Coactivity: Philology, Educology / Santalka: Filologija, Edukologija, Vol 24, No 2 (2016)

Languages and their Usage in Research: An Examination of Academic Journals at Vilnius University

Virginija Masiulionytė (Vilnius University, Lithuania)
Vaiva Žeimantienė (Vilnius University, Lithuania)


This paper aims to examine the usage and role of languages in different research areas in Lithuania. To answer these questions, a case study was undertaken, investigating the academic journals published at Vilnius University in the period from 2004 to 2013. The list of periodical publications chosen for investigation consists of 24 research journals. 8 journals cover the area of humanities, 11 the area of social sciences and 5 the area of natural and formal sciences. In the course of the investigation 5664 research articles were analyzed. The specific concern was the language of the article itself, the language of its summary/abstract and languages of reference works. The analysis of the whole period data shows that the main language of the articles in the area of humanities is the national language (Lithuanian, 60.9%), followed be English (22.6%). Among the other languages, German (7.4%) and Russian (6.9%) seem to be of importance. It can be noted that there was no significant change in the language usage tendencies between 2004 and 2013. In the social sciences area, the researchers publish mainly in Lithuanian (65.5%) and English (31.9%), whereby English clearly dominates in the papers on economics. The same two languages can be found in the area of natural and formal sciences with English as by far the dominant language (91.5%). In is noteworthy that during the period considered, the number of articles in English in both of these areas – social sciences and natural and formal sciences – has slightly grown (ca. 7–8%). To summarize the findings, English is the dominant language in 9 among the investigated 24 research journals and is mainly used in papers on economics, natural sciences, mathematics, informatics and Oriental studies. Lithuanian is the first language of choice in 11 journals (papers on history, religion, philosophy, psychology, sociology, law, education studies, communication, information and geography). Multilingual are the journals covering linguistics, literature and archeology.

Article in: Lithuanian

Article published: 2017-05-09

Keyword(s): language of research; language usage; national language; Lithuanian; English; academic journals.

DOI: 10.3846/cpe.2016.303

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Coactivity: Philology, Educology / Santalka: Filologija, Edukologija ISSN 2351-714X, eISSN 2335-7711
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