How should a bibliography cite works titled in several scripts?

Up to now I’ve been putting all titles into a single list, in the original scripts and in the alphabetical order informed by their otherwise unused transliterations. For example, Матюшкин (Matyushkin) could come right after Mason, but the transliteration Matyushkin would not appear.

I have a book in hand from Princeton University Press in the 1950s that also uses a single bibliographic order, but includes only transliterations and title translations, not the original-script references. That makes it hard to track down a source because the reader has to be able to back-form the other spelling, which may be ambiguous or nonstandard. The title translations are useful, though as they involve the creation of new text, they can make an entry not match references elsewhere to the same work.

Filled with doubt, I wonder if there is a standard approach to this problem.

I am currently reviewing an interdisciplinary computer science paper which is heavily based on previous works in logistics and process engineering that have been unfortunately published only in German (18 out of total 30 references). The overall idea is sound, but as the logistics structures are in some sense a basis of the paper, I have a strong tendency to reject the manuscript as the research cannot be followed and reconstructed by a researcher that does not understand German language.

On top of that, virtually none of them are available online, or otherwise easily accessible.

I was going to hit the “Reject” button just a few moments ago, but I still have my doubts: I know that in humanities and also in mathematics people often cite publications written in other languages, but I have not yet seen something like that in computer science. Also, if it would be one or two references, but 60%? The journal reviewing policy does not help me in this case.

I was thinking about proposing the following workarounds:

  • Extending the paper – this is probably no option as the journal imposes quite strong page limit,
  • Supplementary report – the vital parts of the non-English text could be made available as an Technical Report or an on-line publication (I was thinking about arXiv) and this can be referenced in the manuscript.

Is it fair to reject it? Does anyone experienced something similar? What was your decision?

Would this be considered at all, or is this not even important? I am not talking about fields which have these foreign languages as their object of study, or where it is obvious that the language would help (if I were to study French Literature, knowledge of French would obviously be important).

But what about fields which are primarily English, so say I want to do my PhD in Political Theory. There are probably a few articles in foreign languages I could make use of, but English seems just fine. Would knowing a foreign language still be an advantage, or not really?

I am emailing a professor I have not met about a foreign exchange program. They teach Japanese, and I started out by writing my email in Japanese only to get halfway through and realize I would have to look several things up if I intended to continue writing it this way. I regularly email my own Japanese professors in mixed languages and I know a few classmates do as well, but we also personally know our professors due to the small classroom setting of the course.

Would it be bad/particularly unprofessional to switch to English as necessary throughout my email?
If any of you are professors, how would you feel if a student you do not know did this? I wonder if it is annoying to them..

In one of the reviews I received from a journal on a paper I sent there, there was a complaint that the paper contained a lot of language mistakes, so serious, that they change meaning of phrases. But no examples of such mistakes were provided.

I am not claiming that language in the paper was perfect, though the paper had been reviewed before submission by four different people (PhD’s) with a good level of English and also by a native English speaker (not a scientist though).

I am confused about this quite strong statement about the paper’s language despite the reviewer having perfectly understood almost all the ideas in the paper.

Just wondering: is it really typical for reviewers to point out language mistakes in reviews in this way?
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(P.S. Just in case, I am very grateful to the reviewer for his or her very valuable suggestions on other formal mistakes and for giving me some new ideas).

In one of the reviews I received from a journal on a paper I sent there, there was a complaint that the paper contained a lot of language mistakes “which … are so severe that they change the meaning of sentences” (without providing any examples of such language mistakes).

I am not claiming that language in the paper was perfect, though the paper had been reviewed before submission by four different people (PhD’s) with a good level of English and also by a native English speaker (not a scientist though).

I am confused about this quite strong statement about the paper’s language despite the reviewer having perfectly understood almost all the ideas in the paper.

Just wondering: is it really typical for reviewers to point out language mistakes in reviews in this way?

(P.S. Just in case, I am very grateful to the reviewer for his or her very valuable suggestions on other formal mistakes and for giving me some new ideas).

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).