by Pontus Plavén-Sigray, Granville James Matheson, Björn Christian Schiffler et al.
eLife Sciences, 2017;6:e27725
14 pp. 2.4 MB
Clarity and accuracy of reporting are fundamental to the scientific process. Readability formulas can estimate how difficult a text is to read. Here, in a corpus consisting of 709,577 abstracts published between 1881 and 2015 from 123 scientific journals, the authors show that the readability of science is steadily decreasing. Their analyses show that this trend is indicative of a growing use of general scientific jargon. These results are concerning for scientists and for the wider public, as they impact both the reproducibility and accessibility of research findings.