Impact of translations on access to Cochrane reviews


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By Juliane Ried 1, Gavin Stewart 2, David Hives 2, Martin Janczyk 3, Lorne Becker 4
1 Cochrane Innovations, Germany; 2 The Cochrane Library, Wiley, UK; 3 Cochrane Web Team, Germany; 4 Cochrane Innovations, USA

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  • Hello, I’m Juliane Ried, I’m a project officer within Cochrane’s Central Executive, working mainly for Cochrane Innovations, Web projects, and in relation to today’s presentation on translations of Cochrane content. And in the next 15 minutes I would like to talk to you about how translations affect access to Cochrane reviews, mainly looking at analytics from Cochrane Summaries.
  • As required by the organisers, potential conflicts of interest of my co-authors and myself: Martin Janczyk and I are Cochrane employees, and David Hives and Gavin Stewart are employees of Wiley.
  • I wanted to start with a brief overview on what translation projects there currently are on-going that we are aware of. So we see, we got Spanish etc. and they are all regional initiatives, of different scope, some of them have been going on for a long time, like the Spanish, others only for a couple of months, some receive regional funding, others are volunteer projects.
  • For this presentation, I will focus on French, Spanish, Croatian and Portuguese, and that’s because those are the languages that the most active right now, and that are published on an on-going basis on Cochrane Summaries and The Cochrane Library.
  • For those of you, who haven’t seen our translations published, here’s a screen shot of Cochrane Summaries, the important part being here: the language switch on top of the page.
  • And if we now for example click on French, the entire site will be displayed in French.
  • So, the topic of this presentation is the impact of translations on access to Cochrane reviews, and to assess impact we have been looking at the following measures: Usage – how many page views do the translations getThe audience, and here we applied two different approaches: firstly, looking at access by users from the countries speaking those languages, and secondly by users who have their browsers set to one of the respective languagesAre people passing on to the full English Review via translations?
  • Two other points that we thought would be interesting to look at are4.How do people go to translations, and is that different to English reviews? 5.Have some languages proved more popular than others? And for what reasons?
  • Before we look at the actual numbers, I just wanted to briefly mention what has happened in terms of promotion so far. Clearly a very limited Cochrane internal audience, which means there is clearly room to grow, like addressing regional entities, stakeholders, funders, that are concerned, identify non-English channels, spread the news in their language.
  • So we’ll be looking at these four languages. Spanish, French and Portuguese are among the most spoken languages in the world, whereas Croatian doesn’t show up anywhere near the top of that list. The translation projects in these languages vary quite a bit. The Spanish project started 15 years ago, they have translated all Cochrane Reviews, and not only the PLS and abstract, but the entire reviews, with funding from the Spanish Ministry of Health. The French translation project has started about 2 years ago with funding from French and Québec governments, and the number of published translations has since gradually grown to around 4000 abstracts and PLS. Portuguese and Croatian, on the other hand have only started in the last few months, and are smaller scale volunteer projects at the Croatian Branch and Brazilian Centre, both of them have completed less than 100 translations of abstracts and PLS so far.
  • This graph shows the monthly page views for theFrench, Spanish etc. pages on Cochrane Summaries over the last one and a half years.Access to FR & ES make up 10%-15% of all Summaries page views, so 1 out of 5 page views is actually on a Spanish or French translation on Cochrane Summaries. For French we can see a similar effect on Nov 2012: around 2000 page views, up to around 18000 in the last few months. For Spanish, it’s especially interesting, as the full Spanish translations have been published on their own dedicated website as a Spanish version of The Cochrane Library, called the Biblioteca Cochrane Plus, that has access numbers in the range of 400-500 thousand per month, and yet, we got quite some access to those as well.
  • Looking at the audience specific measures, this graph shows monthly visits from people who have their browsers set to any variety of French, Spanish, etc. It provides a similar picture as the usage graph: tens of thousands of visits for French and Spanish, which substantially increased as translations got added. So that confirms, that translations are not only getting accessed, but also from the audience that they are intended for. Makes up 15% of all Summaries visits, which means, 1 out of 3 visits to Cochrane Summaries comes from either a French or a Spanish browser right now. Whereas 1,5 years ago, only 2 out of 100 visits would have been from a French browser.
