The field of biological sciences is global, highly competitive, and fast-moving. It centers around substantial research and development that is continually documented and published. Disseminating knowledge globally is critical in the biology industry. It facilitates international collaboration, enables clinical trials to be conducted, and spreads data that can be used to support or refute knowledge in many specific fields. Between private companies, public research centers and universities around the world, hundreds of billions of dollars are invested in this industry.
Because the field of biological sciences is such a large and global market, language experts with a biology background are in high demand. Therefore some biology researchers become writers, editors, and translators for academic journals, trade publications, biotech companies, clinical research companies, and pharmaceutical companies.
While English is the main language in which papers are written and research is communicated, it is worth noting that one-fifth of biological, environmental and agricultural research is published in four other major languages: French, Portuguese, Spanish and Mandarin.
A high-quality scientific article goes well beyond simply reporting the data and findings. As Root-Bernstein and Ladle explain:
Science is never just about the data. The language in which we communicate affects our confidence and our ability to persuade, our expression of complex and nuanced ideas and information, and our judgments of the value of new ideas and their authors.
In other words, the way we communicate our findings can be as important as the data we present. Editors who cannot fully understand and appreciate the nuances of a text, cannot edit and improve it, even if it is written in their native language.
Research in the biological sciences specifically demands specialized field knowledge in order to understand the concepts, methodology, and findings. Subject experts are best equipped to detect and correct errors and inconsistencies. Even a few small errors can influence chances that the paper will be published. Even more, errors can affect the impact of the research around the world.
The Unique Challenges of Biology Translation
Many biological scientists use their limited research funds on translation and editing services because they realize the importance of accuracy and quality in publication. However, generic translation services are not equipped to deal with, nor understand, the scientific technicalities, nuances, and language of the biological sciences.
To cite one common obstacle, biology texts are often chock full of acronyms and abbreviations, which may not translate easily. The translators need to transliterate and explain the terms to ensure the translation is accurate. This requires a high level of skill and specialization in both languages and the subject area.
Commercial Biology Translation
Biological sciences companies rely on specialized, scientific translators to help them reach global markets. The biological sciences industry is also highly regulated, and specialized translators ensure that these firms can meet the international regulatory requirements of agencies such as the FDA, PMDA, EMA, and CFDA. They, therefore, need high level and exact translations.
Both professional scientific editing and scientific translation are absolutely essential for biology writers who want to disseminate their work across the globe and boost their papers’ citation rates. In addition, scientific editing and translation are vital for biological sciences companies that want to enter new markets, adhere to regulatory standards, and avoid translation mistakes that can lead to lawsuits and other costly problems.
By hiring a professional academic translator or editor, you are taking the right first step on the road to publication. In today’s competitive publication environment finding the right language expert can propel your research and help you achieve your goals.