What Does EPUB 3.3 Mean For Accessibility? – Inclusive Publishing

“The publishing community eagerly awaits the new version of the EPUB standard, EPUB 3.3, the related EPUB 1.1 accessibility specification and the updated version of EPUBCheck. We asked EPUB 3.3 editor and DAISY developer Matt Garrish; “What does this mean for accessible publishing?’

Can We Expect Major Changes For Accessibility?

Neither the EPUB 3.3 nor the Accessibility 1.1 revisions represent major changes. Most of our efforts are focused on taking the work we’ve already done and moving the documents through the W3C process to make formal recommended specifications of them (i.e., to be fully recognized by W3C membership). EPUB 3.2 was published by the W3C publishing community group, so those documents did not have any formal standing (they didn’t have to go through W3C membership votes, they didn’t have to show independent implementations, etc.). So, EPUB 3.3 will formalize the standard….”

Full article: Accepting Free Content during the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Assessment

Abstract:  Deciding what risks are worth taking amidst a global pandemic poses quite specific challenges for Acquisitions librarians. For example, given that virtually all colleges and universities now offer classes electronically, demand for electronic library content has increased sharply. This challenging situation is magnified at smaller campuses, due to their smaller Acquisitions budgets and having to retain substantial print content. In response, vendors are offering free content to those affected and, given the usual limits on library funding, librarians may find such offers almost irresistible. But while there can be advantages to accepting such content, it can be a double-edged sword. In this paper, we examine how crisis situations, such as the current pandemic, affect librarian decision-making, in particular concerning accepting free content from vendors. How do we best navigate these new territories without losing our bearings amidst a pandemic? And how might these decisions and situations affect our patrons? We focus our research on three important issues, with both practical and ethical implications. First, the issue of patron privacy rights. The free content being offered by vendors poses substantial privacy risks for libraries and patrons, because it is not licensed and thus not governed by privacy agreements. Second, we examine the problem of ensuring accessibility for all users and the extent to which accessibility can be guaranteed with non-licensed content. Finally, we look at the likely impact on faculty-librarian relationships when free content will have to be relinquished and libraries cannot afford the same content. Such changes will likely cause tension between faculty and librarians and be especially frustrating for students. While vendors coming to the aid of the libraries during this time is potentially a generous gesture, it also implies pitfalls and negative impacts in its aftermath.

 

ar5iv – Articles from arXiv.org as responsive HTML5 web documents

Converted from TeX with LaTeXML.
Sources upto the end of 2021. Not a live preview service.
For articles with multiple revisions, only the initial v1 is made available.
Goal: incremental improvement until worthy of native arXiv adoption.

Sample: A Simple Proof of the Quadratic Formula (1910.06709)

View any arXiv article URL by changing the X to a 5

https://arxiv.org/abs/1910.06709
https://ar5iv.org/abs/1910.06709

A Fork in the Road: OA Books and Visibility-Value in the Humanities | Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM)

by Martin Paul Eve

One of the great advantages of open access in the scientific disciplines is that the work of scientists can now be read by any interested party with internet access. While some readers will not be able to understand this, it is nonetheless easy for scientists to show their work. No longer must the public merely take on faith that scientists are doing their job. Instead, those publics can read the findings for themselves. There is self-evidential justificatory benefit for disciplines that make their research open.

Yet what of the humanities and social sciences? In these disciplines, the monograph plays a substantial role in the dissemination of research. But, frequently, these volumes are extremely expensive because they do not see huge print runs. Progress towards open access for book-length work remains frustratingly slow.

[…]

The Corruption of Copyright: New Scholarship in Libraries, Technology, and the Law

“Join Library Futures, Internet Archive, and the Georgetown Intellectual Property and Information Policy (iPIP) Clinic for a panel on copyright, licensing, accessibility, and the law. We’ll be discussing new scholarship from legal experts Michelle Wu (retired Georgetown University Law Center) and Blake Reid (Clinical Professor at Colorado Law).

