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PDF at RMIT University

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Presentation by Iza Bartosiewicz for the Web Content Managers' Forum on "The Challenges of Using PDF Documents Online".

Published in: Technology, Design
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PDF at RMIT University

  1. 1. PDFs at RMIT Iza Bartosiewicz, Library website coordinator
  2. 2. RMIT Web Accessibility Framework Standards for non-HTML documents <ul><li>Accessibility standards for Portable Document Format (PDF) </li></ul><ul><li>The minimum standard is WCAG 1.0 Level A, plus the recommended practices for creating PDF documents. </li></ul><ul><li>When to use this format online </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not use this format online unless it is: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Not possible to present the information as a web page </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Course material – but note that using non-web formats online may create accessibility problems for some students. You may need to provide an accessible alternative. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>The PDF document must be based on a source document that meets the accessibility standards for that document format. </li></ul><ul><li>Standards will be updated to WCAT 2.0 </li></ul>
  3. 3. Public website and the intranet <ul><li>Distributed publishing using CMS, 300+ publishers </li></ul><ul><li>PDFs created internally and externally </li></ul><ul><li>Used for administrative, marketing, promotion, and research publications </li></ul><ul><ul><li>10,438 publicly available (11 HTMLs : 1 PDF) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>5,926 on the intranet </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>? on 300+ sites outside CMS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1,500+ in the Research Repository </li></ul></ul>Icons by http://dryicons.com) 300+ sites and apps outside the CMS ? Research Repository 1,500+ MAMS CMS 10,438 5,926
  4. 4. Learning and teaching <ul><li>Distributed publishing, large number of publishers </li></ul><ul><li>PDFs created internally and externally </li></ul><ul><li>Used for course material, learning resources and online library resources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>? on LCMS (Blackboard) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>? on the educational media server </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>5,000+ on eReserve (incl. past exam papers) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>? in 240K+ Library databases, e-journals and e-books </li></ul></ul>Icons by http://dryicons.com) heaps! 240K+ Library e-resources 150+ Educational media sites, apps ? LCMS ? eReserve 5,000+
  5. 5. Reasons for using PDFs <ul><li>Documents formatted for printing </li></ul><ul><li>Locked documents </li></ul><ul><li>Large, complex publications </li></ul><ul><li>Short life-span </li></ul><ul><li>Not enough time or resources for conversion </li></ul>Icons by http://dryicons.com)
  6. 6. Are the standards followed? <ul><li>It depends on </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How much control the publishing team has over the content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expertise of content creators and publishers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where the PDF was created (in-house vs externally) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Time and resources available </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Converting PDFs containing policies and procedures to HTML </li></ul><ul><li>Clearly labelling links to PDF documents </li></ul><ul><li>Converting inaccessible PDFs to alternative formats on request (need cooperation of the Disability Liaison Unit, Library Digitisation Unit and the Copyright Management Service) </li></ul>
  7. 7. What can we do better? <ul><li>Tighten content maintenance processes </li></ul><ul><li>Develop expertise in accessible PDFs </li></ul><ul><li>Provide better support for content creators </li></ul><ul><li>Change PDF viewing default on campus computers from the browser to the Acrobat Reader (for discussion) </li></ul>

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