Action Plan for HRS4R and Translation

It concerns the following points:

  • ensure that the need for an English translation is considered at the university when texts/policy documents are produced or updated, in accordance with our Guidelines for English Translation
  • proactive efforts from the Communications Office to identify translation needs

The goal of translation work at the university in general is to promote communication as well as an inclusive and international environment at the University of Borås.  The Communications Office, which is responsible for translation, works to ensure that there are common processes at the university that can ensure the quality, availability, and consistency of translations with our guidelines for the English language.

From our Action Plan to HRS4R:


An action plan for systematic translation of relevant documents to English has been developed (Q3/2021)


All relevant documents are translated to English (Q4/2022)

In progress, but as new documents are created or updated constantly, you can never say that "all" relevant documents have been translated.


Areas of responsibility in translation matters according to the guidelines

In our Guidelines for English Translation Reg. no. 757-16 we describe the different areas of responsibility in translation matters.

The Communications Office’s responsibilities

  • The Communications Office is responsible for translating and proofreading texts that the office itself has produced and considers need to be available in English to meet the needs of university employees and students, as well as other such texts identified by other departments at the University of Borås.

Responsible manager for the text/policy document 

  • The responsible manager for the text is otherwise responsible for deciding whether an English translation needs to be produced or updated based on the needs of the target audience.

Relevant administrator

  • The relevant administrator is responsible for liaising with Communications Office for support with translation.
  • The administrator is also responsible for ensuring that preliminary translations are sent back to Communications Office after any review or comments from the department. That is to that the Communications Office can ensure that any changes are made in accordance with the Communication Office’s guidelines for the English language.
  • The responsible administrator is then responsible for ensuring that the finalised translation is made available and that relevant documents that have been translated are sent to the archives at the Registrar’s Office.

Compliance with the guidelines

In order for our Guidelines for English Translation to be better followed, a communication effort towards the university is needed so that the employees are aware of their responsibilities in this area and understand the importance of translation and the updating of translations as well as how they can be supported in this. Process changes may also be needed so that those responsible systematically consider the need for a translation or update of a translation.


Policy documents

  • The Guidelines for English Translation are not fully complied with as relevant managers do not always consider that an English translation needs to be produced or updated based on the needs of the target audience.
  • Administrators sometimes have difficulties in delivering to the Communications Office documents that can (in a technical sense) be translated (e.g. they only have scanned PDF files). This was the case with most of the policy documents identified as needing translation in the HRS4R preparation work.
  • Administrators sometimes have difficulties with delivering to the Communications Office documents that can be published on the website (accessible documents) or with making these documents available after translation.
  • Sometimes the process of expert review of translated texts is problematic for the administrators to achieve.
  • Sometimes the policy document does not have a current administrator.
  • Sometimes policy documents have been identified as being in need of translation but updates are expected first. According to our guidelines, the Swedish text needs to be ready before a translation begins.
  • Policy documents are published in various places on the university website and can be difficult to find even when they are translated.

Websites/other texts, e.g. signs

  • The Guidelines for English Translation are not fully complied with as relevant managers do not always consider that an English translation needs to be produced or updated based on the needs of the target audience.
  • There may also be a need for information adapted to the target audience, which may involve complications.
  • It can be a technical problem if subpages higher in the hierarchy on the website are not translated; for example, you may need to translate several other webpages in order for the current webpage to be found or this needs to be solved in another way.
  • Sometimes those responsible are not interested in or comfortable with having/handling an English translation even though there is a need among the target audience.

Action plan activities

New university-wide review of translation needs

Start: Autumn 2021

Completed: Submissions sent in by late autumn, translations in progress winter-spring 21-22 based on priorities

Follow up: Late spring 2022

In order to a) better inform the university about the importance of and how to receive help with translation according to our guidelines and b) at the same time systematically and proactively identify texts that need to be translated/updated in English, the Communications Office performed a university-wide review (last done in 2017, and which we will now do every four years from now on) of the need for English translations at the university. We asked university staff and students to submit/give tips about on documents/webpages/other (e.g. laboratory signs, guidelines) that lack translations or updated translation in English. This was relevant for any text where there was a possible need for information in English so that all students and employees (and prospective ones) can have access to the information they need on equal terms, e.g. safety and work environment, doctoral student information, HR, education and general information about the university and Faculties/departments. 

The Communications Office started this work on spring 21 with a new mapping/request of missing translations by asking the university's Legal Expert for help in the identification of policy documents that are relevant for translation and therefore several documents have been translated during the spring (ROB, and its update will come soon, SOB , Procedure for Suspected Research Misconduct as well as Breaches of Good Research Practice other than Misconduct at the University of Borås, Rules for sound recording, photography, filming, etc. in connection with teaching situations at the University of Borås) and more.


