Translation and Localization in Life Science industry

Pharmaceutical and medical device sectors today need translation and localization services for marketing and promoting their products on a global level. The demand for skilled language specialists with scientific expertise is increasing tremendously in recent times, as life science companies seek to make a foray across different countries and continents.

According to a market research survey conducted by a noted American firm, the specialized niche sector of translation and localization of life sciences was worth US$75.8 million in 2009. Moreover, translation and localization of medical devices was worth US$100.4 million. Interestingly, the European pharmaceutical translation sector was worth US$265.11 million in 2009, given that there were more than 10,000 pharmaceutical manufacturing companies. In other words, life science firms are today completely dependent on translation and localization services for overseas sales and marketing.

Language service providers (LSPs) need to have formal education in life sciences to work in this booming sector. The pharmaceutical and life science industry primarily consists of the following components: pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and clinical research. Translation and localization of life science is a very challenging field as the translated technical literature has a direct impact on the overall health of patients.

Very high accuracy levels are required in this field, and the specialized translators are trained scientists with bilingual fluency. Translators for life science products cannot be mere language specialists, who are mostly hired for translation of consumer products. The pharmaceutical and life science industry requires translation and localization for the following segments:

Pharmaceuticals:  Each drug requires documentation and packaging literature in the pharmaceutical industry. This includes information about the efficacy, side-effects, dosage, contraindications, etc. This information is critical in the sense that it is referred by doctors, nurses, and patients. For overseas sales and promotion of these drugs, translation and localization of this literature requires specialists as it is indeed a matter of life and health.

Medical devices: These are used extensively in hospitals, healthcare research centers, and laboratories. Medical devices are marketed and sold in various countries; technical documentation and literature of these medical devices has to be translated in various languages. Each word has to be precise and accurate so as to correctly convey the literature to healthcare professionals across various countries and continents. Translation and localization of medical devices has to be done by trained medical professionals as these devices are exclusively used by healthcare professionals.

Clinical research: These studies are conducted by healthcare research organizations in various countries. Nevertheless, these research studies are usually published in English journals; therefore, skilled healthcare professionals with bilingual expertise are required for translation of these clinical research studies. The findings of these studies are very important in the drug discovery process.

According to multinational companies in life sciences, the demand for translation and localization of their products is very high in Asian countries, such as China, Japan, Korea, and India. This is because the general population speaks regional languages in these countries; hence, the demand for scientifically trained translators is very high in these countries.

In other words, all the technical documentation of pharmaceutical products has to be translated from English to major Asian languages, such as Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, Korea, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Marathi, etc. Translation and localization is not just limited to drug documentation but also for clinical trials and studies as the participants are fluent in regional languages. Translation and localization of life sciences is a booming business in Asian countries.

Some of the important findings of market research study are as follows:

In life science industry, the demand for translation and localization experts with advanced scientific/medical education is increasing exponentially in European and Asian countries.

Most life science companies hire high quality translation and localization experts, so economical pricing is not the main criterion for hiring these experts.

As the 100% accuracy levels are required in this industry, it is very difficult to find high quality experts.

Most pharmaceutical and life science companies evaluate work samples of these vendors; they do not merely hire vendors with ISO certifications as they have low level of confidence in the accuracy of translators.

Life science companies hire translation vendors with the following qualities: high quality work samples, scientific/medical education, technical expertise, and high quality.



Effective Tips for Dissertation Writing

Pursuing a doctoral program in science and technology requires at least 3-4 years of rigorous work in a laboratory. A dissertation summarizes the research project that was carried out for three to four years.

Defending the dissertation is the important aspect of receiving a Ph.D. A researcher is entitled Ph.D. only after successfully defending the dissertation. It is an important landmark in the career of a researcher who can now be called an independent researcher or scientist.

Having said that, not all scientists are great wordsmith and a poorly written dissertation may be a death knell to one’s career. In fact, a researcher may not be able to receive Ph.D. if the dissertation is poorly written.

In this article, we explain steps that must be followed to write a dissertation effectively.

1. Start writing the dissertation right from the beginning of the research program: Most doctoral students tend to think that dissertation must be written at the final stage of their doctoral program.

They consider dissertation as just a scholarly paper that can be “written up” once the experimental study of their doctoral program is completed. They consider research experiments as the “real work” and scholarly communication as completely secondary.

