This paper sets out how we used a technique called “webscraping” to harvest and analyse textual content from the government’s GOV.UK website.

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In May 2016, our report The quality of service for personal taxpayers (HC 17, Session 2016-17) examined the value for money of HM Revenue & Customs’ customer service – including the impact of changes in services on taxpayers. As part of this, we used web-scraping techniques to assess the volume and readability of guidance available on the GOV.UK website, both in relation to personal taxpayers and more generally.