  1. Make a communication plan
  2. Implement the communication plan to inform the university
  3. Receive tips/suggestions for translation
  4. Sort and prioritise among the suggestions
  5. Identify the relevant administrator or equivalent
  6. Ensure with the administrator that a translation does not already exist
  7. Ensure with the administrator that a translation may be made
  8. Ensure with the administrator that texts without translations will not be updated soon (if so, wait for the update)
  9. Ensure with the administrator that the texts that need to be translated are in a Word file format (and an accessible one if it is a document to be uploaded on the website)
  10. Translate all relevant texts
  11. Arrange for an expert review through the administrator if necessary, or ensure an administrator reviews the translation
  12. Final review of the text by the Communications Office
  13. Ensure with the administrator that publication/printing takes place
  14. Ensure with administrator that record-keeping with the Registrar’s Office is done, when appropriate
  15. Feedback to the university about the review


The Communications Office is responsible for several of these points, but not all. A challenge in this work is that there will be a lack of clarity regarding areas of responsibility if it is now the Communications Office that calls for documents to be translated instead of the responsible manager/administrator contacting the Communications Office, which means that it may not be so smooth all the time to get a document in the right format that can be translated and then make sure that the translation becomes available/published/recorded. These circumstances can involve a lot of administration in addition to the actual review and translation.

Systematic review of the website

Start: Spring 2021

Completed: Never completed because the website is constantly updated, but at least 25 top pages ready autumn 21, 50 top pages winter 21-22, 75 top pages spring-autumn 22

Follow up: Autumn 22

The Communications Office used the Siteimprove tool to identify the most frequently visited web pages on (top 75) and worked to ensure that, if necessary based on the needs of the target group, English translations are available, are of good quality and are updated.


  1. Siteimprove was used to identify the most frequently visited pages on relevant to English-speaking visitors (prospective students and employees, students and employees)
  2. Review the information in English on the external website and the employee website from different perspectives relevant to researchers: recruitment, new employee (with a focus on information especially for new employees at a university/Swedish authority), and research support
  3. Interviews with 2-3 foreign researchers employed at UB to identify information gaps in English
  4. Translate relevant texts
  5. Expert review if necessary or review by page manager/administrator
  6. Final review of texts
  7. Resolving issues that may apply to website publishing (e.g. webpages above the structure that are not translated—may mean the whole process starts over)
  8. Publishing on the website


Liaising with relevant administrators responsible for the webpages is required here, which may involve administration in addition to the translation itself. Adapting the texts for different target audiences can also require work here. There may also be technical problems regarding the placement of information that must be resolved.

Proactive handling of quality assurance/translation of texts in English

Start: Q4 21

Completed: Q3 22

Follow up: Q4 22

Many translations/English texts are not produced by the Communications Office. Sometimes texts are not always correct, clear or consistent, which can mean problems for the university's image and the target audience's access to information.

Here, the Communications Office has started to identify particularly vulnerable texts (e.g. calendar entries) and provide the relevant administrators with templates in English. 

The Communications Office has also investigated technical possibilities to, in the web tool, support staff to contact the Communications Office for help with translations, for example through an automatic reminder to create an English version of a new webpage. It is not relevant to develop such a function now, but may be a possibility in the future.

The Communications Office will also discuss ways to remind the importance of good translations and the support that is available for this at regular intervals, for example via the quality system or via communications to managers.

Here, a general review of our programme and course syllabi’s translations (as well as educational programme names/course names in English) could also be placed as they are very inconsistently written. However, since these are formally adopted documents, it is not easy to make changes to them.

Proposals from the Communications Office

Systematic review of policy documents

The Communications Office had wanted to plan to carry out a systematic review of formally adopted documents to ensure that updated translations are available based on the needs of the target audience.  However, after discussion with the Registrar’s Office, there are currently question marks about our ability to implement this because it will be an overly extensive work effort/time-consuming process that does not have personnel.  Another part that needs to be resolved is the consideration of having a collection webpage for translated policy documents, as it could make it easier for English-speaking students and employees, or to be able to search in Finn (record-keeping webpage) in English.

To implement this measure, administrative support would be needed.


  1. Ask the Registrar’s Office for an updated list of policy documents
  2. Search for every case in Finn
  3. Ensure that the documents are active and have not been replaced
  4. See if there is a translation
  5. If translation exists, ensure that the document complete, up-to-date and accurate
  6. Ensure that the documents without translations should not be updated soon (if so, wait for the update)
  7. Ensure that a translation is requested by the responsible manager
  8. Ensure that the documents that need to be translated are in an accessible Word file format
  9. Translate active, accessible documents that lack translations
  10. Arrange for expert review if necessary or review by the relevant administrator
  11. Final review
  12. Any publication/printing
  13. Record-keeping

Changes in the decision-making process regarding policy documents

According to our Guidelines for English Translation, the responsible manager for the text is responsible for deciding whether an English translation needs to be produced or updated based on the needs of the target audience. The Communications Office's ability to influence managers' decision-making is limited.

A proposal made by the Communications Office to ensure that the need for an English translation is considered by the responsible manager is to implement updates to the routines for formally adopted policy documents to that responsible managers (through the relevant administrators) must have made a decision as to whether a translation needs to be done and, if so, systematically contacts the Communications Office. Since it is not something that the Communications Office controls, this proposal is communicated to the Vice-Chancellor’s Executive Office for review.


Eva Medin,

Language Specialist, Communications Office

29 June 2021

* In some cases, instead of translating an entire document, we can ensure that the title is translated and information is available about a summary of the content (or the parts that are relevant to the target group) as well as contact information for an administrator who can answer any questions. This may be a solution for some of the policy documents.  



Action Plan Results as of Q1/23