As a session chair recently, I was to introduce a talk where the title of the talk was ungrammatical (in both the abstract and talk slides), likely due to the presenter not being a native English speaker. Two words should have been in plural when they were not, which became clear after reading the abstract.

I faced a dilemma:

  1. read the corrected title, and possibly embarrass the speaker (possibly putting them off their talk), or

  2. deliberately read the ungrammatical title.

I attempted a compromise: I acted casual, as if I wasn’t reading the title word for word.

Question: How should the session chair introduce presentation titles which are ungrammatical?

I’m just wondering what’s the best solution in this situation (or perhaps what I did “on the fly” was the best).

Is it possible to publish the same article in multiple journals published in different languages? for instance I have a published SCI journal article but for local research community I want to publish same article in domestic journal as well and vice versa.
Will it be consider self-plagiarism?
How to deal with the copy right issue? Considering the publishers of both jouranls are different.

I’ve recently been told to read an article for my research, but do not speak the language it is written in (“Drei Vorträge über Diffusion, Brownsche Molekularbewegung und Koagulation von Kolloidteilchen”, Smoluchowski).

It’s fairly heavily cited, so I imagine that someone somewhere will have translated it.
Has anyone heard of/found online repositories of translated academic documents?
Failing that- I don’t suppose anyone reading this happens to have a translation?
(P.S. the original author is long dead, hence I will not be asking him for a copy)

One requirement in academia, especially as an early career scientist, is the the willingness to work and live in different countries. Apart from the professional side (having a job, developing as a researcher,…), the positive aspects of going abroad are clear to me: I really enjoy getting to know new countries, their mentality, culture, nature, etc. It is also a great opportunity to meet new people and make new friends. But on the downside: I only speak English and German (and I’m really bad at learning new languages I might add). Also, I’ve seen a lot of non-German speaking colleges struggle with learning German at my home University for years (and I assume that a lot of people in academia must have the same problem).

I’m currently in the third year of my PhD and doing a research stay in Norway. Not understanding most of what was said around me really makes every-day life more difficult and also somewhat more lonely (even though most people do speak English so it is not a problem per se). Moreover, I feel that I really miss out by not learning the language while I’m here. But for my job it is not required to know the language, which makes it not immediately necessary.

Thinking about PostDoc options for after my PhD, I don’t want to limit myself to only English/German speaking countries. However, I don’t fancy accepting a longer position, knowing that I will not be able/willing to learn the language. Knowing that I will always force people around me to either be impolite or to not speak in their native language.

What are possible tools, methods, workflows, etc. to acquire a new language in a foreseeable time? How does one organize and especially motivate oneself beside the daily academic routine of meetings, conferences, papers, etc.

Should I maybe get used to the idea that learning a new language may not work? (so either focusing on jobs in German/English speaking countries or accepting that I just won’t be able to learn it)

I’m specifically posting this here as opposed to some language forum. I’m interested in how other people in a similar position deal with this situation. I’m aware that it is in theory of course possible to learn every language but I’m interested in in opinions and experiences from real live so to speak.

I really wonder how is it possible for a non-English speaker to publish a paper in a top-level journal without asking a native speaker to professionally edit the paper and fix the mistakes? I wrote a couple of papers and each time the reviewers asked for professional English editing. On the other side, i have read many published papers written by non-English speakers which English level is similar or worse than it is in my papers. It is really not fair for non-English speakers to be forced to pay for professional English editing.

Edit: To be more clear, my point is that reviewers/editors use the English language as a reason to reject some papers, but they also accept certain papers with similar English level. I do not want to get into details about what are the motives for that and what kind of publishing politics is behind that, i want to point out that it is a bad thing for science because native and non-native English speakers are not in the same position. English skills should not be used as a reason to reject any paper.

I understand that situation in academic publishing is not ideal, but all good people should do something to make it better and not pretend as nothing is happening. In my opinion, there are many bad things in academic publishing but the English language quality is one of the worst. Maybe we can not change the publishing politics, but we can eliminate the English language quality as a reason for paper rejection.

(Disclaimer: I’m unsure if this is more appropriate here or on English SE instead; Please do migrate this if deemed more appropriate elsewhere)

Are there any general guidelines on when/how to capitalize departmental names which are “pseudo-proper” names, e.g. the department of applied stochastic basket-weaving science in the school of textile engineering at Dartmouth College? — at least in terms of “grammar” (term used loosely here), the the in the example above seems enough: In this usage, it’s understood there’s only one department of applied stochastic basket-weaving science in the school of textile engineering at Dartmouth College, and there’s only one school of textile engineering at Dartmouth College. However, in isolation, such names are often seen in “title-ish” case:

Department of Applied Stochastic Basket-Weaving Science


School of Textile Engineering

However, would this style of case still be applicable when using these terms in running text?

At the Department of Applied Stochastic Basket-Weaving Science (ASBWS) in the School of Textile Engineering at Dartmouth, methods have been developed for using the fibers from old baskets sitting on your grandmother’s windowsill to create weapons for the battlefield of tomorrow.

This looks like A Lot of Unnecessary Capital Letters to me, but perhaps my judgement isn’t correct.

Consider an international scholar X, fluent in English, who currently holds a postdoctoral position in science (say, in particular, the fundamental science: physics, chemistry, math or biology) in the US.

If X wants to apply for a tenure-tracked (junior or senior) faculty job in a country A outside the US, does acquiring fluency in the language of country A help in applying for a faculty position in the top ranking universities/institutions in that country?

I am mostly, but not exclusively interested in the situation in Europe.

The key point to ask is that suppose X is a highly qualified candidate in all aspects academically, would X be ruled out from the candidate short list due to the lack of fluency in the language of country A?

Typically, references in foreign language are cited with title and journal name in original language, whether they are academic or popular science books. As pointed out in this answer, popular science books, written by native authors and published by different publishers, report English, German and French references without any translation.

Of course leaving the identification of the references is vital. However, I wonder if this is the best practice for the audience who are not familiar with how academic works, especially kids. I imagine that having them written in their mother tongue will make them compelling and informative enough to read, and after reading them, they will know at least these things:

  • Academic researches are published in academic journals, collaborated by many authors
  • Titles tend to be very specified, journals are very niche
  • Consistency needs to be maintained
  • And whether they understand them or not, some terms will get into their mind, enhancing their vocabulary. To put it as Wittgenstein, “my language is the limit of my world”.

The book I’m translating is What If? from Randall Munroe. One reference of it goes like this:

Merlis, Timothy M., and Tapio Schneider, “Atmospheric dynamics of Earth-like tidally locked aquaplanets,” Jounal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems 2 (December 2010); DOI:10.3894/JAMES.2010.2.13.


  1. Should this be done? I guess yes, despite of the “tradition”. How far should this be applied? Having the origin text first, the translation first, or only the translation if other identifications exist such as DOI or URL? As long as the audience can trace the references on their own, then there’s no reason for not doing this, right? What if only some references have DOI, and some others have dead links? Should I add the DOI for every academic papers? What to do with blog posts and YouTube clips?

  2. Is there any drawback of this? Would the readers lose their interest in the middle, or having no interest in reading them at all, hence wasting the translating time?