Most doctoral students of science and technology are engrossed with work in the laboratory. They have to design the experimental study, perform complex experimental procedures, perform statistical analysis, derive results and finally present conclusion. With this rigorous work in the laboratory, most doctorate students procrastinate “dissertation writing.”

Although writing and defending thesis is the last component of a Ph.D program, science students should start writing their thesis/dissertation right from the start of their doctoral program. This is because the doctoral program extends for uptill three years and thesis must a cumulative reflection of their entire period. It is not something that can be “written up” at the fag end of the doctorate program.  

Dissertation writing rightly reflects the “art of science” as it is a skill that requires scientists to hone their skills as wordsmiths in science communications.  Every paper and presentation written from the first day of the doctoral program is important; doctorate students should start preparing their thesis from the very first day of their graduate careers.

2) Spend some time each on writing dissertation: It is essential that all doctorate students hone their skills in science writing. Therefore, science writing must be a part of your routine. There are many resources and style guides of science writing. Each doctoral student must spend some time daily reading these resources in order to get a grasp of science writing.

3) Consult your advisor throughout the process of dissertation writing: To pursue Ph.D. program successfully, it is very essential to have a rapport with the supervisor. It is essential to have an effective communication with your supervisor while pursuing your Ph.D.. This will certainly help a doctoral student in completing their dissertation in a timely manner. Most doctorate students feel afraid to show the rough draft of their thesis to the supervisor. Such an attitude can prove to be “fatal” in dissertation writing.

It is very important to communicate with the supervisor on a daily basis. Always seek advice on the progress of your work while pursuing your doctoral program. Professors and mentors would always help in different aspects of thesis writing, not just in terms of English language but also in refining the scientific aspect of this study.

If the student has a poor rapport with the supervisor, then it becomes very difficult for the student to defend their thesis at the fag end of their doctoral programs. Quite a few times, their dissertation is rejected as the supervisor is not just aware of the student’s research work right from the beginning. Following the rejection of dissertation, the student is crest-fallen as it is back to square one or ground zero for the student.

4) Students must maintain an annotated bibliography: This is a very important strategy for writing an effective dissertation. This strategy must be followed by a researcher throughout their career. Apart from compiling a conventional reference list of different papers, students must prepare an annotated bibliography that includes personal reading notes on each paper that they have read.

While writing a formal paper, a researcher must compile annotated bibliographies relevant to the topic. These may be personal reading notes obtained from several projects that serve as an interactive background for the current work in progress. Commentary, updates, and references are some of the kinds of additional writing that must be incorporated into a formal paper meant for publication in scholarly journals.

5) Students must consider “stepping stone” assignments:

Most PhD thesis of scientific disciplines contain “Introduction” and “Discussion”  sections in which previously published papers are referenced and quoted for arguments and evidences. Published papers are the resources on which the dissertation of the current study has to be based. Therefore, science students must write evaluative reports of all experiments periodically. It is important to write about failures and obstacles as they can be then included in the discussion section of the formal paper.

Apart from published papers, students may also refer to meta-analyses, literature reviews for referencing. A book review may also prove to a good resource in rare cases. New methodologies and techniques should also be evaluated periodically. All these types of scientific literature are very useful in writing a dissertation paper.

6) Attend workshops, conferences, and seminars: Students must present their research work at any relevant academic workshop, be it conference or less formal meetings of graduate students. When students make presentations at these events, they receive constructive feedback in improving the quality of the final draft of the dissertation.

Many universities hold formal meetings of students who are in similar stages of their doctoral programs. At these meetings, students discuss and review each other’s work to improve the quality of their work. It is highly recommended that students join such writing groups and workshops, wherein fellow students offer feedback and proofreading services.








Why do researchers need ORCID account

We live in information age where everything is available at the click of a mouse and search engines are an integral part of our lives. Likewise, the world of scientific research has also undergone metamorphosis with onus shifting toward digital age. Check out the success of Google scholar, PubMed, ResearchGate, and Mendeley: the most powerful tools for researchers all over the world. Just a thought for magnitude: PubMed is the biomedical literature library that provides upto 1 million papers each year. PubMed makes medical literature available to the common man, a digital innovation of the US government.

