Inisiatif TranslateScience

Photo by Edurne Chopeitia on Unsplash

Artikel blog ini berawal dari artikel pendek dari saya di situs TranslateScience (TS). Adalah Victor Venema, seorang peneliti bidang meteorologi dari University of Bonn yang mengajak saya dan beberapa kolega lainnya dari beberapa negara, yang tidak menggunakan Bahasa Inggris sebagai bahasa pertama. Victor juga menginisiasi Grassroots Journals.

Salah satu pertimbangan Victor sebagai inisiator TS adalah masalah visibility riset yang tidak ditulis dalam Bahasa Inggris. Riset-riset seperti itu saat ini dipersepsikan sebagai karya-karya lokal/nasional, bukan karya yang layak untuk ditelaah dan diperbincangkan di tingkat international. Terlepas dari berbagai faktor yang mungkin mempengaruhi kualitas dari riset-riset lokal, namun demikian Victor berpendapat bahwa riset lokal yang dilakukan oleh peneliti lokal mestinya punya nilai kedetilan yang tinggi. Kalau karya-karya ini tidak dapat ditemukan atau dapat ditemukan tapi tidak dimaknai setara dengan dengan karya-karya lainnya yang telah dilabeli sebagai karya internasional, maka dunia riset dapat kehilangan peluang untuk mempelajari beberapa hasil lokal yang sangat kaya.

There is a language bias in the current global scientific landscape that leaves non-English speakers at a disadvantage and prevents them from actively participating in the scientific process both as scientists and citizens. Science’s language bias extends beyond words printed in elite English-only journals.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fcomm.2020.00031/full

Dunia sains memang aneh. Ini meneliti adalah kegiatan sehari-hari bagi peneliti, seperti hanya mandi, makan dan minum, tetapi ada pengecualian. Sementara kegiatan sehari-hari lainnya bahasa yang digunakan harus Bahasa Inggris. Although scientists are coming from every corner of the earth, living perfectly using their own native/mother tongue, but it’s English which has been used as the lingua franca of science.

Conversely, many scientists in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe still publish their work in national journals, often in their mother tongue, which creates the risk that worthwhile insights and results might be ignored, simply because they are not readily accessible to the international scientific community. To overcome this dilemma, several initiatives now aim to strengthen the impact and quality of national journals with the goal of gaining greater international visibility for articles published in a language other than English.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1796769/

Born and raised in Indonesia, a non-English speaking country, it’s important for me to promote the use of national language (Indonesian) instead of English in scholarly communications, because:

  • Most researches in Indonesia are about local problems. Therefore it’s very logical if the main mode of dissemination should be in Indonesian.
  • Although many Indonesians would take English course since kindergarten or primary schools, but English still is not used as the first language. Therefore it takes more time and effort to translate our researches to English, while it could be shared faster if we used Indonesian.
  • With the advancement of Natural Language Processing (NLP), it should be fairly easy for non-Indonesian speakers to understand articles written in Indonesian. Hence the burden to immediately use English as the main language of science could be lowered.

About the author

My current focus is how to provide the hydrostratigraphy of volcanic aquifers in Bandung area. The research is based on environmental isotope measurement in groundwater and morphometry. My work consists of hydrochemical measurements. I am using multivariate statistical methods to provides more quantitative foundation for the analysis and more insight into the groundwater behavior, especially its interaction with surface water. I use open source apps like R and Python to do the job. In my spare time, I also have a side project to promote open science in Indonesia's research workflow. One of my current focus is promoting INARxiv, as the first preprint server of Indonesia (osf.io/preprints/inarxiv) and serving as ORCID and OSF (osf.io) ambassador. Research interest: Hydrochemistry, multivariate analysis, and R programming. Blog: dasaptaerwin.net, derwinirawan.wordpress.com. (https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1526-0863)