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A platform where crowdfunded bounties are paid to people who translate scientific papers for general public

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Aug 22, 2020
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Bounty for the best solution

Provide a bounty for the best solution

Bounties attract serious brainpower to the challenge.

Currency *
Who gets the Bounty *
A platform where crowdfunded bounties are pledged for people to translate scientific papers into general public understandable language.

  • Make science understandable and accessible to non-professionals.
  • Reduce ignorance, misinformation, and misconceptions in the world.
  • Make science less "scary".

How it works

A platform where anyone can add links to the paper they wish to understand. They attach a bounty/reward to the translation task. Other people could chip in to increase the bounty.

Any academic could then take the translating job (reserve it for 24 hours) and collect the bounty if the translation is fine (checked by peers).

All translated papers remain free and open to the public, right there on the website.
Creative contributions

Should This Become a Real Job?

Daami A.
Daami A. Jul 25, 2021
I think this is highly professional in nature.

We could carve this niche in the academic sector. People who specialize in cracking hard research papers especially in Science and Technology.

This will find good applicability in the Economic sector of the world as so many research findings that are very beneficial to humans have not been industrialized.

Most scientists don't understand business and most business people don't understand science.

Business executives could hire a research translator to break down an interesting paper, pay or collaborate with the scientist in charge of the discovery. This will effect great change in our world!

Your idea will change the world!
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The translator could reference knowledge that the reader should learn

Darko Savic
Darko Savic Apr 22, 2021
While translating, the translator could reference information that they think the reader should understand to fully grasp the paper.

This adds some extra work for the translator so it should be paid extra. It effectively makes the translator also an educator. Then we slowly move into the territory of this sister idea.
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Melanie Well3 years ago
This is great. In addition, we could also include translation of important findings, methodology and "take-away" messages into other languages. Many scientific papers are still not published in English. This scholarly knowledge is just as important and should not be disregarded just because we do not speak the language it was written in.
At the same time, we can translate English to other languages of countries where the broader population does not generally enjoy an English education but could really benefit from the findings of some research papers.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic3 years ago
Hi Melanie Well 🙂

Yes, that would be very useful. With GPT3 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GPT-3) in full swing and GPT4 probably soon to come, people will be able to translate anything to any language with the click of a button. GPT4 (or GPT5 at least) would probably even make this proposed app obsolete
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The platform can also be used to interpret information in the opposite direction

Samuel Bello
Samuel Bello Aug 23, 2021
For example, some of the ideas on the brainstorming.com platform might not be easy to grasp by people in the professions that are most relevant to implementing the ideas because of inadequate knowledge of conventional expressions or the limited clarity since some of the contributors may not be good writers. This will become more rampant when there are a lot of posts and it will be harder and more time-consuming for people to interpret and sort through messages. Another challenge is that the most important fragments of the brainstorming sessions are usually scattered between the main idea, creative comments, and numerous replies.

A team of specialists can be organized to rewrite the whole session into concise and well-written academic articles. These articles and other relevant data can be compiled and sent to the organizations that may be interested in such works.
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The use of an analogy searching algorithm can be employed to improve the efficiency of the interpretation

Samuel Bello
Samuel Bello Aug 23, 2021
Usually, it is easier to interpret things to people by using analogies to illustrate major concepts. The intricacies of the subject matter can then be ironed out after the more important things have been understood.

Here the use of an analogy search machine will be used to search the most appropriate analogies that work for a certain group of people. For example, an engineer might find it easier to understand mathematical analogies than a musician would. Once the essence of the scientific or academic data is extracted, it can be inputted into the analogy search algorithm to generate a list of analogies that make these concepts easier to understand. From the list of analogies, the analogies that are most relevant to the audience are then selected.

The analogy search algorithm will be like our plagiarism check engines but they will be more complex. The reason for this complexity is that they will not just be cross-checking words but they will be searching the underlying principles of the concepts involved.

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Specific application to scientific articles that are misrepresented in the public

Michaela D
Michaela D Sep 28, 2021
Very often when media take up scientific articles, simplify them and even distort them, it’s like playing Chinese whispers. This platform would be especially useful to “translate” to the Layman (general public) particular scientific studies whose message is misrepresented.

In this case, scientists themselves could offer to translate those articles and the public could bid and add up to the "bounty" if interested.
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General comments

Shengyao Qian
Shengyao Qian9 months ago
Has anyone revisited this idea after the generative AI breakthrough? This sounds very much like what gpt can do. Just not sure how well it does the job.
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Spook Louw
Spook Louw3 years ago
Allison Gasparini seems to be doing something similar on Twitter and for Forbes. I'm sure there are more like her, which just goes to show that there is a market for this information. - https://www.forbes.com/sites/allisongasparini/?sh=12d76a5379b4
The advantage of the platform would be that it would allow users to make requests and a platform of "translators" would then have the opportunity to translate it
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Spook Louw
Spook Louw3 years ago
This might be a bit off-topic, as it does not deal with the translation of papers directly, but https://sci-hub.do/ is a groundbreaking platform launched by Alexandra Elbakyan in 2011.

Since its launch, she has been taken to court a number of times and continues to be attacked by the scientific community because her platform provides free access to millions of scientific papers. She's being ostracized by the scientific community of the world because she is providing these services for free, as opposed to alternative sources like Elsevier who monetize the copyrights to such papers.

While the site has been gaining popularity over the years, even though they continually need to change their domain name, it still hasn't received nearly enough recognition.

Alexandra has single-handedly provided a way for anyone with an interest in science to access these papers for free, effectively bringing science back to the people.
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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni3 years ago
Most non-experts would not know which papers might be useful for them. In that case, the platform can also help them reach the desired/ needed papers. Assuming non-experts do not know how Pubmed can be used to extract papers of interest and that the title of most papers is too technical (it involves names of genes and cell lines, scientific names of model organisms, scientific jargon that may not be necessary for the layperson to understand the underlying concept), the platform can have its own search algorithm that can send regular newsletters to the users (crowd) that include latest papers of their interest. Also, to get a better idea of what the paper talks about, at least the title can be translated into simple language (for free). The users can then decide whether they want to know more about what the paper talks about and may fund its translation. The title needs to be translated for free by an expert on the platform. The experts may receive some non-monetary rewards for spending the time doing it. Alternatively, the title can be translated by the authors of the paper at the time of submission of the paper for publication. Most journals ask for 2 titles - 1. the original. 2. a short title that explains the findings in brief. Having the authors translate the title for laymen is not something out of their way. The translation needs to be peer-reviewed by high-scoring experts from the field in a similar way they will review the translation of the entire paper.
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Anja M
Anja M4 years ago
This sounds really interesting and, more importantly, needed. Perhaps it would also attract professionals in certain fields who wouldn't be up to this idea otherwise, when they see there is a financial motivation, as well. This is really important since for the texts referring to the particular knowledge one also needs to be an expert in the field and know the source language very well. Also, it could attract students to specialize for this sort of thing while in their BA or MA studies. Not to mention there is always a wider audience in need of the texts in their mother tongues. For the quality insurance, I would suggest experts to be hired to check upon the translations or consult with the translator for some tricky parts. But that is to be developed on a longer run. :)
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