Wu’s “The Corruption of Copyright and Returning to its Original Purposes” (Legal Reference Services Quarterly) looks at how some industries have redirected the benefits of copyright towards themselves through licensing and other activities, which impacts author remuneration and upsets the balance of the public interest. This paper focuses on the book, music, and entertainment industries, examines how copyright has been used to suppress the uses it was intended to foster, and explores ongoing and proposed avenues for course correction: https://scholarship.law.georgetown.edu/facpub/2410/

Reid’s “Copyright and Disability” (forthcoming in California Law Review) discusses how recent progress toward copyright limitations and exceptions continues an ableist tradition in the development of U.S. copyright policy: centering the interests of copyright holders, rather than those of readers, viewers, listeners, users, and authors with disabilities. Using case studies, Reid explores copyright’s ableist tradition to discuss how it subordinates the actual interests of people with disability. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3381201 ”

Blind People Won the Right to Break Ebook DRM. In 3 Years, They’ll Have to Do It Again | WIRED

“IT’S A CLICHÉ of digital life that “information wants to be free.” The internet was supposed to make the dream a reality, breaking down barriers and connecting anyone to any bit of data, anywhere. But 32 years after the invention of the World Wide Web, people with print disabilities—the inability to read printed text due to blindness or other impairments—are still waiting for the promise to be fulfilled.

Advocates for the blind are fighting an endless battle to access ebooks that sighted people take for granted, working against copyright law that gives significant protections to corporate powers and publishers who don’t cater to their needs. For the past year, they’ve once again undergone a lengthy petitioning process to earn a critical exemption to the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act that provides legal cover for people to create accessible versions of ebooks.

Baked into Section 1201 of the DMCA is a triennial process through which the Library of Congress considers exceptions to rules that are intended to protect copyright owners. Since 2002, groups advocating for the blind have put together lengthy documents asking for exemptions that allow copy protections on ebooks to be circumvented for the sake of accessibility. Every three years, they must repeat the process, like Sisyphus rolling his stone up the hill.

 

On Wednesday, the US Copyright Office released a report recommending the Librarian of Congress once again grant the three-year exemption; it will do so in a final rule that takes effect on Thursday. The victory is tainted somewhat by the struggle it represents. Although the exemption protects people who circumvent digital copyright protections for the sake of accessibility—by using third-party programs to lift text and save it in a different file format, for example—that it’s even necessary strikes many as a fundamental injustice….”

 

If It’s Open, Is It Accessible? – Association of Research Libraries

“The library and open access (OA) publishing communities have made great strides in making more new scholarship openly available. But have we included readers with vision challenges in our OA plans? Only an estimated 7% of all printed works are available in accessible format, and that statistic might not significantly differ for digital scholarship worldwide….

Libraries need to consider accessibility of the document format, as well as accessibility of the tools and platforms they typically use for OA journal and monograph publishing, storage, and access. According to a blog post by the UX designer for the Directory of Open Access Journals last year, testing of a platform’s web interface can be done easily through free tools such as Lighthouse and Accessibility Insights for Web, both available as web browser extensions, which test accessibility against the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 AA.

Earlier this year, the Open Journal Systems (OJS) team at the Public Knowledge Project noted the strides that their Accessibility Interest Group team has made to improve the accessibility of OJS 3.3. Next up, they will be working on a guide to help journal editors create more accessible content within OJS.

 

This leads to the question of the format of open content. Adobe’s Portable Document Format (PDF), ubiquitous and a de facto standard for digital publishing, is typically not the best format for accessibility. Certainly, PDFs can be made WCAG-compliant, but one must make careful efforts to do so….”

Not Open For All: Accessibility of Open Textbooks

In order for open educational resources (OERs) to be truly open to all, they must be accessible to learners with disabilities, including those with visual, auditory, physical and cognitive disabilities. This study sought to determine the accessibility of a randomly selected sample of 355 open textbooks using a custom rubric based upon the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C’s) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), version 2.1, primarily at the Levels A and AA. Included books fell into one of four format types: HTML files/websites, PDFs, Microsoft Word documents and EPUBs. The average number of ‘fails’ – instances in which they ran afoul of a rubric category – across the whole sample was 5.93 and the median was 6, out of a total of 14 or 15 categories, depending on the format type. Overall, most of the books did not meet basic accessibility requirements, such as including alternative text for any images, properly coding/tagging any tables and following a logical heading order structure.

Celebrating 25 Years of Preserving the Web – The Scholarly Kitchen

This week, the Internet Archive is celebrating its 25th anniversary of its first crawl of the world-wide-web and its first snapshot of our collective digital lives. Since the first crawl, the scale of the Internet Archive’s collection was grown astoundingly. Its regular snapshots of the internet have grown to comprise some 588 billion web pages in total. So much flourishes on the internet; both the amazing and the frightening, the mundane and the radical. The Internet Archive preserves it all. While most know of its work capturing and preserving snapshots of the internet, the Internet Archive also preserves an amazing amount of our digital heritage. The Archive has digitized and archived more than 28 million books and texts, 14 million audio recordings, 6 million video recordings, 3.5 million images and more than a half million software programs.

