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Accessibility: E-journals

Accessibility of journal articles

  • E-articles which belong to the library collections can usually be read in either PDF or HTML format. HTML articles can be easily listened to using downloadable listening applications. There may be more problems with PDF files. Databases can have their own inbuilt listening functions, or articles can be read using either a browser’s or a PDF -file’s screen reader.
  • In many article databases, it is possible to enlarge the text of the article according to your own needs. Properly structured headings and maintaining color and contrast ratios also ensure the readability of the text.
  • In several databases, the images, charts, and chapters of the article have a text-based description.

Examples of databases which have taken accessibility into account

Cambridge Core

  • Cambridge Core is targeting to level AA of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1.
  • You can use text to speech tools to read out website content in both PDF and HTML format, as well as change colours, contrast levels and fonts by adjusting browser settings.
  • Read more about accessibility in Cambridge Core.



  • Alternative text for images with a screen reader or database built-in listening function.
  • Emerald website uses structured headings to support readability. The first title of the page is the main title of the content, followed by any relevant subheadings.
  • Read more about Emerald's accessibility features.

Oxford University Press


  • The user interface is designed to be accessible and operable. HTML is recommended above other formats, when available.
  • For users that want to have full text articles to res to them, a text to speech option is available.
  • Where possible, ProQuest offers an on-demand service that will use OCR (optical character recognition) technology to create a readable version.
  • Read more about ProQuest's accessibility features. 



  • Most of the articles in the ScienceDirect database can be opened in both html and pdf format.
  • HTML text content includes properly structured titles, lists, interactive icons, linked images, page magnification, and high-contrast images. Most screen readers read html text well.
  • The database does not have its own listening function.
  • Read more about Elsevier's accessibility features.


  • The website is compatible with the latest versions of the most popular screen readers as well as operating system screen magnifiers.
  • The website also has a speech recognition program.
  • Read more about the accessibility of SpringerLink.

Taylor & Francis Online

  • The content of the journals is published in both HTML and  PDF formats.
  • Taylor & Francis has “Readspeaker” feature that enables users to listen an article via audio.
  • More information about the accessibility at Taylor & Francis.

Wiley Online Library


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