Summarizing is something that you find yourself in the necessity of doing more often than you could possibly expect, especially now that in all areas of business and of research there is a true overload of written material no one has time to read.
So finding a way to create an impressive summary easily and effortlessly has become a truly important task. Fortunately the advances of artificial intelligence, natural language processing and machine learning came to our aid and made it possible to develop a truly effective summarizing technology, that is now capable of summing up entire documents and even books automatically. Humans need only to refine the machine results if they want the final result to be perfect.
So, the problem has now shifted from finding a way to summarize a document in the best way to spotting the best summarize app that does the job for you.
Summarize app: which one to choose?
Nowadays there are many apps that are able to deliver quite impressive summaries in just seconds, so choosing between them is not an easy task. The good news is that many of them offer a free version, just to try. So the best thing you can do is to try out a bunch of them against the same text and then choose the one that delivers the best results for the text to summarize. Keep in mind that the parameters that you use to judge a summary should not be absolutely objective, because it’s up to you to judge what kind of summary you prefer or is more apt to your goals. Just to make an example, if you need to sum up a scientific paper you probably need a different kind of summary than if you want to summarize a novel. So if you want to deal only with a specific kind of text you should look for a specialized summarizer that is tailored to the text to summarize. In any case, here are some of the most renowned summarize apps.
Resoomer is able to deal with multiple languages. It offers a free version and a premium account which allows to sum up texts of up to 200.000 characters (instead of 40.000 for the free version). With the free version you have to cut and paste texts while with the premium version you can import entire documents. Resoomer is aimed at argumentative kinds of texts.
With Text Summarize by PaperLit (a tech company of the Datrix group) you can compress your text choosing the amount of compression you prefer (from 10% to 90% of the original text). It’s completely free. It can deal with any kind of texts. If you need more complex solutions PaperLit also offers cutting edge machine learning and artificial intelligence integrations.
Tools4Noobs is a freeware open source project. You can insert the URL of the document to summarize or just cut and paste the text. You can choose the percentage of compression or also the number of lines of the final output and also other parameters like the minimum sentence length. If you want to integrate it into your program or website you can buy the php script.
Summarizebot can deal with most file formats including videos, mp3 and jpg. It claims to use state-of-the-art machine learning, artificial intelligence and blockchain technology to deliver superior results. It offers customized integration and APIs. It is available on a 14 days free trial basis, otherwise there are two pricing options: monthly and pay as you go.
Scholarcy as the name suggests is mainly aimed at academic users. Apart from AI based summarization it offers interesting features such as background reading suggestions, important points highlighting, referenced summary creation, references finding and figures and tables extraction in xls format. It offers a free trial otherwise is a paid service.
Summarizing: the golden rules
In any case, either you opt for the digitally aided procedure or for the completely manual human driven one, to obtain from the text to summarize a truly impressive summary you should comply to the following rules:
- Whenever possible use your words (automatic summarizers often use an extractive approach, where entire sentences are extrapolated from the text: in this case obviously this rule cannot be respected)
- Don’t insert your personal opinions or point of view into your summary: a summary should be neutral and objective
- Keep it short, your summary’s length should be maximum 10/15% of the text to summarize and it should not be a paraphrase
- Keep it simple: use plain not convoluted language and adopt the present tense. Your summary should be easy to read and to understand and make it easier to people to access the knowledge or informations
- Spot out the main or the mains topics and organize your summary around those, showing the logical connections between the various elements or ideas
- Keep some notes while you read or draw a mental map of the text structure, so as to organize your summary around it
- Always remember the audience of your summary and write having in mind who the summary is for
- If you use a summarize app try to understand if it uses an extractive or an abstractive approach and which one do you prefer and you think is more adequate to your goals.
If you adhere to the above rules, you’ll certainly do a great job out of your text to summarize and obtain great, truly useful abstracts.