Languages are still a major barrier to global science

Amano, T., González-Varo, J.P. and Sutherland, W.J. (2016) PLOS Biology 14: e2000933.

This piece was our initial attempt to review how language barriers affect science in two directions: (i) when compiling knowledge globally and (ii) when applying knowledge to local environmental issues. For (i) we estimated that up to 36% of conservation-related scientific documents in 2014 were published in non-English languages (below). This clearly indicates an untapped potential of non-English-language literature as an important source of scientific knowledge. For (ii) our survey showed that 54% of protected area directors in Spain identified language as a barrier to the use of scientific papers for their management. At the end of this paper we also provide a number of suggestions for tackling this issue.

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