A comparison of different approaches for editing health-related information: An editor's satisfaction perspective

Tags: Poster
Rossetti A1, Rodríguez Vázquez S1, Ried J2, O'Brien S1
1School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies, Dublin City University, 2Cochrane

Background: The need to provide health information in Plain English (PE) for non-native speakers and for individuals with low literacy levels has been widely acknowledged (1, 2) . Use of PE has also been shown to facilitate translation. Numerous institutions (e.g. the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or Cochrane) currently provide guidelines on how to develop health content in PE. In addition, authoring support tools (such as Acrolinx) are being increasingly used to simplify health information (3, 4) , particularly as a result of the difficulties that contributors may encounter in remembering long lists of PE guidelines while editing (5, 6).

Objectives: This study investigates differences in the level of satisfaction experienced by editors when editing health content using both an automated and a non-automated approach. To the best of our knowledge, no prior work has compared these scenarios in terms of editors’ satisfaction.

Methods: Editors will be asked to simplify selected content of Cochrane's Systematic Reviews using two scenarios: (i) by manually implementing Cochrane’s guidelines for plain language summaries (e.g. The Cochrane Collaboration 2013), i.e. through a non-automated approach; and (ii) by applying Acrolinx author support rules (7), i.e. by means of an automated approach. Satisfaction will be measured via post-session questionnaires (8).

Results: Preliminary results based on data collected during a secondment at Cochrane UK in Oxford will be presented.

Conclusions: We expect that findings referring to editors’ satisfaction will be particularly important in the case of editing environments that rely on volunteers (e.g. Cochrane or Simple English Wikipedia). Developing an editing scenario that maximises volunteer editors’ satisfaction might increase the number of contributors and, in turn, the amount of health information which is made available in PE.


1) Gilliver 2015.

2) Parker and Kreps 2005.

3) Azzam et al. 2016.

4) Ojala 2013.

5) Temnikova 2012.

6) Aikawa et al. 2007.

7) Bredenkamp et al. 2000.

8) Brooke 1996.