B – The Flesch Reading Ease measure

Hartley J. Is time up for the Flesch measure of reading ease? Scientometrics 2016;107(3):1523-26
(doi: 10.1007/s11192-016-1920-7)

The Flesch Reading Ease measure is widely used to measure the difficulty of text in various disciplines, including Scientometrics. This paper argues that the measure is now outdated, used inappropriately, and unreliable. According to the author, it is now time to abandon the notion of one measure and one computer programme being suitable for all purposes. Different computer-based programmes would have greater validity than the Flesch but probably they would still fail to take into account the effects of other variables that affect readability.