By Debabrata Sabud
Language barrier makes problem to understanding scientific research. A new study suggests that over a third of new scientific reports are published in languages other than English, This can create a problem in the understanding of scientific knowledge.
According to PHYS, English is now considered the common language or ‘lingua franca’ of global science. Despite the global exposure of the journal, the major scientific journal is published in English.
The Cambridge researchers call on scientific journals to publish basic summaries of a study’s key findings in multiple languages. The Universities and funding bodies are encouraged translations as part of their ‘outreach’ evaluation of criteria.
According to the research report, “Language barriers continue to impede the global complication and application of scientific knowledge”. They have also pointed out an imbalance in knowledge transfer in countries where English is not the mother tongue.
The research report first published on 29 December in the journal PLOS Biology. The surveyed was conducted in charge of Spain’s protected natural areas. Over half, the respondent has raised the language obstacle as a barrier of their scientifical knowledge.
The researchers have also surveyed the web platform Google Scholar- for the better performance of the research one of the largest public repositories of scientific documents in a total of 16 languages for studies relating to biodiversity conservation published during a single year, 2014.
Random sampling from the research showed that, on average, only around half of non-English documents also included titles or abstracts in English. This means out of 75,000 documents around 13,000 documents on conservation science published in 2014 are unsearchable using English Keywords, reported by PLOS Biology.
According to the lead author of the study Amano, we need to systematic development of databases at the global scale; speakers of a wide range of languages should be included in the discussion.
The researchers suggest efforts translate should be evaluated in a similar way. Particularly if the science wants to cover issues at a global scale or regions the efforts to translate the language is very important.