With the Internet-mediated potential for producing a target-language text at the native-speaker/expert level, the role of a translator is goes beyond merely bridging two languages. In academic translation, in particular, a translator should focus his/her efforts on producing a manuscript acceptable to the journal rather than just a translation faithfully reproducing the source text in the target language. Manuscripts (representing their authors) do not mind receiving radical plastic surgery to improve their chances of being accepted by or even featured in a journal. Authors prefer unfaithful beauty to faithful ordinariness if faithful beauty is not among the options.
As an example of the contribution a translator can make beyond the pure linguistic realm, here's an episode of one correction and one recommendation I made in a 12-page manuscript I recently translated. One of the words the author copied from a cited paper was "discharge" when describing the water entering a fishway installed beside a dam. Actually, upstream water is discharged downstream through spillway gates and flows into a fishway through its entrance. I checked that there was no mention of fishway in the cited paper and put "inflow" next to "discharge" in square brackets because quoted wording should not be changed. The other term of concern was "visual predators." Reporting that some of the fish species were using the fishway from dusk until dawn, the author stated that this pattern was not explicable because there were no "visual predators" among the fish species using the fishway. I felt something wrong in his reasoning because birds -- not other fish species -- are usually visual predators of fish. After confirming my suspicion in the cited paper, I offered the author an alternative explanation.
A question may arise as to whether such translator intervention is necessary or even allowed. Personally, I think intervention belongs to the basic duties of translators living in the Internet era of knowledge sharing and profiting from open-access resources. Authors may not have adequate knowledge of the target language and will quote insufficiently or inadequately understood content from target-language literature. Translators, insofar as they have access to the related papers, should ensure that the content quoted from those papers is not distorted in the manuscripts they translate. In this sense, translators play an active role in the knowledge-sharing global community of academia and industry. There is no room for debates over translation theories, such as formal or communicative translation, because it is the accuracy and impact of the resulting work that matters beyond the linguistic aspect of how faithfully or fluently the source language is rendered in the target language.