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How far should we go when considering the possibility that a (non spectacular, bur relevant) result has already appeared in any other language different from English?

Is it safe to ignore non-English publications in some fields like computer science, chemistry or physics? That would be assuming that foreign researchers will publish in English, if they are serious about it.

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    There are lots of relevant (and spectacular!) results that were published, e.g., in German, long time ago. Publishing almost everything in English is a modern convention. You cannot ignore relevant prior work just because of its age. – Jukka Suomela Mar 26 '14 at 0:02
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Is it safe to ignore non-English publications in some fields like computer science, chemistry or physics?

I would try my best to not ignore. If you are citing a paper that has cited a non english journal, I would read the citation to see if its relevant to my paper. Translation tools, although not always accurate, would give you a sense what the paper is talking about. Maybe this article can answer your question to an extent.

http://www.ete-online.com/content/5/1/12

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If you know about a previous record in another language, mention it! Strictly speaking, publishing something (even in part) that is a translation of something already published in another language without reference, is considered plagiarism.

Now in practice, I don't think that honestly omitting a previous record written in something else than English would be held against you. It also depends on when this source has been written. Most modern scientific literature has at least its abstract in English.

This being said, I think it's a good idea to check the literature in German, especially for chemistry, physics or engineering...

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