Overview of SimpleText CLEF 2021 workshop and pilot tasks
Scientific literacy is important for people to make right decisions, evaluate the information quality, maintain physiological and mental health, avoid spending money on useless items. However, since scientific publications are difficult for people outside the domain and so they do not read them at all even if they are accessible. Text simplification approaches can remove some of these barriers to use scientific information, thereby promoting the use of objective scientific findings and avoiding that users rely on shallow information in sources prioritizing commercial or political incentives rather than the correctness and informational value. The CLEF 2021 SimpleText workshop addresses the opportunities and challenges of text simplification approaches to improve scientific information access head-on. This year, we run three pilot tasks trying to answer the following questions: (1) What information should be simplified? (2) Which terms should be contextualized by giving a definition and/or application? (3) How to improve the readability of a given short text (e.g. by reducing vocabulary and syntactic complexity) without significant information distortion?