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Article
Publication date: 31 August 2012

Kristina L. Southwell and Jacquelyn Slater

The purpose of this paper is to discover whether digitized materials from special collections libraries can be accessed using screen reader technology.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discover whether digitized materials from special collections libraries can be accessed using screen reader technology.

Design/methodology/approach

The researchers looked at 69 US academic library web sites from the ARL in 2011 to determine whether textual materials sampled from their digitized special collections were readable with screen reader technology.

Findings

The researchers found that 42 percent of the sampled digital collection items are screen‐readable, while 58 percent are not readable.

Research limitations/implications

Screen readers are not evaluated against one another for effectiveness with digital collections. Library web site pathways to digital special collections were not evaluated with screen readers.

Originality/value

This is the first study to examine the accessibility of digitized special collections materials to persons using a screen reader.

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Article
Publication date: 29 July 2014

Stephanie L. Maatta and Laurie J. Bonnici

This study aims to examine the usability of three popular electronic reading devices (e-readers) to determine which device provides the best functionality for individuals…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the usability of three popular electronic reading devices (e-readers) to determine which device provides the best functionality for individuals with print disabilities. Adaptability and flexibility for use with assistive technology are also evaluated.

Design/methodology/approach

This study reports the results of a usability test of e-readers and their potential for use by individuals with print disabilities. Students enrolled in a School of Library and Information Science evaluated and compared the devices through a series of tasks designed to measure functionality. Participants completed a series of questionnaires and engaged in small group discussion about the efficacy of the devices. Likert scales and open-ended evaluation were employed in the evaluation and analysis.

Findings

Two of the three devices examined offered no accessibility features for individuals with low or no vision who require assistive technologies to use information and communication technologies. The third device, while offering greater universal access functionality for individuals with mild-to-moderate print disabilities, also had weaknesses for individuals with severe print disabilities.

Originality/value

With the rapid deployment of e-readers, little research has been completed measuring the accessibility and functionality for individuals with print disabilities in library or educational environments. The paper provides data on the usability of e-readers for users with print disabilities and recommendations for adopting e-reader use in libraries and educational environments. It will inform and guide information professionals seeking to provide greater access to resources for patrons with specialized access needs.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 32 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1980

Not many weeks back, according to newspaper reports, three members of the library staff of the School of Slavonic and East European Studies in London were dismissed. All…

Abstract

Not many weeks back, according to newspaper reports, three members of the library staff of the School of Slavonic and East European Studies in London were dismissed. All had refused to carry out issue desk duty. All, according to the newspaper account, were members of ASTMS. None, according to the Library Association yearbook, was a member of the appropriate professional organisation for librarians in Great Britain.

Details

Library Review, vol. 29 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 1974

Margaret O. Sheppard

A possibly novel application for microfiche is its use as the primary publication form for conference preprints. This concept is discussed with particular reference to its…

Abstract

A possibly novel application for microfiche is its use as the primary publication form for conference preprints. This concept is discussed with particular reference to its application at the Rotary‐wing aircraft symposium organized by the Institution of Engineers, Australia and Royal Aeronautical Society and held in Melbourne, Australia, 24th September 1973. A questionnaire seeking to ascertain user reaction to the microfiche preprints was circulated to 119 people who attended the symposium and/or received copies of the preprints. The responses to this questionnaire have been analysed and user acceptability of microfiche preprints of postprints has been investigated in relation to timeliness, accessibility of a microfiche reader/printer, prior awareness and use of microfiche, cost, and the effect of form on preprint reading habits.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 26 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

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Book part
Publication date: 16 September 2017

Henrich R. Greve and Seo Yeon Song

Industry platforms can alter relations among exchange partners in such a way that the industry structure is changed. The focus of much industry platform research has been…

