Proceedings of the Workshop Exploring National Infrastructure for Public Access Usage and Impact Reporting

“Invited international experts and leading scholarly cyberinfrastructure representatives joined workshop organizers Christina Drummond and Charles Watkinson for an eight-hour facilitated workshop on April 2, 2023. Together they aimed to: ? identify the challenges preventing cross-platform public and open scholarship impact analytics at scale, ? explore open infrastructure opportunities to improve the findability, accessibility, interoperability, and reuse i.e. “FAIRness” of usage data, and ? identify what’s needed to scaffold America’s national infrastructure for scholarly output impact reporting in light of a) the August 2022 Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) “Nelson Memo” regarding “Ensuring Free, Immediate, and Equitable Access to Federally Funded Research,” and b) the European Open Science Cloud Core and Interoperability Framework. Participants were encouraged to consider the challenges related to impact reporting and storytelling for research outputs ranging from data, articles, and books to simulations, 3D models, and other multimedia. The workshop objectives shared in advance of the meeting with participants were: ? identify what’s needed to scaffold America’s national infrastructure for scholarly output impact reporting, ? develop recommendations for national infrastructure and investment, and ? prioritize and begin to map out what activities we need to undertake next to support these recommendations. 1…”

Update: Library Partnership (LP) Rating · Commonplace

“If the description of Library Partnership (LP) Certification in our 2021 article intrigued you, you’ll be happy to know we’ve kept busy the past two years. Thanks to dedicated and thoughtful volunteers, LP Certification has grown and changed. This update tells you what we’re currently working on and provides a summary of the work done since fall of 2021.

First and foremost, LP Certification is now called Library Partnership (LP) Rating.undefined The goals and purposes remain the same.

As a quick reminder, LP Rating has three goals.

Provide information about journal publishers’ alignment with select library values to improve librarians’ funding decisions.

Improve clarity in librarians’ discussions about openness and publisher practices.

Give librarians and publishers a way to communicate and collaborate around these values….

LP Rating uses the LP Rubric to evaluate a journal publisher’s practices. The rubric underwent extensive work with members of the 2022-2023 LP Advisory Council (LPAC).undefined During June and July of 2023, a new group of librarians and publishers took another deep dive into the rubric and our associated files, seeing it all with fresh eyes. The feedback from this group of reviewersundefined has been incorporated into the LP Rubric and related documentation. We are indebted to both LPAC members and the reviewers for their hard work. Because of their input, the LP Rubric Beta version is now available….

LP Rating Values

Community. We want to work with:

Organizations that are transparent, cooperative, and collaborative in their business practices

Organizations that are strong partners; or, organizations that, over time, adopt practices better aligned with library values

Access. We seek:

Immediate open access to articles

Equitable access for readers and authors through reduced barriers and burdens

Affordability for libraries, authors, funders, and others

Rights. We favor:

Author retention of rights/permissions to their own work

Explicit permissions to readers to reuse and build on the work

Authors being given a choice of standard open licenses, or a publisher applying these by default

Recognizing diverse needs across disciplines

Discoverability and Accessibility. We prefer:

Open and indexable full-text and metadata

Diligent compliance with relevant accessibility standards

Participation in initiatives focused on interoperability

Preservation. We want partners to:

Deposit content into established and open federal, disciplinary, or institutional repositories

Participate in standard industry preservation efforts…”

Association of Research Libraries Calls for Born-Accessible Publishing in Comments to US Department of Justice – Association of Research Libraries

“In response to the US Department of Justice’s (DOJ) notice of proposed rulemaking “Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability; Accessibility of Web Information and Services of State and Local Government Entities,” the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) submitted comments supporting the federal government in codifying the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) into law for the first time, and highlighting strategies ARL member libraries are using to accelerate the adoption of born-accessible publishing.

The DOJ proposal would amend Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which governs accessibility for state and local government, including public libraries and academic libraries that are part of institutions of higher education. The proposed rule would require state and local government entities to adhere to WCAG 2.1 Level AA, with exceptions for certain categories of web content. For instance, in the higher education context, class or course content posted to a learning management system (LMS) would not need to be accessible, unless and until a student with a disability who would be unable to access the course content posted on the LMS enrolls in a particular class or course….”

Information sciences professor developing tool to make data visualizations accessible to blind researchers, students | Illinois

“JooYoung Seo, a professor of information sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, is developing a data visualization tool that will help make visual representations of statistical data accessible to researchers and students who are blind or visually impaired.

The multimodal representation tool is aimed at the accessibility of statistical graphs, such as bar plots, box plots, scatter plots and heat maps….

The tool, called Multimodal Access and Interactive Data Representation, presents data through sonification, text and Braille….

His accessibility module will be added to the Teach Access repository, and Seo plans to share it on GitHub as an open-source project. He’ll also introduce it to his data science students during this academic year….”


