Making Open Access Accessible – Home

“The great benefit of making items open access is that, supposedly, anyone with access to the internet can read them. However, many open access advocates don’t always think about people different from them, especially those who are not always able to read or hear what is online. Too often the items we put online that are either open access or promote open access are not made to work with these needs. 

I put together this website to try to address one small area of this problem – online videos promoting open access and other open topics – through the power of crowd sourcing….”

The 5:AM Altmetric conference took place from 25th-28th September 2018 at the London School of Advanced Study – Leeds University Library Blog

The School of Advanced Study is in Senate House or, if you’ve seen the film of George Orwell’s 1984 starring John Hurt, the Ministry of Truth, fitting perhaps for a conference considering the modern information environment where science communication vies online with “fake news”.

Accessibility and Digital Content/Creation | REBUS Foundation

“In the Fall of 2017, Rebus Foundation Assistant Director, Zoe Wake Hyde, took part in a roundtable discussion at University of California, focusing on making digital content and creation more accessible for people with disabilities. The gathering was convened by the Authors Alliance, the Silicon Flatirons Center, and the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology, and it brought together a diverse group of participants.

That meeting generated the report, Authorship and Accessibility in the Digital Age, which is now available on the Author’s Alliance Website. Zoe’s thoughts on the experience, including the written report, offer a uniquely Rebus perspective….”

Internet Archive expands access to millions of books for people with disabilities | Internet Archive Blogs

“Now, disabled users that are certified by a growing number of organizations can borrow hundreds of thousands of modern books and download mostly older books all for free.

Individuals that are already a qualified user of  NLS-BARDBookshare, or Ontario Council of University Libraries Scholar’s Portal (ACE)  can link their archive.org accounts and gain access.

Individuals that are are affiliated with any of these organizations can contact them to authorize their archive.org account for print-disabled access….”

Time for accessible journals | Research Information

“The case for making publications accessible is so obvious and has been made so often that I won’t waste time here setting out those arguments. You know that accessibility is the right thing to do.

What you may not know is that making a publication accessible has recently become a whole lot more straightforward – and that your publications today are closer to being made properly accessible – than you realise….”

Sporsho’s Journey of Conquering Vision | The Daily Star

“Besides publishing Braille books, Nazia and her team at Sporsho have also been working to give visually impaired students an open space for learning and self-development. Sporsho is developing an audio library for these students where they can study freely. Sporsho also organises music, poetry recitation and indoor games classes for the visually impaired students. “My dream is to build an open knowledge centre for all where visually impaired youths will get completely barrier free access. They will reach it and study without any discrimination just like any other student. By initiating knowledge and learning based activities, Sporsho’s dream is to establish an inclusive, discrimination-free society for all, especially for the visually impaired people,” says a hopeful Nazia….”

Impact of Social Sciences – Survey findings suggest both individuals and institutions can do more to promote open science practices in India

How much have the open science movement’s practices and principles permeated researcher behaviour and attitudes in India? Arul George ScariaSatheesh Menon and Shreyashi Ray have conducted a survey among researchers working across five different disciplines in India and reveal that more can be done to promote open science within its research institutions. While a majority of respondents believe open science to be important, less than half use open access repositories for sharing publications, with a much smaller fraction using them to share data. Meanwhile, a paucity of simplified and translated versions of scientific papers and continued access problems for those with disabilities are indicative of a research environment that is not as inclusive as it could be.

Research Articles in Simplified HTML: a Web-first format for HTML-based scholarly articles

Abstract:  Purpose: this paper introduces the Research Articles in Simplified HTML (or RASH), which is a Web-first format for writing HTML-based scholarly papers; it is accompanied by the RASH Framework, i.e. a set tools for interacting with RASH-based articles. The paper also presents an evaluation that involved authors and reviewers of RASH articles, submitted to the SAVE-SD 2015 and SAVE-SD 2016 workshops.

Design: RASH has been developed in order to: be easy to learn and use; share scholarly documents (and embedded semantic annotations) through the Web; support its adoption within the existing publishing workflow

Findings: the evaluation study confirmed that RASH can already be adopted in workshops, conferences and journals and can be quickly learnt by researchers who are familiar with HTML.

Research limitations: the evaluation study also highlighted some issues in the adoption of RASH, and in general of HTML formats, especially by less technical savvy users. Moreover, additional tools are needed, e.g. for enabling additional conversion from/to existing formats such as OpenXML.

Practical implications: RASH (and its Framework) is another step towards enabling the definition of formal representations of the meaning of the content of an article, facilitate its automatic discovery, enable its linking to semantically related articles, provide access to data within the article in actionable form, and allow integration of data between papers.

Social implications: RASH addresses the intrinsic needs related to the various users of a scholarly article: researchers (focussing on its content), readers (experiencing new ways for browsing it), citizen scientists (reusing available data formally defined within it through semantic annotations), publishers (using the advantages of new technologies as envisioned by the Semantic Publishing movement).

Value: RASH focuses strictly on writing the content of the paper (i.e., organisation of text + semantic annotations) and leaves all the issues about it validation, visualisation, conversion, and semantic data extraction to the various tools developed within its Framework.

U of California, Berkeley, to delete publicly available educational content

“The University of California, Berkeley, will cut off public access to tens of thousands of video lectures and podcasts in response to a U.S. Justice Department order that it make the educational content accessible to people with disabilities….”