[Open] Science accessible for all

[Open] Science accessible for all

Since its creation, ScienceOpen has focused its efforts on creating a more open and accessible publishing environment for all. By promoting open science, innovative infrastructure, and tools that facilitate scientific communication and exchange, we have successfully managed to bridge many gaps in the digital publishing landscape and will continue to do so.

Our work and digital innovations are in line with the goals outlined in the United Nations’ Agenda 2030, and we have been actively promoting the Sustainable Development Goals on ScienceOpen as a philosophy underlying our infrastructure and smart solutions, as well as part of our discovery network of over 83 million publications.

Our network keeps on upgrading with one goal in mind: Science Open & Accessible for All.

Integration of Alt-text in Article landing page

Alt-text, or alternate text, is an optional XML element that provides a brief text description of an image, a graphic, figure, or table on a web page, aiming to make the content of a website accessible to people with visual impairments, who use screen readers to have the contents of a web page read aloud to them.

Example of a figure with alt-text from the article 'Reflections on the Power of the Pen'
Example of a figure with alt-text from ‘Reflections on the Power of the Pen

When a screen reader encounters an image on a web page, it reads out the alternate text to the user, allowing them to understand the content and context of the image.

Our digital infrastructure allows for an easy integration of alt-text elements that will manifest themselves on the HTML full-text article landing pages, making content more accessible for all of our users, improving their overall user-experience on ScienceOpen, and enabling them to access information more effectively.

Authors and editors of hosted content on ScienceOpen can easily add alternate texts for images featured in their all articles as part of their regular submission procedures, opening up the scholarly content to a broader audience and facilitating the exchange of information for visually impaired users of ScienceOpen and beyond.

The International Journal of Disability and Social Justice is one of the pioneer-users of this feature on ScienceOpen, and we would like their content to serve as best-practice for other journals in the future. The articles below are two of the first ones to include alt-text in their body, and we are looking forward to supporting the IJDSJ in expanding similar content in the future.

Another good example is the content of the Journal of Disability Research by KSCDR, which will be soon also enriched with new articles featuring alt-text as part of the article-body.

Image with figure containing alt-text in an article by the Journal of Disability Research.
Screen readers will read out the figure title and an alt-text describing what is depicted to help making the text more comprehensive for visually impaired people.

Both these collections promote scientific advancements in the field of disability not only through their publications and their inherent focus of study, but also by engaging audiences which will directly profit from this accessibility feature in the exchange process of scientific communication.

The accessibility interface of ScienceOpen

Soon we want to expand our list of accessibility tools and update our whole platform with the accessibility requirements for an easy navigation of visually impaired users of ScienceOpen.

Are you a publisher interested in adding alt-text to the article landing pages on ScienceOpen? Get in touch with us and let us discuss ways that ScienceOpen can help make your content more accessible.

Stay tuned while we keep upgrading ScienceOpen!

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