Practices and attitudes toward replication in empirical translation and interpreting studies

Christian Olalla-Soler

This article presents the results of three studies on practices in and attitudes toward replication in empirical translation and interpreting studies. The first study reports on a survey in which 52 researchers in translation and interpreting with experience in empirical research answered questions about their practices in and attitudes toward replication. The survey data were complemented by a bibliometric study of publications indexed in the Bibliography of Interpreting and Translation (BITRA) (Franco Aixelá 2001–2019) that explicitly stated in the title or abstract that they were derived from a replication. In a second bibliometric study, a conceptual replication of Yeung’s (2017) study on the acceptance of replications in neuroscience journals was conducted by analyzing 131 translation and interpreting journals. The article aims to provide evidence-based arguments for initiating a debate about the need for replication in empirical translation and interpreting studies and its implications for the development of the discipline.

Publication history
Table of contents

This article presents the results obtained in a series of studies aiming to describe the practices and attitudes of researchers conducting empirical studies in the field of translation and interpreting studies (TIS) regarding replication. Replication is defined as the repetition of the methods that led to a reported finding (Schmidt 2009).

Full-text access is restricted to subscribers. Log in to obtain additional credentials. For subscription information see Subscription & Price. Direct PDF access to this article can be purchased through our e-platform.


Alves, Fabio, Adriana Pagano, and Igor da Silva
2011 “Towards an Investigation of Reading Modalities in/for Translation: An Exploratory Study Using Eye-Tracking Data.” In Cognitive Explorations of Translation, edited by Sharon O’Brien, 175–196. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
Baker, Monya, and Dan Penny
2016 “Is There a Reproducibility Crisis?Nature 533 (7604): 452–454. DOI logoGoogle Scholar
Begley, C. Glenn
2013 “Six Red Flags for Suspect Work.” Nature 497 (7450): 433–434. DOI logoGoogle Scholar
Biblioteca d’Humanitats
2013–2019RETI: revistes dels estudis de Traducció i Interpretació: Indicadors de qualitat. Accessed November 14, 2018. http://​www​.bib​.uab​.cat​/human​/acreditacions​/planes​/publiques​/revistes​/eti​.php​?area​=eti​&menuidioma​=eng
Cesario, Joseph
2014 “Priming, Replication, and the Hardest Science.” Perspectives on Psychological Science 9 (1): 40–48. DOI logoGoogle Scholar
Crandall, Christian S., and Jeffrey W. Sherman
2016 “On the Scientific Superiority of Conceptual Replications for Scientific Progress.” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 66: 93–99. DOI logoGoogle Scholar
Everitt, Brian S.
1998The Cambridge Dictionary of Statistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Fabrigar, Leandre R., and Duane T. Wegener
2016 “Conceptualizing and Evaluating the Replication of Research Results.” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 66: 68–80. DOI logoGoogle Scholar
Fanelli, Daniele
2009 “How Many Scientists Fabricate and Falsify Research? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Survey Data.” PLoS ONE 4 (5): 1–11. DOI logoGoogle Scholar
2010 “ ‘Positive’ Results Increase Down the Hierarchy of the Sciences.” PLoS ONE 5 (4): e10068. DOI logoGoogle Scholar
2018 “Opinion: Is Science Really Facing a Reproducibility Crisis, and Do We Need It To?Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115 (11): 2628–2631. DOI logoGoogle Scholar
Ferguson, Christopher J., and Moritz Heene
2012 “A Vast Graveyard of Undead Theories.” Perspectives on Psychological Science 7 (6): 555–561. DOI logoGoogle Scholar
Feyerabend, Paul
1978Against Method: Outline of an Anarchistic Theory of Knowledge. London: Verso.Google Scholar
Fiedler, Klaus, and Norbert Schwarz
