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Is time up for the Flesch measure of reading ease?

An Erratum to this article was published on 08 September 2016


The Flesch Reading Ease measure is widely used to measure the difficulty of text in various disciplines, including Scientometrics. This letter/paper argues that the measure is now outdated, used inappropriately, and unreliable.

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I am extremely grateful to Guillaume Cabanac for submitting this paper to Scientometrics for me.

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Correspondence to James Hartley.

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An erratum to this article can be found at

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Hartley, J. Is time up for the Flesch measure of reading ease?. Scientometrics 107, 1523–1526 (2016).

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  • Flesch readability
  • Text difficulty