Call for Papers Special Issue JoSTrans | Experimental Research and Cognition in AVT

Journal of Specialised Translation 33 (January 2020) |

Special issue ‘Experimental Research and Cognition in Audiovisual Translation’

Guest editors: Jorge Díaz Cintas and Agnieszka Szarkowska

In recent years, we have witnessed an unprecedented boom in experimental research in the field of audiovisual translation (AVT). Researchers from around the world have proved increasingly willing to rely on technology and statistical analysis to interrogate their object of studyand have started to implement a combination of new methods and technologies to examine the various cognitive aspects that influence the reception of audiovisual translation productions as well as the actual process of AVT production. In this sense, studies on reception and processes have become pivotal in recent academic exchanges, with the viewer and the practitioner becoming the focal point of the investigation. Studies on practices such as subtitling and dubbing coexist with investigations on media accessibility and show a shift of focus from the textual idiosyncrasies of the original to the effects that the ensuing translation has on viewers. These aspects include different indicators of cognitive load, various types of immersion, visual memory, and subtitle reading, to name but a few.

Of particular note in this attempt to measure human behaviour is the application of physiological instruments such as eye trackers, frequently used in fields like advertising and social sciences, to the experimental investigation of AVT. Some of these devices have helped scholars to move away from speculation to observation of subjects. In addition to instruments like eye trackers, and more traditional ones such as questionnaires and interviews, a wide array of other biometric tools are also being used in this new research ecosystem such as galvanic skin response devices to measure participants’ levels of arousal, and webcams to record and conduct facial expression analysis to inform researchers about respondents’ basic emotions (anger, surprise, joy, etc.), to monitor their engagement, and to assess if they are expressing their attitude in observable behaviour. Electroencephalography (EEG) and electrocardiograms (ECG) are also being tested to assess brain and heart activity respectively, which can provide helpful insights into cognitive-affective processes.

We envisage contributions to come from two main strands of research in AVT: reception of audiovisual products on the various heterogeneous groups that make up the audience (e.g. investigating different parameters in subtitling or audio description); and translation process research, focusing on the work of professional and/or amateur audiovisual translators (e.g. comparing professionals and trainees, analysis of workflows, etc.). As one of the main objectives of this issue is to map out and evaluate current practice, we also welcome methodological contributions on conducting experimental and empirical research in AVT.

For this special issue, we particularly invite contributions addressing one or more of the following areas:

  • Experimental AVT studies using various physiological instruments and biosensors, such as eye tracking, EEG, ECG, face recognition, keylogging, etc.
  • The reception of AVT productions: subtitling, dubbing, audio description, etc.
  • Insights into the translation processes of the various AVT practices
  • Methodological considerations related to experimental studies in AVT
  • Impact of research on the professional practice, the training of future translators and legislation

We welcome contributions of full-length papers of between 7k and 8k words (including endnotes and references). All accepted contributions will be double blind peer-reviewed.

Publication Schedule

  • Deadline for proposals: 19 February 2018

To propose a paper, please send your abstract (500 words excluding references) to both editors of the Special Issue (with thesubject line JoSTrans Issue 33)

Jorge Díaz Cintas (

Agnieszka Szarkowska (

  • All contributors will be notified of the outcome of their submissions by26 March 2018.

All accepted contributors will receive further instructions and information with their notification of acceptance.

  • Publication: January 2020

The journal style sheet can be downloaded

Photo by Flickr user Mark Dolby (see original), used under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 2.0 licence.