2016 “Questionable Research Practices Revisited.” Social Psychological and Personality Science 7 (1): 45–52. DOI logoGoogle Scholar
Franco Aixelá, Javier
2001–2019BITRA (Bibliography of Interpreting and Translation). Accessed November 13, 2018. https://​dti​.ua​.es​/en​/bitra​/introduction​.html
Gile, Daniel
1991 “Methodological Aspects of Interpretation (and Translation) Research.” Target 3 (2): 153–174. DOI logoGoogle Scholar
2000 “The History of Research into Conference Interpreting.” Target 12 (2): 297–321. DOI logoGoogle Scholar
Graham, Loren, and Jean-Michel Kantor
2007 ““Soft” Area Studies versus “Hard” Social Science: A False Opposition.” Slavic Review 66 (1): 1–19. DOI logoGoogle Scholar
Gupta, Brij Mohan, and S. M. Dhawan
2019 “Machine Translation Research: A Scientometric Assessment of Global Publications Output during 2007 16.” DESIDOC Journal of Library & Information Technology 39 (1): 31–38. DOI logoGoogle Scholar
Hale, Sandra, and Jemina Napier
2013Research Methods in Interpreting. London: Bloomsbury.Google Scholar
Hedges, Larry V.
1987 “How Hard Is Hard Science, How Soft Is Soft Science? The Empirical Cumulativeness of Research.” American Psychologist 42 (5): 443–455. DOI logoGoogle Scholar
Holmes, James S.
(1972) 1988 “The Name and Nature of Translation Studies.” In Translated! Papers on Literary Translation and Translation Studies, edited by Raymond van den Broeck, 67–80. Amsterdam: Rodopi.Google Scholar
House, Juliane
2013 “Towards a New Linguistic-Cognitive Orientation in Translation Studies.” Target 25 (1): 46–60. DOI logoGoogle Scholar
Hsieh, Hsiu-Fang, and Sarah E. Shannon
2005 “Three Approaches to Qualitative Content Analysis.” Qualitative Health Research 15 (9): 1277–1288. DOI logoGoogle Scholar
Hüffmeier, Joachim, Jens Mazei, and Thomas Schultze
2016 “Reconceptualizing Replication as a Sequence of Different Studies: A Replication Typology.” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 66: 81–92. DOI logoGoogle Scholar
Hurtado Albir, Amparo, and Fabio Alves
2009 “Translation as a Cognitive Activity.” In The Routledge Companion to Translation Studies, edited by Jeremy Munday, 54–73. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
Ioannidis, John P. A.
2005 “Why Most Published Research Findings Are False.” PLoS Medicine 2 (8): 696–701. DOI logoGoogle Scholar
Jussim, Lee, Jarret T. Crawford, Stephanie M. Anglin, Sean T. Stevens, and Jose L. Duarte
2016 “Interpretations and Methods: Towards a More Effectively Self-Correcting Social Psychology.” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 66: 116–133. DOI logoGoogle Scholar
Kuhn, Thomas S.
1962The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
Li, Defeng
2004 “Trustworthiness of Think-Aloud Protocols in the Study of Translation Processes.” International Journal of Applied Linguistics 14 (3): 301–313. DOI logoGoogle Scholar
Liu, Minhua
2011 “Methodology in Interpreting Studies: A Methodological Review of Evidence-Based Research.” In Advances in Interpreting Research: Inquiry in Action, edited by Brenda Nicodemus and Lauria A. Swabey, 85–120. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. DOI logoGoogle Scholar
Makel, Matthew C., Jonathan A. Plucker, and Boyd Hegarty
2012 “Replications in Psychology Research.” Perspectives on Psychological Science 7 (6): 537–542. DOI logoGoogle Scholar
Martin, G. N., and Richard M. Clarke
2017 “Are Psychology Journals Anti-Replication? A Snapshot of Editorial Practices.” Frontiers in Psychology 8: 1–6. DOI logoGoogle Scholar
Mellinger, Christopher D., and Thomas A. Hanson
2017Quantitative Research Methods in Translation and Interpreting Studies. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
Moonesinghe, Ramal, Muin J. Khoury, and A. Cecile J. W. Janssens
2007 “Most Published Research Findings Are False – But a Little Replication Goes a Long Way.” PLoS Medicine 4 (2): 218–221. DOI logoGoogle Scholar
Muñoz Martín, Ricardo
2010 “Leave No Stone Unturned: On the Development of Cognitive Translatology.” Translation and Interpreting Studies 5 (2): 145–162. DOI logoGoogle Scholar
