Two honours projects, at the University of Queensland, on language barriers in conservation science are now available and we are looking for students who are interested in joining our translatE project.

The first project aims to understand the prevalence and drivers of including non-English language studies in environmental evidence synthesis. See here for more detail.

The second project will be a collaboration with researchers at the Zoological Society of London and aims to test how literature searches in languages other than English can improve the coverage of data for the development of the Living Planet Index – one of the most important biodiversity indicators summarising changes in global vertebrate populations ( See here for more detail.

Please contact us if you are interested or circulate the information to anyone who might be interested in working on these exciting projects!

A correspondence article “Monolingual searches can limit and bias results in global literature reviews” has just been published in Nature Ecology & Evolution.

This is a collaboration with Martin Nuñez, who is also committed to tackling language barriers in science, and in response to a perspective article reviewing problems with literature reviews.

Read the article here.

We are excited to issue our final project update of the year!

You can see some more preliminary results from our searches for non-English-language literature on conservation, including how study designs adopted differ among languages, how many species are covered in each language, and how those species covered by non-English-language studies differ from those covered by English-language studies.

You can also see the progress of our survey on the use of non-English-language references in domestic report on biodiversity conservation. We show that references cited in those reports are predominantly in non-English-language papers and grey literature

Read the update here.

Many thanks again for your support and look forward to sharing more about the project with you in the new year.

Tatsuya gave a keynote presentation “Is non-English-language literature important in science?” at the second annual meeting of the Association for Interdisciplinary Meta-research and Open Science (AIMOS).

The under-use of non-English-language literature in today’s scientific activities is often based on the three common assumptions: (i) most scientific knowledge is available in English, (ii) non-English-language literature is diminishing, and (iii) English-language science represents a random subset of non-English-language science. In this presentation, he talked about the progress of the translatE project, showing that none of the three common assumptions is actually supported by evidence, at least in ecology and conservation.

The presentation slides are available here.

We are happy to announce we have finally uploaded a list of non-English-language journals in ecology and conservation here:

This list of journals has been compiled by the translatE project with a huge help from our collaborators (please see Collaborators sheet for detail), as a part of our comprehensive searches for non-English-language papers that test the effectiveness of conservation interventions.

The list includes 466 academic journals in 19 languages in 38 countries/regions around the world. Did you know Бюллетень МОИП, серия биологическая has 172 years of history (founded in 1829!)?

We hope that this list will be useful for making a better use of scientific knowledge published in non-English languages.

A new careers article published in the journal Science explains how language barriers hinder diversity in science, excluding a wide variety of opinions and perspectives, and discuss potential solutions.

Tatsuya was interviewed by the writer and some of the work by translatE is featured in the article. Read the article here.

We are excited to issue our October 2020 update on the project progress. We have finally finished the screening of non-English-language articles on the effectiveness of conservation interventions for all 16 languages! You can see some preliminary results from the non-English-language literature searches, including how many journals/articles we have already screened, and how the number of the relevant papers identified have been changing over time, and are distributed geographically, as well as our progress on investigating the use of English vs non-English-language literature in national conservation reports.

Read the update here.

You can now see Tatsuya’s presentation “Flying over the Tower of Babel: Implications of language barriers on shorebird conservation” in English and Japanese. Enjoy!

Don’t miss Tatsuya’s keynote presentation “Flying over the Tower of Babel: Implications of language barriers on shorebird conservation” tomorrow at the International Shorebird Twitter Conference 2020.

His presentation will start at 7:00 UTC (17:00 in Brisbane) on 8th October but you can see it anytime later at:

Also if you are interested in shorebirds, don’t forget to follow all exciting presentations at #ISTC20.