  • If we’re zooming in on Portuguese and Croatian, we see that access numbers are relatively stable for Croatian, but there is some very good increase for Portuguese, even though less substantial speaking in absolute numbers compared to French and Spanish.
  • Note re %: Canada is included, and % was 7-8 beforeWe can also see an increased access to abstracts on CLib coming from France, which has gone up by about 7% in 2013 compared to 2012 (first six months).
  • Next to each summary, there is a link to the English full text. So to measure whether translations may actually lead non-English speakers to also look at the English full text review, we looked at how many people clicked on those links from any of the translated summaries.
  • And what we can see is, that over the last year, the number of clicks has increased with the number of translations, but there are just a few hundred per month, which does not seem much in relation to 50,000 or 80,0000page views.So that’s about 2 out of 100 visitors on the French, Spanish and Croatian sites who click through to the English review, and even less for Portuguese. But those low numbers are not very surprising, seeing that it is clearly marked as a link going to English content.For English, the absolute number of clicks to the full text are quite a bit higher, in the tens of thousands, and it’s roughly every 20th visitor who clicks through to the English full text, so it’s not necessarily such a large number either.
  • So in conclusion, I think comparing the 4 different languages confirms that there is notable impact access to our content from having translations available, and it shows that the number of translations that are available does make a difference, and that we need to make sure we have a critical amount of translations in order to be relevant, and that the languages we should focus on, when we talk about prioritising specific languages, are those with the most speakers. It seems like we need to work on strategic promotion to make people actually come to us because they want to read Cochrane evidence, or maybe it just means, that there is still quite some potential to increase the usage numbers.
  • So what’s next? A centrally co-ordinated approach to translations will be part of Cochrane’s strategy to 2020, with the aim of offering at least the WHO languages, and in order to setup sustainable translation processes, we are currently exploring different approaches to translation, including crowd-sourcing & machine translation. If you are interested in learning more about it, coinciding with the Colloquium, there was a paper published on PLOS Medicine that has more details on it. There will also be a special session on that topic on Monday, and I’m happy to provide more details as well.
  • Impact of translations on access to Cochrane reviews

    1. 1. Impact of translations on access to Cochrane reviews Juliane Ried1, Gavin Stewart2, David Hives2, Martin Janczyk3, Lorne Becker4 1Cochrane Innovations, Germany; 2The Cochrane Library, Wiley, UK; 3Cochrane Web Team, Germany; 4Cochrane Innovations, USA
    2. 2. Disclosure Financial interest, arrangement, or affiliation that could be perceived as a direct/indirect conflict of interest in the context/content of the subject of this presentation: • MJ and JR are employees of The Cochrane Collaboration • DH and GS are employees of Wiley
    3. 3. Translation projects & numbers English 5400 Spanish 5400 French 3800 Japanese 1400 Traditional Chinese 3800 Indonesian 90 Croatian 90 Portuguese 40 Simplified Chinese 100
    4. 4. Translation projects & numbers SPANISH 5400 FRENCH 3800 Croatian 90 Portuguese 40 ENGLISH 5400
    5. 5. Here’s what it looks like
    6. 6. How do we measure impact? 1. USAGE – Do people access the translations? 2. AUDIENCE – Are we reaching the intended audience? 3. BUTTERFLY EFFECT – Do translations impact on the uptake of the full English Cochrane reviews?
    7. 7. Also interesting 4. GATEWAYS – How do people find our translations? 5. TOP OF THE POPS – Are some languages more popular than others? Why?
    8. 8. Promotion • Monthly CEU bulletins • CCInfo & Cochrane mailing lists Mid- July, taken up by social media  Limited internal audience  There’s room to grow
    9. 9. Languages & translation projects ESPAÑOL: 3rd in the world FRANÇAIS: 11th PORTUGUÊS: 8th HRVATSKI: ?