ARL Comments on NASA Public Access Plan: Increasing Access to the Results of Scientific Research – Association of Research Libraries

“On March 28, 2023, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) released a request for information on “NASA’S Public Access Plan: Increasing Access to the Results of Scientific Research.” The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is pleased to offer the following comments in response to this request….”

Colón | Actually Accessible Data: An Update and a Call to Action | Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication

Abstract:  As funder, journal, and disciplinary norms and mandates have foregrounded obligations of data sharing and opportunities for data reuse, the need to plan for and curate data sets that can reach researchers and end-users with disabilities has become even more urgent. We begin by exploring the disability studies literature, describing the need for advocacy and representation of disabled scholars as data creators, subjects, and users. We then survey the landscape of data repositories, curation guidelines, and research-data-related standards, finding little consideration of accessibility for people with disabilities. We suggest three sets of minimal good practices for moving toward truly accessible research data: 1) ensuring Web accessibility for data repositories; 2) ensuring accessibility of common text formats, including those used in documentation; and 3) enhancement of visual and audiovisual materials. We point to some signs of progress in regard to truly accessible data by highlighting exemplary practices by repositories, standards, and data professionals. Accessibility needs to become a mainstream component of curation practice included in every training, manual, and primer.


Johnson | The Limits of Inclusion in Open Access: Accessible Access, Universal Design, and Open Educational Resources | Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication

Abstract:  Introduction: The impacts of open educational resources (OER) are both well-documented and far-reaching. Without mitigating the positive outcomes of OER—including reduced textbook costs, readily available knowledge platforms, and open research—we problematize the commonly held assumption that open resources are necessarily more accessible and inherently good. 

Description of Program: Drawing on writing from antiracist, feminist disability researchers and advocates, we critically examine the UCLA Library online open educational initiative known as Writing Instruction + Research Education (WI+RE). In doing so, we (1) demonstrate how open access (OA) is often framed as an end, when in fact it is just the beginning; (2) encourage readers to resist evangelizing the OA movement such that it is beyond critique; and (3) advocate for the centering of disability justice within and beyond our OA efforts. 

Next Steps: We discuss both general and specific approaches for centering accessibility in creative processes, advocate for expanded definitions of OERs (beyond simply being “free”), and caution against evangelizing OERs without acknowledging the structural factors that contribute to inaccessibility. We outline four strategies and recommendations for other practitioners, educators, and designers seeking to build accessibility and dis-ability justice into OER design and OA initiatives more broadly. We approach OER both practically and theoretically to present an argument and path forward for designing more accessible resources and expanding OA through accessible access and universal design.

USRN Best Practices WG Interest Form

“Following the release of USRN’s Desirable Characteristics for Digital Publication Repositories, USRN will identify and develop best practices to provide more detailed guidance to support movement toward the desirable characteristics. The Best Practices Working Group (BPWG) will divide into subgroups based on expertise to define best practices in a given area. To begin, USRN is seeking BPWG members with expertise or interest in accessibility, persistent identifiers, preservation, and sustainability but welcomes all expressions of interest….”

If Your Digital Content Isn’t Accessible, You Could Be Leaving Behind Up to a Billion Users – Speaking Volumes – Features and fragments from the University of Tennessee Libraries

“Do you create digital content? Whether you’re sharing an opinion, offering a service, or selling a product — if your digital content isn’t accessible to all, you’re simply creating barriers to your own work.

A billion people worldwide have some type of disability. Yet, a 2023 study of a million homepages found that 96.3% failed to meet at least one of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

As we celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) on May 18, 2023, UT Libraries wants to provide resources to help you learn more about improving the accessibility of your website, software, mobile app, or other digital product….”

[2303.14334] The Semantic Reader Project: Augmenting Scholarly Documents through AI-Powered Interactive Reading Interfaces

Abstract:  Scholarly publications are key to the transfer of knowledge from scholars to others. However, research papers are information-dense, and as the volume of the scientific literature grows, the need for new technology to support the reading process grows. In contrast to the process of finding papers, which has been transformed by Internet technology, the experience of reading research papers has changed little in decades. The PDF format for sharing research papers is widely used due to its portability, but it has significant downsides including: static content, poor accessibility for low-vision readers, and difficulty reading on mobile devices. This paper explores the question “Can recent advances in AI and HCI power intelligent, interactive, and accessible reading interfaces — even for legacy PDFs?” We describe the Semantic Reader Project, a collaborative effort across multiple institutions to explore automatic creation of dynamic reading interfaces for research papers. Through this project, we’ve developed ten research prototype interfaces and conducted usability studies with more than 300 participants and real-world users showing improved reading experiences for scholars. We’ve also released a production reading interface for research papers that will incorporate the best features as they mature. We structure this paper around challenges scholars and the public face when reading research papers — Discovery, Efficiency, Comprehension, Synthesis, and Accessibility — and present an overview of our progress and remaining open challenges.