2014 “A Blurred Snapshot of Advances in Translation Process Research.” MonTI special issue – Minding Translation 1: 49–84.Google Scholar
Neunzig, Wilhelm, and Helena Tanqueiro
2007Estudios empíricos en traducción. Enfoques y métodos. Girona: Documenta Universitaria.Google Scholar
O’Brien, Sharon
ed. 2011Cognitive Explorations of Translation. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
2013 “The Borrowers: Researching the Cognitive Aspects of Translation.” Target 25 (1): 5–17. DOI logoGoogle Scholar
Open Science Collaboration
2015 “Estimating the Reproducibility of Psychological Science.” Science 349 (6251): aac4716. DOI logoGoogle Scholar
Orero, Pilar, Stephen Doherty, Jan-Louis Kruger, Anna Matamala, Jan Pedersen, Elisa Perego, Pablo Romero-Fresco, Sara Rovira-Esteva, Olga Soler-Vilageliu, and Agnieszka Szarkowska
2018 “Conducting Experimental Research in Audiovisual Translation (AVT): A Position Paper.” Journal of Specialised Translation 30: 105–126.Google Scholar
Pardo, Antonio, and Ricardo San Martín
2012Análisis de datos en ciencias sociales y de la salud II. Madrid: Editorial Síntesis.Google Scholar
Pashler, Harold, and Christine R. Harris
2012 “Is the Replicability Crisis Overblown? Three Arguments Examined.” Perspectives on Psychological Science 7 (6): 531–536. DOI logoGoogle Scholar
Polit, Denise F., and Cheryl Tatano Beck
2010 “Generalization in Quantitative and Qualitative Research: Myths and Strategies.” International Journal of Nursing Studies 47 (11): 1451–1458. DOI logoGoogle Scholar
Popper, Karl
1959The Logic of Scientific Discovery. London: Hutchinson.Google Scholar
Ravitch, Sharon M., and Nicole Mittenfelner Carl
2016Qualitative Research: Bridging the Conceptual, Theoretical and Methodological. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.Google Scholar
Rovira-Esteva, Sara, and Javier Franco Aixelá
2018 “Bibliometric Tools.” In A History of Modern Translation Knowledge: Sources, Concepts, Effects, edited by Lieven D’hulst and Yves Gambier, 117–122. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. DOI logoGoogle Scholar
Saldanha, Gabriela, and Sharon O’Brien
2014Research Methodologies in Translation Studies. London: Routledge. DOI logoGoogle Scholar
Schmidt, Stefan
2009 “Shall We Really Do It Again? The Powerful Concept of Replication Is Neglected in the Social Sciences.” Review of General Psychology 13 (2): 90–100. DOI logoGoogle Scholar
Simons, Daniel J.
2014 “The Value of Direct Replication.” Perspectives on Psychological Science 9 (1): 76–80. DOI logoGoogle Scholar
Snell-Hornby, Mary
2006The Turns of Translation Studies: New Paradigms or Shifting Viewpoints? Amsterdam: John Benjamins. DOI logoGoogle Scholar
Tymoczko, Maria
2002 “Connecting the Two Infinite Orders: Research Methods in Translation Studies.” In Crosscultural Transgressions: Research Models in Translation Studies II: Historical and Ideological Issues, edited by Theo Hermans, 9–25. Manchester: St. Jerome.Google Scholar
2005 “Trajectories of Research in Translation Studies.” Meta 50 (4): 1082–1097. DOI logoGoogle Scholar
Wagenmakers, Eric-Jan, Ruud Wetzels, Denny Borsboom, Han L. J. van der Maas, and Rogier A. Kievit
2012 “An Agenda for Purely Confirmatory Research.” Perspectives on Psychological Science 7 (6): 632–638. DOI logoGoogle Scholar
Way, Catherine
2014 “Structuring a Legal Translation Course: A Framework for Decision-Making in Legal Translator Training.” In The Ashgate Handbook of Legal Translation, edited by Le Cheng, King-Kui Sin, and Anne Wagner, 135–152. Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
Yeung, Andy W. K.
2017 “Do Neuroscience Journals Accept Replications? A Survey of Literature.” Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 11: 1–6. DOI logoGoogle Scholar
Zanettin, Federico, Gabriela Saldanha, and Sue-Ann Harding
2015 “Sketching Landscapes in Translation Studies: A Bibliographic Study.” Perspectives: Studies in Translatology 23 (2): 37–41. DOI logoGoogle Scholar