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Some of the students are doing research in another language than English because they are living and studying in a non-English speaking country; they may be doing research in their mother-tongue language because they are studying in their own country or they are studying in another country in which the language is not English.

If these students have non-English language publications which are published or sent to a non-English conference/journal; Do these publications still have the same value in their CV when they are going to send it to an English speaking university/company? Or only publications in English are of value in those institutions.

PS: I think the situation is easier for the students having English publications in their CVs and want to send it to a non-English speaking university/company as they welcome and accept those publications.

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    I think that's going to depend largely on how the journals are perceived by the evaluator in the English-speaking context which is partially a function of the language the publication is written in and the degree to which the journal is seen as prestiguous. – virmaior Jul 23 '14 at 14:45
  • @virmaior May be the conference or journal is well recognized in a non English country (because of restrict peer review, quality of papers, etc.), but it is not that much known in the English context because of its language. – Enthusiastic Engineer Jul 23 '14 at 14:48
  • Recognized in just that country or in many countries? Academics tend to know leading journals in their fields in other countries as well. – virmaior Jul 23 '14 at 15:18
  • @virmaior recognized in that country. First publications and papers of non-English speaking students who study in their own country is usually in their native language and sent to their own countries conferences and journals which are not in English context. These are very good papers and come out of their thesis research, but published in a non-English journal. Journals with high reputation in those countries. – Enthusiastic Engineer Jul 23 '14 at 15:23
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    I akways put my non-English publications in my CV - the reference itself is in English and then the language is stated in brackets. To my knowledge they have never been ignored by the potential employers - they usually asked questions about my earlier research and the questions were based on the topics of these publications. – greenfingers Jul 24 '14 at 14:43
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Of course they have value. If the journal or conference is not widely known in the country of the person reading the CV, then that person might find it hard to tell how much value to place on the publication. But you have two options: either you leave the publication off your CV and you're guaranteed to get no value from it, or you put it on your CV and get at least some value from it.

  • Thank you. I want you to answer from the perspective of a person who reads the CV. Of course, as a person who is writing the CV, it is better to fill the publication section by every single publication the person has (either English or non-English papers). – Enthusiastic Engineer Aug 13 '14 at 14:46
  • @EnthusiasticStudent I don't understand your point. The only way that something could be better for the writer of a CV is if it makes the CV more impressive to the reader. My argument is that adding more publications can only make the CV more impressive to the reader (albeit that if the reader is not familiar with the journals concerned, the CV will only be a little bit more impressive). – David Richerby Aug 13 '14 at 15:28
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    The person prepares his CV as impressive as he can, but will the employer care about non-English papers too? Could you please take a look at this comment of mine? I want you to answer from this perspective too (because, to me you are answering my question very well). – Enthusiastic Engineer Aug 13 '14 at 15:35
  • @EnthusiasticStudent I have already answered the question from that perspective. – David Richerby Aug 13 '14 at 17:08
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In an academic mathematics context: it's not a question of English itself, neither of the paper itself nor of the journal, but of the reputation of the journal. At the very least, French, German, English, and Russian are languages in which there is a very well established mathematics literature. I think all the better mathematics journals accept submissions in English, French, and German, at least.

It is true that perhaps one's paper will have the widest readership these days if it is in English, although 40 years ago anyone learning mathematics had to learn to read French and German, perhaps more than English, because the previous 150 years' mathematics was written primarily in those languages.

It is nevertheless possible that a very provincial situation or person would have a prejudice about non-English (or non-whatever) research papers or journals, and there is little one can do to guard against this.

It may also be the case that there simply are very few high-reputation journals published in "minor" languages, and this may be tangled up with the difficulty of readership. I do regret that I never learned Russian well enough to read mathematics in it. Similarly, there are many important mathematical papers published in Japanese in Japan, and I cannot read them. I would not be surprised to learn that the same is true in China, but I cannot personally certify this.

But any reasonable scholar would certainly recognize the possibility that a good paper can be written in a language other than English. The question of its inaccessibility if written in a language not widely used in the subject at hand is different. Perhaps one could wonder about the wisdom of writing in a not-widely-read language, but, again, that's different from the science itself.

  • My impression as someone in Japan (but not in Math) is that all contemporary math, science, and engineering publication of any merit in Japan is now done in English. But I cannot speak for the past. – virmaior Jul 23 '14 at 15:17
  • @virmaior, that wouldn't surprise me so much. I know that in the early 20th century many Japanese mathematicians wrote papers in German or French, to be sent to the then-most-prestigious journals, namely, in Europe. If, as would presumably be the case, accessibility to a world audience is an important criterion, one writes in the currently-most-widely-read language(s). – paul garrett Jul 23 '14 at 15:29
  • @paulgarrett If you be an employer and a recent graduate comes to you with a CV in which he has two or three non-English publications (which are outcome of his thesis), how would you treat his application? – Enthusiastic Engineer Jul 23 '14 at 15:32
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    It depends hugely on what journals, not so much the language. If the language is not a widely-read scientific language, then probably the journal is not widely-read, either. And, then, if the language itself is not one I can read, I have no way to find merit in the work. So, indeed, writing in "purely local" languages will probably gain nothing in a CV, if that's what you're asking. – paul garrett Jul 23 '14 at 15:36
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Non-English publications will have significantly lower value in terms of reputation. This is because their target audience is usually very limited (often to a single country), while the target audience for English publications is usually the whole world. Thus, the reviewers of an non-English publication are likely to not be as good as for a typical English publication (since they were chosen from a far smaller pool of experts), and thus your publication may not have been evaluated as thoroughly. It also means that the number of rivals for acceptance was far lower than for international English papers, suggesting an overall lower quality of your publication.

Note that these points hold even if the audience of your CV actually speaks the language the publications were written in.

If - additionally - your CV audience does not even understand the language the publication was written in, then the value of these publications is even lower, as your audience cannot directly evaluate the quality of your contributions. In this case they may opt to use numerical metrics to evaluate either you (e.g. based on the h-index) or the journal/conference you published at (e.g. based on the impact factor), or they may decide to ignore non-English publications entirely. In my opinion, the latter is far more likely.

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    "Non-English publications will have significantly lower value in terms of reputation."--- Any citation? – Enthusiastic Engineer Jul 24 '14 at 7:30
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    No, but instead I gave a justification for that statement, which you may asses for its merit. – Robert Buchholz Jul 24 '14 at 7:48

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