What is the acceptable procedure for writing proper names in Japanese academic papers when you don't know the official Japanese translation or the katakana for it?
Is there an expectation that all references to proper names must adhere to the official translation when mentioned in an academic conference paper presentation, journal article, and/or doctoral thesis? Or is it acceptable to create your own translation or make your own guess as to the katakana if you cannot easily find a source for the official one? Is it considered unprofessional and looked down upon to do this?
- For writing an academic paper, is there an official translation of the name of the The Biological Laboratory of the U.S. Fish Commission which existed in Woods Hole (ウッズホール), Massachusetts in the mid-19th century (not sure if it still exists today) or can I myself translate that as 「米国水産生物学実験所」? It seems to be part of 合衆国水産委員会, but there are more than one famous marine science institutions in Woods Hole.
- Is there an official spelling of Elizabeth Cabot Agassiz's name (co-founder and first president of Radcliffe College)? The name Cabot seems to have a variety of pronunciations so I don't know what to use to write her name in katakana.
- Is there an official spelling of the surname Worcester? I found ウスター is the name for the city name that has that spelling but that ウォーセスター could be a spelling for the surname.
What is the customary way to deal with these questions while writing an academic paper when you don't have time to hunt down an official source, especially when the proper name may be of a historical entity that had an official Japanese translation in the past but which no longer exists?