Abstract

Industry platforms can alter relations among exchange partners in such a way that the industry structure is changed. The focus of much industry platform research has been on how platform creation and leadership offers advantages to the most central firms, but platforms can also be advantageous for small specialist firms that compete with the most central firms. We examine book publishing as an example of an industry in which the central players – large publishing firms – are losing power to self-publishing authors because the distributor Amazon has a powerful platform for customers to communicate independently, and the non-publishing platform Twitter also serves as a medium for readers to discuss and review books. Our empirical analysis is based on downloaded sales statistics for Amazon Ebooks, matched with Amazon reviews of the same books and tweets that refer to the book or the author. We analyze how Ebook sales are a function of publisher, Amazon reviews, and tweets, and we are able to assess the importance of each factor in the sale of book titles. The main finding is that Amazon reviews are powerful drivers of book sales, and have greater effect on the sales of books that are not backed by publishers. Twitter also affects book sales, but less strongly than Amazon reviews.

Details

Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Platforms
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-080-8

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Article
Publication date: 29 November 2018

Adina Mulliken and Kerry Falloon

The purpose of this paper is to explore a topic where blind participants expressed significant concern: obtaining full text and accessible full text.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore a topic where blind participants expressed significant concern: obtaining full text and accessible full text.

Design/methodology/approach

This qualitative study includes 18 open-ended telephone interviews with blind academic library users in the USA. The study uses the viewpoint that understanding blind peoples’ perspectives is essential for equal accessibility.

Findings

Locating full text via link resolvers seemed problematic. Inaccessible articles and complications and delays creating accessible versions of print books limited participants’ use of materials. Enabling technologies and services were highlighted.

Research limitations/implications

Caution should be used when generalizing from this study due to its sample size and methodology. The study is not a web accessibility test, which would analyze coding, nor a usability test, which would observe users. Additional research would be ideal; however, libraries should not wait to attend to accessibility.

Practical implications

In addition to improving digital accessibility, to address difficulty obtaining full text, libraries could offer to locate full text for blind users and implement SmartLinking and single sign on authentication. To deal with inaccessible full text, libraries could work with disability offices to obtain accessible materials and to convert materials to accessible format. DRM free HTML or EPUB e-books can have accessibility advantages. Outsourcing conversion to accessible format can also help. Libraries could offer reader service to assist blind users locating relevant sections of books to convert.

Originality/value

Compared to previous studies, this study includes a larger number of blind screen reader users; describes some unique issues; and includes blind users’ own interpretations.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 37 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 17 July 2019

Gerard William Stone and Sumit Lodhia

A goal of integrated reporting (IR) under the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC)’s leadership is to provide clearly written, comprehensible and accessible…

Abstract

Purpose

A goal of integrated reporting (IR) under the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC)’s leadership is to provide clearly written, comprehensible and accessible information. In light of this objective, the purpose of this paper is to explore the readability and accessibility of integrated reports, an issue magnified by the IIRC’s continual commitment to clear and readable report language, and its intention for IR to become the corporate reporting norm.

Design/methodology/approach

In a whole text software facilitated analysis, the study utilises readability measures and supplementary measures of reader accessibility in a multi-year analysis of a large sample of global integrated reports sourced from the IIRC examples database.

Findings

The findings highlight the low readability of analysed integrated reports and indicate that readability is not improving. The supplementary measures suggest sub-optimal use of visual communication forms and overuse of structural presentation techniques which may contribute to reader accessibility of the analysed reports.

Research limitations/implications

The study extends readability analysis to an emerging corporate reporting phenomenon and its findings contribute to the growing IR literature. The study applies supplementary measures of reader accessibility which advance the methods available to assess the communication efficacy of integrated and other corporate reports.

Practical implications

The analysis of the readability and accessibility of integrated reports in the study indicates that the IIRC’s goal of clear, comprehensible and accessible reporting is not reflected by reporters’ practices. This has implications for the IIRC, reporting organisations, report readers and regulators.

