The Translator's Role in Creating and Submitting Translated Papers for Publication

R. Breugelmans, J.P. Barron

15 May 2002

The presentation focused on the various ways in which translators can work to help authors increase the likelihood of manuscripts being accepted for publication, both in terms of creating a high-quality English manuscript, and assisting the author with other aspects of paper submission.

Following is an outline of the talk.

  1. The peer review system

  2. The 'Vancouver Style'

  3. Common criticisms from referees

  4. Common mistakes

  5. Medline and text analysis software

  6. Reference materials

  7. Intellectual after-service


The peer review system

Peer review

The author submits the manuscript to a journal

The editor sends the manuscript to 2 or 3 authorities in the field for scientific review

On the basis of the refereesf recommendations, the editor decides to accept or reject the manuscript, or ask the author for a revision

If necessary, the author revises and re-submits the manuscript

The editor makes a final decision on acceptance (sometimes after an additional review)


Impact factor

Impact factor: ratio between citations and recent citable items published 

number of 2002 citations to 2000-2001 papers in A
total number of papers in A in 2000-2001


The 'Vancouver Style'

Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals

The gUniform Requirementsh are instructions to authors on how to prepare manuscripts.

If authors prepare their manuscripts in the style specified in these requirements, editors of participating journals will not return the manuscripts for changes in style before considering them for publication.

Authors sending manuscripts to a participating journal should not try to prepare them in accordance with the publication style of that journal but should follow the gUniform Requirementsh.


Summary of technical requirements


Preparation of the manuscript


Title page




Key words















The most common criticisms from referees

The paper as a whole


Title page






Materials and methods








Common mistakes

We examined eight cases who presented between 1985 and 1993 with hepatitis.


We examined eight patients who presented between 1985 and 1993 with hepatitis.


Two patients were diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma of the paranasal sinuses.


Adenoid cystic carcinoma of the paranasal sinuses was diagnosed in two patients.


Postoperatively, the patient was administered indomethacin at a dose of 100 mg once daily for a month.


Postoperatively, indomethacin was administered to the patient at a dose of 100 mg once daily for a month.


During follow-up, 25 of 42 patients developed hepatocellular carcinoma.


During follow-up, hepatocellular carcinoma developed in 25 of 42 patients.


Females are slightly more often affected than males.


Women are slightly more often affected than men.



Medline and text analysis software


Online retrieval service providing access to MEDLINE and other related databases.

Developed by the US National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the National Library of Medicine (NLM).



Database containing bibliographic citations and author abstracts from 4,300+ current biomedical journals published in the United States and 70 other countries

Currently 11 million records dating from 1966 to present.

Approximately 76% of MEDLINE records include abstracts as they appear in the journal.


Strengths of PubMed as a translatorfs tool

Weaknesses of PubMed as a translatorfs tool


Concordancing software

Corpus linguistics is a branch of linguistics that aims to explore the meanings and uses of words in authentic contexts of use.

Concordancing refers to a search through an entire corpus to produce a list of all the instances of a chosen word or words in their contexts.


Reference materials


Intellectual after-service


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