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Translating Cochrane Abstracts and Plain Language Summaries from Traditional to Simplified Chinese: Feasibility assessment and user survey

Date and Location




Friday 20 September 2013 - 13:30 - 15:00


Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author

Qin Liu

Contact person

Qin Liu
Abstract text
Background: Awareness of Cochrane Systematic Reviews is increasing in mainland China. To date, there has been no systematic effort to translate a substantive number of Cochrane abstracts into Simplified Chinese for mainland China. Objectives: To examine the feasibility of translating Cochrane abstracts and plain language summaries (PLSs) from traditional into simplified Chinese and to assess the work and resources involved in creating good quality translations. Methods: One hundred Cochrane abstracts and PLSs on a range of topics were selected to be translated into Simplified Chinese based on a pre-designed Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)( Annex 1). Resources including personnel, expertise, time, and financial cost were assessed during the translation process. User views on the translations were explored by qualitative interview with key informants using semi-structured topic guide (Annex 2). All the interviews were transcribed verbatim in Chinese characters and appropriately analysed using a simple thematic analysis approach. Results: We did the translation mainly based on the pre-designed SOP and made some adjustments according to the practical situation. The detailed resources we used included personnel, expertise, time, and financial cost see Annex 3. User views on the following three aspects were summarized: a) the quality of translated abstracts and PLS; b) whether investing in these translations is worthwhile; c) whether it helps to disseminate Cochrane Review evidence in China. Conclusions: The translations are good quality and easy to read. The SOP played an important role in the whole process of translation. The idea of converting from Traditional Chinese version into Simplified Chinese version needs to be reconsidered as it created reading and understanding problems and did not save our time and resources. For scale up of the project, we may firstly translate a selection of reviews and then formally evaluate on user views after the translations have been put on The Cochrane Library.