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Using Wikipedia To Make Web Pages More Readable

Chris Jordan and Carolyn Watters

ASIS&T 2008 Annual Meeting (AM08 2008)
Columbus, Ohio, October 24-29, 2008


This paper describes a new tool, called LiteraryMark, for retrieving information specifically designed to help people when they are reading Web pages. LiteraryMark is an extension to the Web browser. It allows readers to highlight the text passages that they want additional information on. The Wikipedia ( article that is the most related to the passage in the context of the paragraph that it occurs in is retrieved. This article is then displayed on the Web page in a pop up box. Readers can glance at the article, expand the size of the pop up box, scroll through the entire article, and navigate its links without having to leave the page they are currently reading. Although the goal is to return one relevant article, the pop up box also allows readers to look at a ranked list of other related Wikipedia articles, if so desired. Unlike systems that simply look up terms, such as Answers (, LiteraryMark allows users to highlight entire passages and uses the Web page to form the context for a search for relevant Wikipedia articles.

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