Research Design Service: East Midlands
National Institute for Health Research
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A tool to help with plain English summaries when reviewing research applications

  Created on Wednesday, 29 Aug 2018. Posted in Toolkit/Database

This is a highly useful tool called the Plain English Lexicon which may be useful to researchers developing their plain English Summary.

The authors’ of the work say this how it can be used:
"You can look up a word in the lexicon to see how often it’s used and who’s likely to know it. When writing for a mass readership, it’s sensible to favour words that need a UK reading age of 13 or less... Higher-level words may need explaining at the point of use or in a glossary. Some readers will infer the meaning of a ‘difficult’ word from the context or by using a dictionary, but they are then working harder than they may like. Remember, though, that the scores in the lexicon are only a guide and, in the end, you should rely on your own judgement."