With digital nature of publications, information science has also undergone metamorphosis. Today we live in a world of digital libraries, and a system was required to integrate and collaborate researchers all over the world. The latest data and science had to be available to researchers living anywhere in the world, thanks to the internet of things.

An ORCID iD account

ORCID is the acronym for Open Researcher and Contributor ID. It is an important digital platform that connects researchers with latest research publications and innovations all across the world. ORCID Inc was launched on October 16th, 2012. ORCID ID is a digital identifier, which is an alphanumeric, 16 digit code. It is a unique identification number, which stands for the digital identity of each individual working in the research industry: professor, independent scholar, post-doc researcher, science writer, academic author, doctorate student, etc.

These digital numbers are used by each researcher to get access to scientific research across the globe. At the same, ORCID creates a massive integration of the entire research publication process, right from submission of grants to the publication of manuscripts. It is a unique way of getting research work recognized, advertised and promoted.

Uses of ORCID ID

As an ORCID account holder, your efforts in terms of publications and conferences are provided to all members of ORCID; researchers across overseas and domestic frontiers can easily collaborate and gather resources for research grants and funding. ORCID number traces the following activities:


  • Research publications
  • Research papers related the researchers’ papers
  • Published patents
  • Research grants
  • Research blogs
  • Affiliations to institutions and research organizations
  • Awards and recognition
  • Evaluation scores
  • Wikipedia articles

In totality, ORCID account simplifies the manuscript submission/acceptance process for any scientist bridging the gap between academia and industry. ORCID is acceptable by all scientific publishers, so researchers can submit their papers easily to all publishers. They do not have to refurbish their information and credentials each time.

In terms of manuscript writing, ORCID account provides access to most scientific literature. Thus, scientists can easily scour the literature and cite relevant literature in their manuscript for improving the authenticity/quality of their research study.

Here is the list of prominent publishers which have mandatory ORCID requirements for authors:

  • Hindawi
  • PLOS
  • Royal Society of Chemistry
  • Science
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering
  • American Geophysical Union
  • American Chemical Society
  • Nature
  • Wiley

Today researchers from different universities and research organizations from across the world can collaborate and gather research funding, thanks to the most successful platform: ORCID. The most prestigious governmental research funding in Australia is received from NHMRC (National Health and Medical Research Council) and ARC (Australian Research Council). They have made ORCID compulsory for all researchers in Australia for receiving grants. In the USA, the research funding agency NIH (National Institute of Health) has streamlined the process of integrating their user name with ORCID.






Avenues for Young Researchers on Research Grants

Although funding agencies have diminished resources today for research studies, scholars and budding researchers should never lose hope. Advanced countries continue to have funding for international students who are bright and innovative in research and academia. Principal investigators are senior professors in research labs, with scholarships and grants being offered to deserving scholars. To most young people from developing countries, it opens floodgates of international prestige as they get a chance to collaborate on the latest developments of science and technology.

An academic resume with high scores in bachelor’s and master’s degree is not sufficient for receiving research grants and scholarships in international universities. Young scholars from developing countries also need to submit a truly innovative research proposal that needs to be reviewed and approved by the supervisor at international universities; an eminent team of full professors includes subject matter experts in specialized fields. These professors screen various research proposals and academic resumes of candidates to select the eminent ones for funding.

In this article, we provide a gist of some of the most prominent channels advertising vacancies and openings for research grants and scholarships. These are channels that normally feature openings of research in various prestigious universities all across the world.

1) The World Academy of Sciences:

Based in Italy, this is a prestigious organization geared toward helping scientists in developing countries through collaboration. The organization provides research grants, fellowships, prizes and awards to deserving young researchers from developing countries. The fellowships received by these researchers can be used to pursue doctoral and post-doctoral studies. Researchers with terminal degrees (PhD) from their home countries may work as post-doc researchers, independent scholars, and visiting professors with these research grants. This prestigious organization has regional offices in India, Egypt, China, South Africa, and Brazil: these are countries that are now known as emerging economies.


Researchers in Motion: This is a unique initiative by this organization that is backed by the European Union. Its main objective is to provide funding to scientists and researchers with an aim of increasing mobility of science. Thus, various initiatives are laid down to building concerted efforts for dissemination of scientific expertise from European scientists to the rest of world. Scientists from developing world can gain access to scholarships and funding to work as researchers in Europe and in other emerging/developed countries (Japan, India, etc).