Workshop “Universell utforming i OJS-tidsskrift” | 22–23 November 2021 | Munin Conference on Scholarly Publishing

Google translate: “Workshop “Universal design in OJS magazine” This workshop is offered as an in-person event in Tromsø and the language of the event is Norwegian Date: 22. – 23. November Venue: UiT Norwegian Arctic University, campus Tromsø Open journals should be available to as many people as possible also when it comes to universal design, and should not exclude users based on functional ability. In addition, the Norwegian publishing services must comply with the requirements of the Regulations on universal design of ICT solutions, which apply from 1 January 2021. The University Library in Tromsø is organizing a workshop on universal design in journals using the Open Journal Systems (OJS) software. The workshop is aimed at support staff for OJS-based publishing services / publishers who publish open journals. The workshop is mainly intended for national participants, for the sake of ev. coronary restrictions – the language of the event thus becomes Norwegian. The number of participants is limited to 25 people. The event is free, but participants will have to buy lunch themselves….”

A Socio-Legal Framework for Improving the Accessibility of Research Articles for People With Disabilities

“Even if this economic barrier is removed, however, there is a key point that is generally left out of discussions of open access: is there really open and immediate access for everyone, if scholars and students with disabilities cannot access and use research articles? This article addresses the often-overlooked question of whether research publications are accessible for people with disabilities.”

Special Collection Learning from Lockdown: challenges and benefits | Journal of Interactive Media in Education

Collection launched: 11 Aug 2021

The articles in this collection reflect different perspectives; of students, teaching staff and administrators; and of managers and leaders across very different institutions worldwide as decisions were made about how to respond to the pandemic and provide ‘emergency remote education’.

Authors reflect on how educational technology supported higher education provision during this time, yet although the perspectives are different, common themes emerged such as the importance to promote care and community – a principle which can inform future practice. Another theme is that of professional development for academics and teaching staff, and how best to support this during challenging times in a sustainable way. Similarly particular challenges for accessibility during the pandemic were reported and here too, suggested approaches to supporting accessibility follow sustainability principles to make them relevant for the future. Tackling inequity is another related theme found in more than one contribution including an approach taken by a USA liberal arts college to make all supporting materials for their courses free materials (such as open educational resources, OER).

The papers also represent different research methods and approaches, including a longitudinal study, surveys, interviews, student artefacts, meeting notes, workshop and course evaluations and recordings of managers’ meetings and decision making.

Guest Editors: Ann Jones and Katy Jordan

CfP: 16th Munin Conference on Scholarly Publishing (15–18 November 2021). Submission deadline Sept 05, 2021.

Submissions are invited for the 16th Munin Conference on Scholarly Publishing, 15–18 November 2021! The Munin Conference is an annual event on scholarly communication, primarily revolving around open access, open data and other aspects of open science. Usually held at UiT The Arctic University of Norway in Tromsø, for the second year in a row the conference will be digital.

We hereby welcome abstract submissions on topics including, but not limited to:

Research and researcher assessment
Innovations in scholarly communication

Accessibility (web accessibility) in scholarly publishing
Open access books

We accept submissions for the following formats:

Presentation (max 10 minutes)

Poster for a Twitter poster session

Abstracts must be submitted via Septentrio Conference Series. Please read the Submission Guidelines below. The program committee will select contributions on the basis of the quality of the individual abstract, as well as relevance for the overall conference program.

Important dates:

Deadline for abstract submission: 5 September 2021

Notification of acceptance: 17 September 2021

Conference to be held: 15–18 November 2021

Digital GLAM Spaces Conference

“Web accessibility and user experience are important for centering those who want to learn, research, and teach with digital and digitized cultural heritage. In 2018, the University of Oregon was awarded an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant to experiment and build collaboration capacity for how GLAM assets could be used in innovation ways for research.

Digital GLAM Spaces is a conference about building community around web accessibility and user experience. It’s a place for GLAM practitioners to share definitions and best practices for what is UX and accessibility; communicate digital strategies for incorporating user research into digital projects; and talk about the people, skillsets, and support needed to be better and make web accessibility and user experience part of our work instead of bolted on….”

Advocating for Open Education – BCcampus OpenEd Resources

“Affordability is often the main driver for the use of OER, but it’s not the only reason. Using OER gives faculty the ability to customize their learning materials to support their curriculum and the learning outcomes for their course. The course materials can be dynamic, with a wide selection of OER available to create engagement, improve understanding, and break down barriers to accessibility….”