PS.3. Editing small journals and those in languages other than English

Saturday 9 June: 15.30 – 17.30
Parallel Session 3
Main auditorium, Ground floor

Editing small journals and those in languages other than English
Chair: Jadranka Stojanovski, Ruđer Bošković Institute, Croatia

  • Editing Small Scientific Journals in Local, Regional or English Languages: Experience of Trakya University Journals (Cem Uzun, Editor Balkan Medical Journal / Trakya University, Turkey)
  • Food Technology and Biotechnology journal – transition from local to international journal (Iva Grabaric Andonovski, Editor, Food Technology & Biotechnology, Croatia)
  • Does it really sound better in English? – Example of a social sciences and humanities journal (Martina Petrinović, Managing editor Peristil, Croatia)
  • Experience in editing a multilingual journal (Zvonimir Prpić, Editor, Journal of Central European Agriculture, Croatia)
  • The pros and cons of bilingual publication (Taner Erdag, Editor, Turkish Archives of Otorhinolaryngology, Turkey)

Session overview
One of the principles of the Leiden manifesto calls to protect excellence in locally relevant research by publishing in local languages. There are 24 official languages and more than 60 indigenous languages in the EU, but during the last few decades, the English language has become the global language of scholarly publishing. There are several reasons for that, the main ones being that (i) funders and researchers want to reach the worldwide research community and make the largest possible impact, and (ii) the present scholarly publishing system is dominated by the United States, and popular indexing databases—often used during evaluation of the research output—are favouring journals in English. Consequently, publishing policies increasingly push multilingual scholars to write in English, whether or not they are interested or proficient enough in doing so.

On the other hand, getting published in scholarly journals is not easy for anyone. Scholars who use English as a secondary language may have more difficulties to get published than native English speakers. The local community has little benefit from knowledge published only in English language. The open access movement, providing numerous opportunities for global dissemination, is giving rise to non-English journals coming from the small scientific communities. This has resulted in an increase of discussion on balanced multilingualism, sustainable multilingualism and equitable multilingualism.

This session will try to give some answers on how journal editors respond to pressures for content in English in terms of their journal’s policies and practices. What challenges are editors of non-English journals facing? In what regards instructions for authors and reviewers differ compared with English journals? Are non-English journals discriminated during evaluation processes for the Web of Science Core Collection and Scopus inclusion? Are such journals suffering from low readability? Is the transition from a non-English journal to an English journal desirable?

Food Technology and Biotechnology journal – transition from local to international journal
Iva Grabarić Andonovski, University of Zagreb, Croatia

Food Technology and Biotechnology journal was published for the first time in 1963 under the title Informacije Prehrambeno-tehnološkog instituta u Zagrebu (Information from the Food and Technology Institute of Zagreb). The articles were published in Croatian and most of the authors were lecturers and professors at the Department of Biotechnology of the Faculty of Technology, University of Zagreb. With time, researchers from other institutions were handing in their papers and the journal became the leading publication of scientists working in the field of food technology and biotechnology in Croatia. Trying to expand the number of authors, especially from the neighbouring countries (Slovenia, Austria, Italy, Hungary, Germany) the journal has been edited in English since 1995, which contributed to better affirmation of Croatian scientists abroad, and a greater number of articles started coming from all over the world. The results of this transition, together with some advantages and disadvantages of editing the journal first in Croatian and then in English will be presented and discussed at the session

Editing Small Scientific Journals in Local, Regional or English Languages: Experience of Trakya University Journals
Cem Uzun, Editor, Balkan Medical Journal / Trakya University, Turkey

The English language has become important as a publication language of scientific journals mainly due to the easier distribution of knowledge – in that popular scientific language – via the internet and the pressure of dominant United States-based indexes or major publishers. However, besides possible effects of publishing in English on the local community, there are also some disadvantages for small journals publishing in a language other than English to publish in English as well, or totally change publication language into English, especially during the review and editing processes, which are the essentials of journal quality.

Trakya University currently has 12 scientific journals. Eight of them are social science and four natural science journals. Three journals are published in English, two of them were previously published in Turkish, and they are the only journals, which are indexed in Web of Science (Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI) or Science Citation Index expanded (SCIE)). The other journals are mainly published in Turkish, but they also accept papers in English, some of them accept papers in regional (Balkan) languages. None of the journals publishes the same articles in more than one language.

Increased technical plagiarism and poor reporting language are the major challenges faced by the journals publishing in English. The social science journals prefer mainly to publish in the local language (Turkish) because it is easy for them to find proper reviewers. It is not so easy to edit and find good reviewers for the papers in regional languages. Extended abstracts in English or in the local language or publishing the same articles in both languages may be preferable. However, the local language should be kept especially for journals publishing papers on local issues.