Science4Refugees: In a war-torn world, the number of people fleeing their home countries to foreign land is increasing tremendously; these people are known as refugees and they are simply victims of their circumstances. This organization is geared toward providing support to scientists migrating as refugees to foreign lands.


  1. NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program

National Science Foundation (NSF) is the federal government organization of the United States of America. Deserving students receive grants and fellowships for pursuing post-doc research in various prestigious universities of the USA. Most fellowships are geared toward sophisticated advancement programs in science, technology, engineering, and math. The candidates receive grants based on their Intellectual Merit Criterion, which is a cumulative average of their grades as well as the experimental study design of their research proposal. Previous research publications also add weightage to the candidates’ resume.

  1. Fellows from AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science)

At this platform, there are many jobs advertised for scientists; these are not just restricted to research and academia. This website advertises many positions and opportunities for pursuing doctorate, post-doctorate, and research careers are advertised at this website. These opportunities are available not just at leading universities and research organizations but also at various scientific conglomerates. Moreover, it provides complete guidance to master’s and bachelor’s students on how to pursue their admission and research proposal while applying for doctorate programs.

Conclusion: Research grants are very competitive and strict; however, most research proposals having an interdisciplinary study design are usually approved by the principal investigating team of professors. Funding is a prestigious honor and it creates great room for innovation; funding grants provided at these channels also cover benefits such as travel and health insurance, including when researchers are required to go to international conferences.






The nexus between predatory journals and academia: the result is bad science and medicine

discard blacklist

With highly strict standards of publication set by SCI journals (Elsevier, Springer, Nature, Wiley, etc.), the acceptance rate of manuscripts is just 15%. This puts a lot of stress on young researchers in academia. Failure to publish papers in these noted journals spells a doom on their career in research and academia.

Thus, it is a classic case of where supply (manuscripts) exceeds the demand (acceptance rate by publishers). The number of people graduating from most colleges in the USA with terminal degrees (PhD) far exceeds the availability of research jobs in academia.

To cash on this opportunity, today there are many “predatory” journals that will publish any manuscript for a royalty. These predatory journals have total disregard for the authenticity of the research study and would even publish a completely plagiarized paper. This trend is often witnessed in community colleges as they do not receive sizable federal grants for the advancement of their career in scientific research. Most predatory journals would charge about some hundreds of dollars for publication under the garb of the word “Open Access” or “Hybrid publishing.”

How do academics from less known community colleges fall prey to these journals? Well, most of these predatory journals have names that have strong resemblance to that of famous journals. They quite often provide bulk discounts for publication of many manuscripts and also invite these academics for workshops and seminars. We found that despite knowing the poor credentials of these journals, researchers oblige to have a symbiotic relationship with these predatory journals. Scientific credibility is not just lost but wrong science is also promoted by these predatory journals, which means our future generations would have to suffer due to these unlawful practices in academia and research.

According to the latest sting operations carried out by a scribe of Nature publisher, the number of predatory journals now stands at 10,000. This implies that there are as many predatory journals as legitimate ones. For example, consider the legitimate journal publisher by Springer “The Journal of Economics and Finance.” The predatory journal by an independent publisher is named similarly as “The Journal of Finance and Economics.”

Predatory journals have minimum cost of publication and earn good revenue. They do not have peer reviewer and editorial team. Most journals only publish papers online, with some of them having a “print on demand” model as well. One of the tricks that these journals do is by having names resembling standard journals of SCI. Moreover, they also claim to have been indexed by Google scholar while sending direct marketing emails to academicians all over the world. It is important to note that “Google scholar” is a search engine, so being indexed by Google does not mean Google has authenticated the credentials of the predatory journal. This is something most academics are not wary of, unless they have a solid background in computer science.

One of the detrimental results of the naivety of researchers is the proliferation of bad science. To make matters worst, these publishers also include the name of researcher in the list of presenters/speakers at a conference for a hefty fee. The academic may OR may not attend the conference, but the conference can be certainly enlisted in the academic resume of the researcher. Most of the so-called conferences are published at respectable venues of universities and hotels. In reality, these conferences are held in dingy hotels undergoing renovation, with more than 50% academics giving it a miss.

