Languages Are Still a Major Barrier to Global Science
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Amano, T., González-Varo, J., & Sutherland, W. (2016). Languages Are Still a Major Barrier to Global Science. PLoS Biology, 14 (12. e2000933)https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.2000933
While it is recognized that language can pose a barrier to the transfer of scientific knowledge, the convergence on English as the global language of science may suggest that this problem has been resolved. However, our survey searching Google Scholar in 16 languages revealed that 35.6% of 75,513 scientific documents on biodiversity conservation published in 2014 were not in English. Ignoring such non-English knowledge can cause biases in our understanding of study systems. Furthermore, as publication in English has become prevalent, scientific knowledge is often unavailable in local languages. This hinders its use by field practitioners and policy makers for local environmental issues; 54% of protected area directors in Spain identified languages as a barrier. We urge scientific communities to make a more concerted effort to tackle this problem and propose potential approaches both for compiling non-English scientific knowledge effectively and for enhancing the multilingualization of new and existing knowledge available only in English for the users of such knowledge.
European Commission’s Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowship Programme (grant number PIIF-GA-2011-303221). Received by TA. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. European Commission's Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (grant number H2020-MSCA-IF-2014- 656572). Received by JPGV. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Isaac Newton Trust (grant number 15.23(s)).
European Commission Horizon 2020 (H2020) Marie Sk?odowska-Curie actions (656572)
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External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.2000933
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/262235
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