19 Dec What is the translation of medical articles like?
The translation of academic articles is linked to research and carried out in all departments of all universities and university hospitals. In the field of medical translation, research can be found on all the medical specialities (e.g. neurology, cardiology, internal medicine, etc.), as well as on nursing, physiotherapy and dentistry, three branches of knowledge that are generally grouped together into the “Faculty of Health Sciences”.
Many of the professionals in these branches of knowledge combine their professional practice in hospitals with university teaching and research, and it is common to even find translators on the staff of hospitals. They are there to advise and collaborate in the publication of research in the form of research articles to be published in academic journals.
From a textual point of view, these health science research articles follow a structure set by the international scientific community in order to facilitate the homogeneity, and therefore the readability, of the texts. In addition, they use the same citation style, Vancouver style, and the research process is the same, in that articles are sent to the journals with a cover letter summarising the research. The journal then reviews the article through blind peer review, although it may publish the article without this review in a “preprint” version. Peer review is one of the toughest processes and consists of two specialists in the article’s field assessing it and accepting or rejecting its publication. In most cases, acceptance is done with minor revisions and involves a further review of different aspects of the article, including its approach to the language itself. In the case of rejection, it is always useful to review the reasons for the rejection and, if you consider the criticisms to be valid and constructive, to edit the article in order to send it to another journal.
These types of texts are one of the pillars of scientific progress and represent months or even years of research, effort and collaboration by teams of professionals from different universities, hospitals and even countries. In this sense, the translation of research articles shares the profile of text in literary translation where the authors are strongly attached to their texts.
As it is such a specialised field of translation, it is advisable to have experience in reading and even writing your own research articles, even if they belong to other specialities. In addition, it is essential to master the form and protocol for the presentation of medical-health research, as there is a very clear textual code and code of conduct in the publication process.
All these reasons make the translation of research articles a long and complex process that requires great attention to detail and very specific knowledge of the textual form and protocols in the academic-research field. It is one of the most rewarding forms of medical translation because it allows us to read the latest scientific advances and contribute to their publication in the scientific community.