Breaking the Language Barrier
By bioexact, Apr 29 2016 06:32PM
English is viewed as the lingua franca for most international journals and used by eighty percent of all those indexed in Scopus. This presents a problem in non-English speaking countries where the cost of translation can divert valuable funds from research. Furthermore, the scientific community may overlook important results when published in other languages besides English.
These issues are being addressed by some national journals. In Spain, for instance, articles tend to be published in Spanish and English. Changes have also been brought about by the increased use of open access articles. The Public Library of Science (PLOS) open access sites encourage authors to provide copies of articles in their native language as supporting material.
Some publishers have now begun to translate well-cited national publications into English. Many countries have taken this initiative including China who has entered an agreement with Springer (Heidelberg, Germany) to translate and publish the most cited articles from Chinese journals. Japanese articles indexed by the Japan Science and Technology Information Aggregator are also available in English, as are publications from Czech, South Korean, and Hungarian articles indexed by Thompson Scientific.
A number of projects now allow organizations in less developed non-English speaking countries greater access to published research. Research4life is a program of collaboration between WHO, FAO, UNEP, WIPO, Cornell and Yale Universities, the International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers and Microsoft. The aim is to provide organizations in eligible countries free accessibility to research articles. Many leading journals, including those from the Nature Publishing Group, participate in this scheme.
There are also organizations that assist individual researchers in getting published. AuthorAID is one such organization; it is an online social network that brings together academics and researchers from all over the globe.
International Association of STM Publishers: www.stm-assoc.org
News feed author Dr S Bowen.