Linguistic distance to English impedes research performance

Cao, Y., Sickles, R.C., Triebs, T.P. and Tumlinson, J. 2024. Linguistic distance to English impedes research performance. Research Policy. 53 (4) 104971. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.respol.2024.104971

TitleLinguistic distance to English impedes research performance
TypeJournal article
AuthorsCao, Y., Sickles, R.C., Triebs, T.P. and Tumlinson, J.
Abstract

Today, scientific knowledge is predominantly disseminated in English. We show that global universities’ research performance, as measured by publications in top journals, declines as the differences between their local language and English increase. This effect is robust to controls for university factors like proportion of international staff and faculty-to-student ratio, as well as country-level factors like economic development, youth academic achievement, university degree rate, politics, culture, trade with and geographic distance to English-speaking countries, among others. This quantification of the research performance penalties induced by linguistic distance from the lingua franca may inform policy makers who must balance trade-offs between embracing English against cultural and local labor market pressures to orient around the local language.

Article number104971
JournalResearch Policy
Journal citation53 (4)
Year2024
PublisherElsevier
Publisher's version
License
CC BY 4.0
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.respol.2024.104971
Publication dates
Published online05 Feb 2024
Published in printMay 2024

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