Eye tracking in translation process research: methodological challenges and solutions
O'Brien, Sharon (2009) Eye tracking in translation process research: methodological challenges and solutions. In: Mees, Inger M. and Alves, Fabio and Gopferich, Susanne, (eds.) Methodology, technology and innovation in translation process research: a tribute to Arnt Lykke Jakobsen. Copenhagen studies in language, 38 . Samfundslitteratur, Copenhagen, pp. 251-266. ISBN 9788759314760
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Eye tracking has been eagerly adopted as a technique in translation process research in recent years and, with it, comes a long list of methodological challenges, some of which are specific to translation process research, some of which are more general. This paper represents an attempt by a recent convert to eye tracking to document the various challenges and to offer suggestions for how some of them might be addressed by others who are interested in embracing this very interesting mode of investigation. It is difficult to comment only on those challenges related to eye tracking without mentioning issues that pertain to the more general questions of research design in the domain of translation process research as the two are inevitably linked. By highlighting challenges, one is inevitably exposing research design weaknesses. However, this should not be viewed negatively but should rather be seen as a means of improving the quality of combined research outputs with the aim of maturing the domain.
This paper is broadly divided into two parts: the first discusses the methodological challenges, which in turn are divided into the categories of research environment, research participants, ethics, data explosion and validity. Each section is then repeated in the second part of the paper, which offers suggestions on how the challenges might be addressed.
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