Scientific Papers Are Getting Less Readable

“The readability of scientific texts is decreasing over time”, according to a new paper just out. Swedish researchers Pontus Plaven-Sigray and colleagues say that scientists today use longer and more complex words than those of the past, making their writing harder to read. But what does it mean?

Here’s the key result. This image shows text readability metrics from 709,577 abstracts, drawn from 123 biomedical journals, published in English between 1881 and 2015.

There’s been a clear

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