Workshop on Text Simplification, Accessibility, and Readability (TSAR-2022)

Workshop and Shared Task at EMNLP 2022

Submit papers


19th July -- Registration open at the Shared Task on Lexical Simplification for English, Portuguese and Spanish: Shared Task Task website
25th July -- All submissions to the Workshop have to go through softconf. Deadline: 7th September.
4th September -- Deadline extension to 13th September 2022.
7th September -- Deadline for Shared Task Registration
8th September -- Shared Task: Release of Test set release (without gold annotations).
15th September - Shared Task: Deadline for Submission of systems' outputs


The Text Simplification, Accessibility, and Readability (TSAR) workshop aims at bringing together researchers, developers and industries of assistive technologies, public organizations representatives, and other parties interested in the problem of making information more accessible to all citizens. We will discuss recent trends and developments in the area of automatic text simplification, automatic readability assessment, language resources and evaluation for text simplification, etc.. The workshop will be an online event or hybrid event (depending on the evolution of the COVID pandemic) held during the  EMNLP-2022 conference on 8 of December, 2022.

Call for Papers

Web provides an abundance of knowledge and information that can reach large populations. However, the way in which a text is written (vocabulary, syntax, or text organization/structure), or presented, can make it inaccessible for many people, especially for non-native speakers, people with low literacy, and people with some type of cognitive or linguistic impairments. The results of Adult Literacy Survey (OECD, 2023) indicate that approximately 16.7% of adult population (averaged over 24 highly-developed countries) requires lexical, 50% syntactic, and 89.4% conceptual simplification of everyday texts (Štajner, 2021).

Research on automatic text simplification (TS), textual accessibility, and readability thus have the potential to improve social inclusion of marginalized populations. These related research areas have increasingly attracted more and more attention in the past ten years, evidenced by the growing number of publications in NLP conferences. While only about 300 articles in Google Scholar mentioned TS in 2010, this number has increased to about 600 in 2015 and greater than 1000 in 2020 (Štajner, 2021).

Recent research in automatic text simplification has mostly focused on proposing the use of methods derived from the deep learning paradigm (Glavaš and Štajner, 2015; Paetzold and Specia, 2016; Nisioi et al., 2017; Zhang and Lapata, 2017; Martin et al., 2020; Maddela et al., 2021; Sheang and Saggion, 2021). However, there are many important aspects of the automatic text simplification that need the attention of our community: the design of appropriate evaluation metrics, the development of context-aware simplification solutions, the creation of appropriate language resources to support research and evaluation, the deployment of simplification in real environments for real users, the study of discourse factors in text simplification, the identification of factors affecting the readability of a text, etc. To overcome those issues, there is a need for collaboration of CL/NLP researchers, machine learning and deep learning researchers, UI/UX and Accessibility professionals, as well as public organizations representatives (Štajner, 2021).
The proposed TSAR workshop builds upon the recent success of several regional workshops that covered a subset of our topics of interest, including the SEPLN 2021 Current Trends in Text Simplification (CTTS) and the SimpleText workshop at CLEF 2021, as well as the birds-of-a-feather event on Text Simplification at NAACL 2021 (over 50 participants).

The TSAR workshop aims to foster collaboration among all parties interested in making information more accessible to all people. Through the two invited talks, a shared task on lexical simplification, the round table discussion, regular oral and poster presentations of workshop papers, we will discuss recent trends and developments in the area of automatic text simplification, text accessibility, automatic readability assessment, language resources and evaluation for text simplification, etc.


We invite contributions on the following topics (among others):  


Invited Speakers

Matt Huenerfauth

Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)

Sowmya Vajjala

National Research Council of Canada

Program (TBA)

Schedule (GMT+4 - Abu Dhabi time zone)

09:30-10:30         Session 1

10:30-11:00         Coffee Break

11:00-12:30         Session 2

12:30-14:00         Lunch break

14:00-15:30         Session 3

15:30-16:00         Coffee Break

16:00-16:30         Round table discussion

16:30-17:30         Invited talk (Matt Huenerfauth)

17:30-17:45         Coffee Break

17:45-18:45         Invited talk (Sowmya Vajjala)

18:45-19:00         Closing session

Accepted Papers - Talk

Accepted Papers - Posters


All accepted papers will be included in the workshop proceedings and published in ACL Anthology.
Extended versions of the best papers will be invited for a special issue of Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence focused on: applied research for TS and readability assessment in the context of TS.


Sanja Štajner

NLP Researcher, Germany

Horacio Saggion

Chair in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence and Head of the LaSTUS Lab in the TALN-DTIC, Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Wei Xu

Assistant Professor at School of Interactive Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology

Marcos Zampieri

Assistant Professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology

Matthew Shardlow

Senior Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University

Daniel Ferrés

Post-Doctoral Research Assistant at LaSTUS Lab. at TALN-DTIC, Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Kai North

Ph.D. student at the Rochester Institute of Technology

Kim Cheng Sheang

PhD student at LaSTUS Lab. at TALN-DTIC, Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Program Committee (Tentative)



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