Originality/value

The study represents the first large-scale analysis of the readability and accessibility of global integrated reports.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 32 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2003

Suzanne L. Byerley and Mary Beth Chambers

Accessibility, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, pertains to accessibility of online environments as well as physical environments for…

Abstract

Accessibility, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, pertains to accessibility of online environments as well as physical environments for persons with disabilities. Web‐based resources are prevalent in libraries today, but are they accessible? An e‐mail survey was used to examine accessibility of Web‐based abstracting and indexing services from product providers’ perspectives. Company representatives were asked to address overall product accessibility, company compliance with Section 508 Standards, and product usability for persons with disabilities. Findings indicate that the ADA and Section 508 are raising database company awareness of accessibility issues. Still, companies can do more to assure product accessibility.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 April 2013

Gerard Stone and Lee D. Parker

This paper aims to examine and critique the accounting literature's dominant readability formula, the Flesch formula. Furthermore, the paper sets out to propose refinement…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine and critique the accounting literature's dominant readability formula, the Flesch formula. Furthermore, the paper sets out to propose refinement and augmentation to the formula with a view to expanding its applicability and relevance to researchers' attempts at better understanding and critiquing the effectiveness of accounting communications. This aim extends to setting a more robust foundation for informing policymakers' and practitioners' interest in implementing more effective communications with their target stakeholders.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper offers an historically informed methodological critique of the current articulation and application of the Flesch formula, both generally and in accounting research. This critique forms the basis for developing proposed revisions and supplementary measures to augment Flesch's coverage. These are presented with sample empirics.

Findings

Illustrative examples suggest that it is feasible and desirable to apply a revised formula that reduces Flesch's misplaced emphasis on word length by respecifying its sentence length variable, a probable cause of low readability. A reader attribute score further enhances the formula by integrating the considerable impact of readers' attributes on readability and accounting communication effectiveness. Supplementary measures, comprising non‐narrative communications dimensions, are introduced as a foundation for further research.

Originality/value

The paper provides not only critique but also refinement and augmentation of the much used Flesch readability formula for accounting communications research. It offers a first stage approach to encompassing potentially important communication elements such as readers' attributes, tables, graphs and headings, to date critiqued as potentially important but left unattended by accounting researchers. This offers the prospect of extending Flesch's application to contemporary accounting communications issues and questions.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 31 October 2018

Julius T. Nganji

This paper aims to suggest how the information journey of students with disabilities could be facilitated, by first revealing the existence of inaccessible formats such as…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to suggest how the information journey of students with disabilities could be facilitated, by first revealing the existence of inaccessible formats such as Portable Document Format (PDF) and then suggesting the inclusion of alternative formats of accessible learning materials, thus improving retrieval.

Design/methodology/approach

A sample of 400 articles published over 10 years (2009-2018) from four journals are selected and analysed for accessibility against the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines WCAG 2.0 by using automated accessibility checkers, a screen reader and manual human expertise. The results are presented and recommendations made on improving accessibility.

Findings

The findings suggest that the PDF versions of the selected journal articles are not accessible for screen reader users but could be improved by adopting accessible and inclusive practices. Including alternative formats of the learning materials could help support the student information journey.

Research limitations/implications

The results of the study might not be very representative of all the articles in the journals given the small sample size. Additionally, the criteria used in the study do not consider all existing disabilities. Thus, although the PDFs may be inaccessible for some people with disabilities, they may be accessible to others.

Practical implications

Given that PDFs seem to be the preferred format of journal articles online, there is potential for a difficult information journey for some students due to the limitations posed by inaccessibility of the PDFs. Thus, it is recommended to include alternative formats which could be more accessible, giving the student the choice of accessing the learning materials in their preferred format.

Social implications

If students are unable to access the learning materials that are required for their course, this could lead to poor grade, which might negatively affect the students’ morale. In some cases, some students might drop out.

Originality/value

This study analyses the accessibility of learning materials provided by a third party (journal publishers) and how they affect the student, something that is not usually given much importance when research in accessibility is carried out.

Details

Information and Learning Science, vol. 119 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-5348

Keywords

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