Science papers are getting harder to read

Baffled student

A study of scientific papers has found that these days they are harder to read.

Here, in a corpus consisting of 707 452 scientific abstracts published between 1881 and 2015 from 122 influential biomedical journals, we show that the readability of science is steadily decreasing. Further, we demonstrate that this trend is indicative of a growing usage of general scientific jargon.

The authors conclude:

more than a quarter of scientific abstracts now have a readability considered beyond college graduate level English.

So if you find a scientific article hard to understand, it may not be your fault!

Source: bioRxiv via Nature