From Translate Science

Independent researcher interested in the breakup of turbulent liquid jets into droplets.

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I've long felt a desire to be more comprehensive than most researchers when doing a literature survey. Scientific progress is slowed down when there's an inadequate assessment of the state-of-the-art. In what sense are we "standing on the shoulders of giants"? Too much research is reinventing the wheel, frequently worse than it was done before. With the number of published papers growing roughly exponentially in time, finding important papers is now more critical than ever.

A good place to start is where other researchers aren't looking but should be. There seems to be an implicit belief among many native English-speaking researchers that if a paper isn't written in English, it is not worth looking at. [1] That is far from true. Indeed, I have found many unfairly neglected papers that were unknown in my field prior to my translation of them. If these papers were better known, I believe my field could be decades ahead of where it is right now. The first translation I published in my opinion could still be published in a journal today, more than 80 years after its first publication in 1938!

My personal motivations are mostly in the direction of getting more research available in English (as that is my native language). However, I also recognize the critical importance of making more research available in other languages, and look forward to seeing translations become more available to whoever wants them.

  1. Note that I'm not saying that most researchers believe these papers are unimportant. Many probably do, but more problematic is thinking that obtaining a translation is harder than it actually is and/or that the value of a translation is less than it actually is.