Open access versus accessibility: evaluating Plan S – Cytotherapy

Abstract:  An ambitious plan was recently proposed by cOAlition S, a consortium of European biomedical research funding agencies, to improve the dissemination of research results across all sectors. This goal was formalized in Plan S, which outlines 10 guiding principles aimed at transforming the current state of scientific publishing ( https://www.coalition-s.org/why-plan-s/). Its principal directive is to eliminate publication paywalls that restrict access to a substantial amount of externally funded research results by scientists and the public. To accomplish this goal, the plan mandates that all cOAlition S-funded research be published in open access journals on open access platforms. Plan S is mandated to begin with proposals submitted for funding consideration in 2021.

 

Web Accessibility in the Institutional Repository: Crafting User-Centered Submission Policies

“As web accessibility initiatives increase across institutions, it is important not only to reframe and rethink policies, but also to develop sustainable and tenable methods for enforcing accessibility efforts. For institutional repositories, it is imperative to determine the extent to which both the repository manager and the user are responsible for depositing accessible content. This presentation allows us to share our accessibility framework and help repository and content managers craft sustainable, long-term goals for accessible content in institutional repositories, while also providing openly available resources for short-term benefit.

Indiana University’s institutional repository, IUScholarWorks, audited the accessibility of its existing content and created policies to encourage accessible submissions. No established workflows considering accessibility existed when this audit took place, and no additional resources were allocated to facilitate this shift in focus. As a result, the Scholarly Communication team altered the repository submission workflow to encourage authors to make their finished documents accessible with limited intervention.

We identified a spectrum of accessibility services, ranging from applying nascent accessibility practices to implementing long term solutions. When initiating new policies, responsibility for accessibility will often fall more heavily upon the user, while ideal practices aim to be more collaborative in nature. Initially, instead of concentrating resources on retroactively deleting non-accessible content, we focused on our submission process, which we believe emphasizes the importance of depositing accessible documents. We created guidelines that allow users to add basic accessibility improvements without needing to significantly restructure or rewrite their document. Our guidelines provide “quick fixes” that authors can easily implement to their finished documents prior to submission, including adding structural tags and alt text, clearly labeling lists, and identifying document language. Moving forward, we aim to implement ideal accessibility standards for deposited work, regardless of format or origin.”

Web Accessibility in the Institutional Repository: Crafting User-Centered Submission Policies

“As web accessibility initiatives increase across institutions, it is important not only to reframe and rethink policies, but also to develop sustainable and tenable methods for enforcing accessibility efforts. For institutional repositories, it is imperative to determine the extent to which both the repository manager and the user are responsible for depositing accessible content. This presentation allows us to share our accessibility framework and help repository and content managers craft sustainable, long-term goals for accessible content in institutional repositories, while also providing openly available resources for short-term benefit.

Indiana University’s institutional repository, IUScholarWorks, audited the accessibility of its existing content and created policies to encourage accessible submissions. No established workflows considering accessibility existed when this audit took place, and no additional resources were allocated to facilitate this shift in focus. As a result, the Scholarly Communication team altered the repository submission workflow to encourage authors to make their finished documents accessible with limited intervention.

We identified a spectrum of accessibility services, ranging from applying nascent accessibility practices to implementing long term solutions. When initiating new policies, responsibility for accessibility will often fall more heavily upon the user, while ideal practices aim to be more collaborative in nature. Initially, instead of concentrating resources on retroactively deleting non-accessible content, we focused on our submission process, which we believe emphasizes the importance of depositing accessible documents. We created guidelines that allow users to add basic accessibility improvements without needing to significantly restructure or rewrite their document. Our guidelines provide “quick fixes” that authors can easily implement to their finished documents prior to submission, including adding structural tags and alt text, clearly labeling lists, and identifying document language. Moving forward, we aim to implement ideal accessibility standards for deposited work, regardless of format or origin.”

Online Survey Software | Qualtrics Survey Solutions

“The purpose of this survey is to collect information from managers of institutional repositories about actions currently being taken to support accessibility of the platform and associated documents. By “accessibility,” the study refers to guidelines such as WCAG 2.0 that ensure website access for people of all abilities….”

‘Our meaning as a public university’: UC Berkeley Library launches scanning service to make materials more accessible to scholars | UC Berkeley Library News

“In the ongoing effort to make its resources available to all, the UC Berkeley Library has launched a new scanning service to transform its print materials into digital formats more accessible to the campus’s diverse scholarly community.

The service, which went live in October, builds upon a service introduced by the Library in 2012, by which any student registered with the campus’s Disabled Students’ Program, or DSP, can request physical items be converted into digital formats. Now, the service has been extended to all faculty members, instructors, and visiting scholars with print disabilities — a boon to the research possibilities on campus and an open invitation to the Library for those who have long been unable to access many of its materials….”

“Can Accessibility Liberate The “Lost Ark” of Scholarly Work?: Universi” by Raizel Liebler and Gregory Cunningham

Abstract:  For any body of knowledge – an ark of power or a corpus of scholarship – to be studied and used by people, it needs to be accessible to those seeking information. Universities, through their libraries, now aim to make more of the scholarship produced available for free to all through institutional repositories. However, the goal of being truly open for an institutional repository is more than the traditional definition of open access. It also means openness in a more general sense. Creating a scholarship-based online space also needs to take into consideration potential barriers for people with disabilities. This article addresses the interaction between the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and university academic library based institutional repositories. This article concludes that institutional repositories have an obligation to comply with the ADA to make scholarly works available to potential users with disabilities. For managers of institutional repositories, following the law is an opportunity to make scholarship even more widely available. University open access institutional repositories need to be accessible to existing and potential disabled users. However, there are no specific rules that university institutional repositories must follow to be compliant with the ADA’s “public accommodation” standard. Accessibility is a changeable, moveable wall, consistently and constantly needing to be additionally inclusive of more – more technology and more users, regardless of disability or limitations. Institutional repositories should not become the crated Ark of the Covenant with their secrets locked inside; instead, they should be as open as possible to all, sharing the scholarship inside.

 

 

 

White Paper Examines Providing Access to Texts in Context of Civil Rights and Copyrights – Association of Research Libraries

“The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the University of Virginia (UVA) Library are pleased to release a white paper, The Law and Accessible Texts: Reconciling Civil Rights and Copyrights, authored by Brandon Butler (UVA), Prue Adler (ARL), and Krista Cox (ARL). This white paper, part of a project supported by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, analyzes how institutions of higher education can meet their mission of providing all students with equitable access to information within the current legal framework. Ensuring access to research and learning materials is critical in protecting the civil rights of people with disabilities….”