This study focuses on medical abstracts, which are a particular text genre used in international medical and scientific academic literature. The language used in abstracts cannot be immediately up taken and captured by readers who are not professionals. Therefore, original medical abstracts were evaluated using specific online readability tools with the aim to assess the reading ease and the readability necessary to read and understand the content of medical abstracts in academic journals. The abstracts were analyzed using Content Analysis SEO Tool. With a total corpus of 24.214 words, a mean lexical density of 57.85% was found indicating that the text was extremely full in lexical terms. This high lexical density together with a lexical diversity of 57.51% makes medical abstracts some of the most difficult texts to read. Clearly, according to the calculations, 18.42% of reading ease and 17.46 of readability lead to the conclusion that medical abstracts are readable by a professional audience but they are too difficult if they were intended for the general public. Medical abstracts still remain a specific academic genre that can be managed only by people working in the scientific and medical fields, as the language they speak is still addressed to a specific and limited language community.

Are Medical Abstracts Readable?

Franca Daniele
2022-01-01

Abstract

This study focuses on medical abstracts, which are a particular text genre used in international medical and scientific academic literature. The language used in abstracts cannot be immediately up taken and captured by readers who are not professionals. Therefore, original medical abstracts were evaluated using specific online readability tools with the aim to assess the reading ease and the readability necessary to read and understand the content of medical abstracts in academic journals. The abstracts were analyzed using Content Analysis SEO Tool. With a total corpus of 24.214 words, a mean lexical density of 57.85% was found indicating that the text was extremely full in lexical terms. This high lexical density together with a lexical diversity of 57.51% makes medical abstracts some of the most difficult texts to read. Clearly, according to the calculations, 18.42% of reading ease and 17.46 of readability lead to the conclusion that medical abstracts are readable by a professional audience but they are too difficult if they were intended for the general public. Medical abstracts still remain a specific academic genre that can be managed only by people working in the scientific and medical fields, as the language they speak is still addressed to a specific and limited language community.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11564/789813
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