28 septembre 2012

Wikipedia : Too Sophisticated ?

 

Wikipedia ‘s Writing. Tests Show It is Too Sophisticated for Its Audience (tw : MD)
http://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2012/09/24/wikipedias-writing-tests-show-its-too-sophisticated-for-its-audience/


« Using  Dr. Fry’s readability formula (number of sentences per hundred words, number of syllables per hundred words), a group of researchers in the Netherlands analyzed the readability of Wikipedia overall. Their paper, published in First Monday, is quite readable ».

Readability of Wikipedia
by Teun Lucassen, Roald Dijkstra, and Jan Maarten Schraagen
First Monday, Volume 17, Number 9 - 3 September 2012
http://www.uic.edu/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/3916/3297

« A common measure of basic readability is the Flesch score. Standard reading level is at a Flesch score of about 60 or higher, with lower scores equating to more difficult reading. The scientific literature is pegged in various studies to have a reading score of around 30 ».

« Eliminating the short articles (five or fewer sentences), the authors found that the readability score of the majority of Wikipedia (73.5%) is 51.18 (SD = 13.84), which is lower than the goal of 60 (Standard). In addition, 45% of the articles could be qualified as Difficult or worse. The reading score for the Simple English Wikipedia came in at 61.69 »

The authors also created a tool you can use to test the readability of any entry in Wikipedia.
http://www.readabilityofwikipedia.com/

They suggest two explanations :
- « Experts are notoriously bad at writing for non-expert audiences... Even when they try, it’s difficult for advanced readers and writers to write to a lower reading level ».
- « robust borrowing from authoritative resources also likely contributes to the works’ difficulties in reaching the optimal readability scores ».

« the challenge of making scientific information approachable — and therefore, accessible — is much deeper, much more difficult, and much more complex than simply removing reader funding ».

You may also read the blog 's readers comments.

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wp-sentences

Readability of Wikipedia
source : http://www.uic.edu/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/3916/3297



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