Do predatory journals have a detrimental effect on the career of researchers? Nope. A recent survey and analysis done by a leading researcher at his university threw open a can of worms: ten faculty members had got promoted this year and nine of these academics had published papers in both SCI (legitimate) journals as well as predatory journals. In fact, many of them had published at least four papers in predatory journals, which explains why these predatory journals are making good money despite being completely shady and unethical in their practices.


Academics are promoted when their resume is loaded with a long list of publications. The list of published papers may be long, but the authenticity of journals is never verified. In totality, academics are now relieved that they do not have to stress on publishing in legitimate journals having strict standards. Bad science is being promoted by academia with the help of predatory journals, and there needs to be a regulatory authority to stop this menace in research industry.




Guidance to Peer Review after Manuscript Submission

A manuscript is published in top journals only after it is approved by peer reviewers, who are subject matter experts and noted scientists who have published high quality papers in top journals.

As young researchers and graduate students, peer review is the process that defines their career in research and academia. Peer review can be a daunting process, especially for scientists who are not native speakers of English (ESL). Once the author submits their work to the journal, the manuscript is evaluated by anonymous group of peer reviewers to whom the paper is sent by the journal editor. The author never gets to know the peer reviewers and so it seems like a one-sided trial in a court-room.

The peer review process evaluates the scientific accuracy and language presentation of a manuscript. In other words, a manuscript that is poorly written in English may be rejected outright by the journal. Moreover, issues with the scientific accuracy of the manuscript may be pointed out by peer reviewers. Most ESL scientists seek the help of native English scientists to polish their manuscript for English language errors.

Researchers and graduate students have to make sure that they receive a favorable outcome from peer review process: “Accepted” or “Revise and Resubmit” verdict. If the verdict of peer review process is “Rejected,” it sounds a death knell to the career of graduate students and young researchers who have spent several months or even years pursuing their doctorate program. They must have even spent a lot of time writing their manuscript. A translated manuscript of ESL scientist has to break even the barriers of language.

Here are some excellent tips to ESL scientists for handling the daunting process of peer review.  

In the peer review process, noted scientists evaluate the manuscript on the following parameters: hypothesis, data, evidence, and conclusions. A paper that meets the requirements of all these parameters is accepted by the journal editor.

English language errors

Most ESL scientists face the barrier of language when they submit their work to English journals. A good scientist may be innovative in the laboratory but that does not necessarily mean that they are well aware of the nuances of English language. Thus, although an ESL scientist must have made path-breaking discoveries, the ESL scientist ends up writing a paper that has several English language errors. Hiring a native English scientist can certainly help an ESL scientist to improve the quality of the manuscript in terms of English language errors.

Reference citations

It is very important to cite references for your work to avoid plagiarism issues. Peer reviewers evaluate hypothesis, data, evidence and conclusion based on the references cited in the manuscript. The references serve as evidence to the experimental study design. A peer reviewer goes through the bibliography in the reference list after perusing through the paper.

A sparse bibliography is one of the major reasons for rejection of manuscript by peer reviewers. Another red flag would be a manuscript with few primary sources as citations. This error is often committed by graduate students who usually cite only online sources. Papers lacking original sources of literature reviews as primary citations raise a red flag among peer reviewers. It is important to remember that peer reviewers are expert in their field and a paper lacking proper reference citation to back novelty of experimental study is often rejected.

Stacked bibliographies

An experimental study seems to be biased and skewed if the reference list contains papers published by a single laboratory/research institute/university. This implies that the authors of the experimental study are biased by the point of view of a single institution or group of researchers. The scientific study is unbiased and rational when the bibliography includes work of different sources.

Abstract overloaded with excess information

Quite often, peer reviewers come across abstracts that promise more than what is delivered in the entire manuscript. The abstract is quite often written by scientists at the start of the experimental study. However, research projects depend completely on funding and grants; therefore, many experimental studies are altered during the course of execution and implementation. In totality, the manuscript that scientists end up writing may not be the one that was envisioned at the start of the research project. In such cases, it is imperative to rewrite the abstract that precisely describes the current context and content of the manuscript. The abstract should precisely describe the research study within 250 to 300 words.

Submission to incorrect journal

A paper must be submitted to a journal that correctly defines the scope and aims of the study. Therefore, a researcher must peruse through different journals in a particular discipline before identifying the one that correctly fits within the scope and aim of the manuscript. A paper submitted to a wrong journal is usually met with rejection.