Language and languages of science

Martin Fenner, on his Nature Network blog Gobbledygook, notes that The Deutsche Ärzteblatt , the official journal of the German Medical Association, will from this month be publishing an English version. The reason? So that the journal is more clearly indexed in databases such as PubMed, hence available to more readers, leading to more citations of journal articles, a better Impact Factor, and enhanced reputation of the journal. Martin’s opinion is that although German was once an important scientific language, today only 2 per cent of articles indexed in Medline are in the language. “In the end”, he writes, ” it makes the exchange of ideas between scientists much easier if we can all use the same language. And Nature Network is a good example for this.” 


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