Accessible charts are part of the equation of accessible papers: a heuristic evaluation of the highest impact LIS Journals
Alcaraz Martínez, Rubén
Ribera Turró, Mireia
Roig Marcelino, Jordi
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Purpose Statistical charts are an essential source of information in academic papers. Charts have an important role in conveying, clarifying and simplifying the research results provided by the authors, but they present some accessibility barriers for people with low vision. This article aims to evaluate the accessibility of the statistical charts published in the library and information science (LIS) journals with the greatest impact factor. Design/methodology/approach A list of heuristic indicators developed by the authors has been used to assess the accessibility of statistical charts for people with low vision. The heuristics have been applied to a sample of charts from 2019 issues of ten LIS journals with the highest impact factor according to the ranking of the JCR. Findings The current practices of image submission do not follow the basic recommended guidelines on accessibility like color contrast or the use of textual alternatives. On the 2 other hand, some incongruities between the technical suggestions of image submission and their application in analyzed charts also emerged. The main problems identified are: poor text alternatives, insufficient contrast ratio between adjacent colors, and the inexistence of customization options. Authoring tools do not help authors to fulfill these requirements. Research limitations The sample is not very extensive; nonetheless, it is representative of common practices and the most frequent accessibility problems in this context. Social implications The heuristics proposed are a good starting point to generate guidelines for authors when preparing their papers for publication and to guide journal publishers in creating accessible documents. Low vision users, a highly prevalent condition, will benefit from the improvements. Originality/value The results of this research provide key insights into low vision accessibility barriers, not considered in previous literature and can be a starting point for their solution.
Is part ofLibrary Hi Tech, 2021. In Press
European research projects
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