On the applicability of Internet-mediated research methods to investigate translators’ cognitive behaviour


  • Christopher D. Mellinger Kent State University


keystroke logging, online data collection, translation process research, Internet-mediated research


Experimental research into cognitive processes in translation is often faulted for small sample sizes and the lack of generalisability of findings. Researchers face constraints when identifying and recruiting participants for studies, since the traditional site-bound laboratory imposes geographic limitations on who can potentially participate. Internet-mediated research is a potential solution to this issue, as it expands the size of participant pools and eliminates the need for participant travel. Moreover, different participant variables can be introduced into research projects since scholars are not confined to the local testing area. Keystroke logging in particular is one data collection method that is well suited for Internet-mediated research, yet has not been widely employed in this manner. Here, the literature is reviewed as it relates to Internet-mediated research, with particular emphasis on keystroke logging and translation process research. Specific considerations must be addressed before researchers undertake this type of research project, including the following: the participants themselves; ethics and confidentiality; ecological validity; data security; hardware and software; and the desired measures. Internet-mediated research should be seen as a complement to laboratory studies rather than their replacement.