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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/J018805/1
Title: Lexico-syntactic text simplification for improving information access
Principal Investigator: Siddharthan, Dr A
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Computing Science
Organisation: University of Aberdeen
Scheme: First Grant - Revised 2009
Starts: 28 February 2013 Ends: 31 August 2014 Value (£): 97,365
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Artificial Intelligence Comput./Corpus Linguistics
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Education Creative Industries
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
07 Mar 2012 EPSRC ICT Responsive Mode - Mar 2012 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Text simplification is the process of reducing the grammatical and lexical complexity of a text, while

retaining its information content and meaning. The main goal of simplification is to make information

more accessible to the large numbers of people with reduced literacy. The National Literacy Trust

(www.literacytrust.org.uk) estimates that one in six adults in the UK have poor literacy skills. There is

therefore a need to make information available in simple English, as advocated by organisations such as

the Plain English Campaign (www.plainenglish.co.uk). This need for text simplification is likely to

become more acute for a variety of reasons; for instance, a growing aging population with language difficulties

arising from neurodegeneration and other causes, children accessing information on the internet or lay

readers trying to access technical writing online (perhaps, to research an illness or treatment).

One of the most popular information sources online is Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.org), a free-content

encyclopedia written collaboratively by internet volunteers. The Simple English Wikipedia

(simple.wikipedia.org) initiative to make information more accessible contains over 60,000 articles in

Simplified English. However, these are only a fraction of the 3.3 million articles in the main English

Wikipedia and further, the simplified articles tend to be very short (often just the first paragraph). Our

goals in this proposal are twofold. From a theoretical perspective we want to gain an understanding of

the text revisions humans perform to simplify text, and learn rules for simplification from corpora. From

an applied perspective, we want to implement a system for automatic text simplification that can perform

the wide range of revisions that humans perform. We will make this system available to the Simple

English Wikipedia community as a tool to expand the content available in simplified form.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Impacts
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Summary
Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.abdn.ac.uk