressing scholars work in the humanities, with an emphasis on population studies in a framework of biological, social and economic research. This aim is just as valid today as ever, in a world in which everything interacts with and is conditioned by everything else.
What is your favorite thing about Genus?
I like two things in particular about it. The first is that it allows research to publish quickly the results of their studies, and the second is that it publishes research by scholars from all over the world, with special attention to research carried out in and dealing with developing countries.
What are the biggest challenges you face for journals in the field of population studies?
In my view, population studies do not occupy the place they deserve in the scientific world, given the topicality of the questions and the bridging function these studies can have between biological and social disciplines. For example, economic studies rarely take account of the demographic factors that condition economic development. The challenge is to overcome this impasse.
What made you consider open access?
When I became Editor of the journal in 2009, I suggested the formula of open access. Genus was the first journal owned by Sapienza to experiment with an open access model. I was and remain convinced that this is the way to take one’s discipline everywhere and make one’s research results available to everyone. The opportunity offered by Springer extends and reinforces this experience, providing greater visibility for the journal.
What changes do you see in the future for social science publishing?
The articles in journals of the social sciences are usually very long, which means high printing costs and distribution difficulties for a journal in traditional form. In order to reach as wide a readership as possible, social science journals have to change publication methods and focus on open access electronic publication.
What are your aspirations for Genus in the future?
My aspiration for the future is that Genus will maintain its traditional aims, but will also be more open to new fields of research in population studies. The editorial board intends to do everything possible to attract more and more young researchers from all over the world.