Q: Is it possible to translate a Japanese review paper to English and submit?

Detailed Question -

I have heard that translating a Japanese original to English and submitting it to a journal is regarded a duplicated submission. Is its applicable to the case of review paper also? The content of a review paper tends to be almost the same in both Japanese and English, as its (review paper’s) nature.

1 Answer to this question

Publishing translations of articles without proper permission or notification is considered a duplication. However, publishing a translated version of an already published article is possible under certain circumstances. This is referred to as a “secondary publication” and is not unethical as long as certain conditions of permission, attribution, and transparency are met.

You will need to be open about the situation with the editors of both the Japanese journal and the English language journal you are targeting. Make sure you follow the established guidelines under Acceptable Secondary Publication (ICMJE), which we outline below in brief for your convenience:

  • Obtain approval from the editors of both journals (the one where the Japanese version was published and the English journal you intend to publish the translated version).
  • Ensure that the translated version faithfully reflects the data and interpretations of the primary version.
  • Ensure that the translated version must inform readers that the paper has been published in whole elsewhere, e.g., with a statement such as “This article is based on a study first reported in the [journal title, with full reference].”
  • Make sure that the translated version cites the primary reference.
  • Indicate in the title of the translated publication that it is a secondary publication resulting from the translation of a primary publication.

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