    10. 10. 0 10000 20000 30000 40000 50000 60000 70000 80000 90000 Mar-12 Apr-12 May-12 Jun-12 Jul-12 Aug-12 Sep-12 Oct-12 Nov-12 Dec-12 Jan-13 Feb-13 Mar-13 Apr-13 May-13 Jun-13 Jul-13 Aug-13 Monthly page views by language FR ES PT HR 1. USAGE FR & ES:  Tens of thousands of page views, increasing with # of (new) translations  Make up 10-15% of all Summaries page views each
    11. 11. 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500 Apr-13 May-13 Jun-13 Jul-13 Aug-13 Monthly page views by language HR PT 1. USAGE PT & HR:  Less substantial increase
    12. 12. 0 10000 20000 30000 40000 50000 60000 Mar-12 Apr-12 May-12 Jun-12 Jul-12 Aug-12 Sep-12 Oct-12 Nov-12 Dec-12 Jan-13 Feb-13 Mar-13 Apr-13 May-13 Jun-13 Jul-13 Aug-13 Monthly visits by browser languages FR ES HR PT 2. AUDIENCE (I) FR & ES: Tens of thousands of visits, increase with # of (new) translations Make up 15-20% of all Summaries visits each
    13. 13. 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500 4000 Mar-12 Apr-12 May-12 Jun-12 Jul-12 Monthly visits by browser languages HR PT 2. AUDIENCE (I) PT & HR: Less substantial increase
    14. 14. 0 10000 20000 30000 40000 50000 60000 Mar-12 Apr-12 May-12 Jun-12 Jul-12 Aug-12 Sep-12 Oct-12 Nov-12 Dec-12 Jan-13 Feb-13 Mar-13 Apr-13 May-13 Jun-13 Jul-13 Aug-13 Monthly visits by countries FR ES PT HR 2. AUDIENCE (II) FR & ES: Tens of thousands of visits Make up 20-25% of all Summaries visits each France now ranking 2nd in the country statistics PT & HR: Less significant increase
    15. 15. 3. BUTTERFLY EFFECT
    16. 16. 3. BUTTERFLY EFFECT 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 Clicks through to English FR ES PT HR FR & ES & HR: about every 50th visitor PT: every 300th visitor English: roughly every 20th visitor
    17. 17. 4. GATEWAYS FR & ES PT HR EN 1. Google – 80-82% 2. (direct) – 10-13% 3. – 1-2% 4. Bing/Ask – 1% 1. – 25% 2. Facebook – 30% 3. (direct) – 20% 4. Google – 18% 1. Google – 40% 2. – 33% 3. (direct) – 11% 4. – 4% 1. Google – 40% 2. – 27% 3. (direct) – 13% 4. Bing – 3% FR & ES:  + mostly other kinds of search engines  most people likely come by coincidence EN, PT & HR:  + other Cochrane & health sites, (social) media, Wikipedia etc.  more people actually come deliberately
    18. 18. 5. TOP OF THE POPS 1. Spanish 2. French 3. Portuguese 4. Croatian Spanish. 500 French. 200 Portuguese. 240 Croatian. 5 # of speakers in million Spanish. 5400 French. 3800 Portuguese . 40 Croatian. 90 # of translations
    19. 19. Conclusions 1. USAGE – YES 2. AUDIENCE – YES 3. BUTTERFLY EFFECT – small, but yes 4. GATEWAYS – (un)intentionally (?) 5. TOP OF THE POPS  The more translations, the higher the usage  The more speakers & translations, the bigger the audience
    20. 20. What’s next? • Central Cochrane translation strategy – WHO languages (ES, FR, RU, AR, ZH) – crowd-sourcing & machine translation • PLOS Medicine, Sept 2013: Fjournal.pmed.1001516
    21. 21. Many thanks! ¡Muchas gracias! Merci beaucoup ! Mnogo hvala! Muito obrigado! Thanks to: – my co-authors – Elise Diard, French Cochrane Centre – Ivan Solà and Maroussia Tzanova, Iberoamerican Cochrane Centre
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