In this presentation, I will discuss the advantages and challenges of our journals, which have been publishing in a language other than English, and the results of our journals, which changed their publishing language into English.

Does it really sound better in English? – Example of a social sciences and humanities journal
Martina Petrinović, Managing editor Peristil, Croatia

Peristil is an annual scholarly journal with long tradition in Croatia, and parts of former Yugoslavia. It has been published by a non-profit non-governmental organization Croatian Society of Art Historians since 1954 (Zagreb, Croatia) dealing mainly with art history and related disciplines. Most of the articles are published in Croatian equipped with English abstracts, summaries, keywords, illustration captions and lists of references.

In today’s global exchange of knowledge it is arguable whether a theme of a paper is local or not. It would be ideal to have bilingual journal with side-by-side translation – however, this represents a huge budget issue for a small publisher depending on governmental financial support. On the other hand, discipline of art history, as many other social sciences and humanities disciplines relies on narrative communication of ideas and research results – and major problem of the profession common to all languages is a rather undeveloped terminology. Only scholarly texts in native language can contribute to building reliable corpus-based terminology important both to science itself but also to the diversity of a ‘small language’.

English being a mere lingua franca or a bridge language to authors, editors, reviewers and proof-readers engaged in the process of publishing a paper often results in strange concoctions that do good to neither author nor science. The open access movement is a good tool to bridge the gap between author and his/her audience. It encourages direct communication with the author after publication.

Experience in editing a multilingual journal
Zvonimir Prpić, Editor, Journal of Central European Agriculture, Croatia

Journal of Central European Agriculture (JCEA) is an international online only peer reviewed scientific journal in agriculture. It was founded as a platform for knowledge exchange between three Central European countries: Croatia, Hungary and Slovakia. The editorial board has grown during the years and today it includes nine member countries, which belong to the Central European region and have shared a similar socio-economic situation in the last 30 years: Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Serbia. The pool of authors who publish in JCEA has even wider geographical dimensions; besides the European countries it includes primarily African countries, Middle East and South Asia. The international editorial board of JCEA comprises nine national editorial boards with equal rights and responsibilities of full membership. Activities of the international editorial board are coordinated by the executive board which functions on the principle of editorial rotation: each year a different member country takes on the role of the executive editorial board for a one-year period. One of the special characteristics of JCEA is its multilingualism. In order to prevent obsolescence of agricultural vocabulary and to keep alive and develop the native languages of Central European countries, authors coming from member countries have the possibility to choose whether they want to publish in English or in their national language.

Articles written in national languages have to have title, abstract, keywords and table/figure captions, footnotes and content written bilingually. They also have to have a detailed (prolonged) abstract, written in English. This is meant to enable that the review of such manuscripts remains international. Each manuscript goes through three reviews in such a way that manuscripts written in national languages have two domestic reviews and one foreign review, manuscripts written in English, but coming from a member country have one domestic and two foreign reviews. Manuscripts coming from non-member countries go through three foreign reviews. Coverage of JCEA in international bibliographic bases such as Web of Science – Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), Agricola, Zoological record and EBSCO gives the authors international visibility and opportunity for wider dissemination of research. English is the most prevalent choice of language among the published articles. About 80% of articles published in JCEA during the last few years were written in English, while 20% were written in national languages.

The pros and cons of bilingual publication
Taner Kemal Erdag, Turkish Archives of Otorhinolaryngology, Turkey

The Turkish Archives of Otorhinolaryngology is the scientific, peer-reviewed, open access journal of the Turkish Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery Society. It was established in 1962 as the first Turkish Otorhinolaryngology journal. Since 2013 it has been published in both Turkish and English. Articles submitted in Turkish are translated into English by the publisher and the Society covers the costs.

The aim of the journal is the main criterion in selecting the language for publishing. If a medical journal intends to bring new knowledge and developments to the local doctors, publication in the native language only is appropriate. If that native language is widely spoken, such as English, Spanish or French, the number of readers will naturally increase and the journal’s distribution will not be limited to the local community. However, if the journal’s aim is to be recognised and visible internationally, the publishing language should be English, the global language of scholarly publishing. Publishing in both the native language and in English serves the distribution of knowledge in the local community, and the requirements of an international journal. But bilingual publishing has some difficulties. Other than the effort and cost of translation, it is not easy to find local reviewers who are well versed in English and this leads to the need to engage more foreign reviewers. Most importantly, however, the editorial board needs to work twice as long to edit a bilingual journal. As a result, bilingual publication has numerous advantages but it increases the cost of the journal and the work and efforts needed by those involved including authors, reviewers, staff of the publisher and editorial boards. In this presentation, the pros and cons of bilingual publication will be presented in detail.