We are very proud that What Makes a Good and Useful Summary? Incorporating Users in Automatic Summarization Research by Maartje ter Hoeve, Julia Kiseleva and Maarten de Rijke has been accepted at NAACL 2022.
Automatic text summarization has enjoyed great progress over the years and is used in numerous applications, impacting the lives of many. Despite this development, there is little research that meaningfully investigates how the current research focus in automatic summarization aligns with users’ needs. To bridge this gap, we propose a survey methodology that can be used to investigate the needs of users of automatically generated summaries. Importantly, these needs are dependent on the target group. Hence, we design our survey in such a way that it can be easily adjusted to investigate different user groups. In this work we focus on university students, who make extensive use of summaries during their studies. We find that the current research directions of the automatic summarization community do not fully align with students’ needs. Motivated by our findings, we present ways to mitigate this mismatch in future research on automatic summarization: we propose research directions that impact the design, the development and the evaluation of automatically generated summaries.