Growth of non-English-language literature on biodiversity conservation

Chowdhury, S., Gonzalez, K., Aytekin, M.Ç.K., Baek, S.-Y., Bełcik, M., Bertolino, S., Duijns, S., Han, Y., Jantke, K., Katayose, R., Lin, Mu-M, Nourani, E., Ramos, D.L., Rouyer, M.-M., Sidemo-Holm, W., Vozykova, S., Zamora-Gutierrez, V. & Amano, T. (2022) Conservation Biology.

It is often assumed that scientific articles are being published less frequently in non-English languages, as science is becoming increasingly globalised. This partly contributes to the current underestimation of the importance of non-English-language literature in conservation science, policies, and practices. In this study, we compiled the number of articles published annually in English and in 15 non-English languages by searching both local and international literature search systems. We show that in 12 of the 15 non-English languages we investigated, the number of conservation articles published per year has significantly increased over the past 39 years, at a rate similar to English-language articles. About 20% of the sampled non-English-language articles provided neither title nor abstract in English; thus, in theory, they were undiscoverable with English keywords. These results suggest that non-English-language articles will continue to play an important role in improving the understanding of biodiversity and its conservation.

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Changes in the number of biodiversity conservation articles published from 1980 to 2018 in 16 languages based on searches for the keywords biodiversity AND conservation (translated into each language) in Google Scholar and local literature search systems (S, simplified; T, traditional).