How do we make accessible research papers a reality? – arXiv blog

“When researchers with disabilities, such as blindness or dyslexia, cannot access the research papers in their field, can we really call it “open” science?

On April 17th, arXiv will be hosting a half-day online forum for everyone invested in making research outputs accessible to every researcher, regardless of disability. The forum will center the experiences of academic researchers who face barriers to accessing and reading papers, and will be useful for people across the authoring and publishing ecosystem. We hope you will join us. Together, we can chart a path towards fully accessible research papers, and leave with practical next steps for our own organizations….”

Chefs de Cuisine: Perspectives from Publishing’s Top Table – Charles Watkinson – The Scholarly Kitchen

“In developing services, our philosophy is “first of a kind, not one of a kind.” A good example is the Fulcrum publishing platform, developed with support from the Mellon Foundation and now self-sustaining. Fulcrum shares an open-source backend with the Deep Blue data repository. That means every type of output is a first-class publication: A Fulcrum-hosted monograph with integrated multimedia gets the same stewardship commitment that Deep Blue applies to health sciences research data. And the creator of a research dataset gets the same rich metrics (e.g., citations, altmetrics, downloads) that we would deliver to a monograph author….

I think we’re at the “so now what” stage of open access (OA). With a critical mass of freely-available, reusable literature and data, what tangible benefits can publishers offer society? And how should publishers format and distribute the outputs of open scholarship to turn free access into valuable access? With this question in mind, we’re doing several things at Michigan: expanding discovery networks (e.g., creating best practices for research data through the Data Curation Network, delivering OA books to public libraries via the Palace project, highlighting quality certification via the DOAB PRISM service), making sure our platforms and content are accessible (staying current with Benetech Certified Global Accessible audits, making monographs available as audiobooks through the Google Text-to-Speech program) and scoping open source integrations with partners that complement Fulcrum’s functionality (working with Mellon and the Big Collection initiative to integrate Fulcrum, Manifold, and Humanities Commons, and integrating Fulcrum repository functionality into the Janeway journals platform). 

We’re also focused on how to measure and communicate the greater reach and engagement OA enables. We’re working with Curtin University to refine a publicly-accessible Books Analytics Dashboard and partnering with Jisc and Lyrasis to expand US participation in IRUS repository statistics. The IP Registry is developing a product with us to identify the institutional use of OA books, and we’re supporting the OAeBU project to build a trusted framework for publishers to exchange OA usage metrics. We recorded at least 12 million Total Item Requests in 2022 for Michigan Publishing publications. But that’s a meaningless number unless put in context.


Authors should never be required to pay to publish open works. Let’s try and avoid perpetuating or creating a new inequity of access. The Fund to Mission program, supported by our parent institution and more than 100 libraries, enables this for U-M Press. We also partner with a consortium of over 50 liberal arts colleges to run Lever Press as a truly diamond open-access book publisher. The capacity to do such work is building. I particularly credit Lyrasis Open Programs, the BTAA Big Collection academy-led publishing program, the American Council of Learned Societies Publishing Initiatives, the S2O community of practice, and the Open Access Books Network….

I worry that larger publishers with better resources to handle complexities like transformative agreements are sucking away the resources to support open-access books and journals. Small, independent publishers (barely for-profit, if commercial) face similar challenges to university presses. We must ensure that funder and library policies don’t accidentally erase the bibliodiversity that independent and institutional presses have brought to their regions and disciplines for decades. I am particularly excited by the potential that Path to Open (JSTOR) and the 

Guest Post – Advancing Accessibility in Scholarly Publishing: Recommendations for Digital Accessibility Best Practices – The Scholarly Kitchen

“For publishers, it is also important to be up to date with the following:

PDF/UA (PDF/Universal Accessibility), formally known as ISO 14289-1:2014 (Document management applications — Electronic document file format enhancement for accessibility), is an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard for accessible PDF technology. PDF/UA complements WCAG 2.0 and should be used to make PDF files that also conform with WCAG 2.0.
EPUB Accessibility 1.0 Specifications: The EPUB Accessibility 1.0 EPUB Accessibility 1.1: Conformance and Discoverability Requirements for EPUB publications specification specifies content conformance requirements for verifying the accessibility of EPUB publications, as well as accessibility metadata requirements for the discoverability of EPUB publications.
The Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled (MVT). “The treaty allows for copyright exceptions to facilitate the creation of accessible versions of books and other copyrighted works for visually impaired persons. It sets a norm for countries ratifying the treaty to have a domestic copyright exception covering these activities and allowing for the import and export of such materials.”…”