People need easy access to understandable, unbiased health information. Therefore, ideally, Cochrane evidence should be freely available, easily accessible and preferably available in the first language of lay users. To facilitate that, Cochrane began implementing a comprehensive translation strategy at the beginning of 2014. A few months later, the three German-speaking Cochrane Centres of Austria, Germany and Switzerland started to translate plain language summaries (PLSs) of Cochrane Reviews to be published on the then newly launched web platform 'Cochrane Kompakt'. PLSs have been prioritized, but a number of Cochrane abstracts have also been translated. Recently, we added the translation of podcasts and press releases to our translation repertoire.
To describe German translation efforts and highlight progress from the time of launch until today.
Methods and results:
More than 1400 PLSs and 71 abstracts have been published in German up to February 2018. Individual translators or translation teams with various health backgrounds, such as physicians, nurses, physiotherapists and medical translators, have been involved in translation and editing processes. To date, co-operation with eight German discipline-specific journals has been established, which publish translations of PLSs or abstracts of Cochrane Reviews in the fields of physiotherapy, midwifery, general medicine, nursing, urology and speech therapy. The number of monthly translation page views on Cochrane.org by German language started at 1331 in October 2014 and increased to 18,031 in December 2017. This great increase might have been positively influenced by the German language Cochrane blog 'Wissen was wirkt' (since 2015) and our dissemination activities on Twitter and Facebook (since 2017). A new development is the regular translation of podcasts into German. Currently, eight German language podcasts have been translated.
A lot of Cochrane evidence has been translated into German during four years of translation activities. These efforts could be increased over time, thanks to volunteer translators and an established translation process.
Patient or healthcare consumer involvement:
Providing evidence for patients and healthcare consumers in plain language and mother tongue in collaboration with experts in various medical fields.