The ALAM Scientific Abstract Translation Project

11-12-2018

Scientists around the world speak a variety of languages, and often investigate local ecosystems and samples, or do field experiments in their country of origin or work. Local languages are also more useful for teaching and attracting young people to become the scientists of the future by removing language barriers to research. Therefore, the purpose of this translation project is to build on our involvement with Latin American science, and to strengthen our collaboration with the Asociación Latinoamericana de Microbiología (ALAM), a.k.a. the Latin American Association of Microbiology.

 I engaged in this project because I support this pioneering initiative of ensuring access to quality science in Spanish and Portuguese. As a native Spanish speaker, I have confronted the biases and difficulties related to publishing in English language journals. – Beatriz Baselga, FEMS Volunteer

The ALAM translation project has brought together a team of Spanish and Portuguese speaking volunteers with the aim of translating scientific abstracts from FEMS Journals literature into Portuguese and Spanish. With our partners, Oxford University Press (OUP), we interviewed one of our volunteers, Beatriz Baselga, to find out about her experience. Read the full interview here.

This translation network has produced a collection of recent influential articles published by Latin American authors in our five journals. The articles cover topics as diverse as microbial ecology, infection biology, and food microbiology, including microorganisms across different microbial domains/kingdoms, and tackling regional and global scientific questions. You can access an interactive map to see where our corresponding authors are based below.

This work is especially timely, as it creates cross-continent synergies for this year’s XXIV Congreso Latinoamerico de Microbiología (ALAM 2018) (Santiago de Chile, 13-16 Nov. 2018). FEMS Staff member, Corrado Nai, attended the ALAM Congress 2018 along with a representative from OUP. He presented a talk at the Congress on 13th November: FEMS & ALAM – building a trans-Atlantic bridge to strengthen the global microbiology communityHis talk was received well, and a strong interest was shown for FEMS. While at the conference, he attended excellent talks and met enthusiastic and well-renowned Latin American and international scientists. The banner picture of this article features microbiology graffiti from the congress by artist @andro_pantru

We acknowledge the outstanding work of our volunteers and corresponding authors in translating and proofreading the abstracts. They also provide help us to produce Spanish and Portuguese language content for the communication of microbiology, including Tweets, Facebook posts, and Wikipedia pages.

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