Jeffrey L Jackson, MD, MPH Medical College of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Google Translate Does a Good Job Abstracting Data From Non-English Trials Interview with:

Jeffrey L Jackson, MD, MPH Medical College of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Dr. Jackson

Jeffrey L Jackson, MD, MPH
Medical College of Wisconsin
Milwaukee, Wisconsin What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Unfortunately,  most systematic reviews exclude non-English trials, mostly for convenience, but nearly all systematic reviews wind up excluding at least 1 non-English trial.  We looked at whether this was justified, since Google Translate is a free and easily usable platform.  We had native-language speakers in 9 languages (Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Romanian, Russian and Spanish) abstract data and had another researcher abstract all the articles using Google Translate.

We found that there was over 90% agreement and that the few differences were due to human error, not to problems with the translations. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: If you are reading a systematic review, you should check to see whether or not they included non-English trials and if so, how many. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: Future researchers should use Google Translate and include non-English trials—at the very least they should include them in the search and report exactly how many potentially eligible, non-English trials were excluded.

Disclosures: No disclosures—including that we didn’t get anything from Google (not even the courtesy of a reply when I called asking if they had any suggestions or ideas to help us with the project!)


The Accuracy of Google Translate for Abstracting Data From Non-English Trials for Systematic Reviews

Jeffrey L Jackson, MD, MPH; Akira Kuriyama, MD, MPH; Andreea Anton, MD; April Choi, MD; Jean-Pascal Fournier, MD, PhD; Anne-Kathrin Geier, MD, MPH; Frederique Jacquerioz, MD, MPH; Dmitry Kogan, MD; Cecilia Scholcoff, MD, MPH; Rao Sun, MD, PhD
Published: Ann Intern Med. 2019.
DOI: 10.7326/M19-0891 © 2019 American College of Physicians

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Last Updated on July 29, 2019 by Marie Benz MD FAAD