Bruno Splendiani, Mireia Ribera, Miquel Centelles
Adaptabit Group – University of Barcelona
CSUN Conference 2014
 Introduction
 Our work
 Methodology
 Results
 Proposal
 Conclusions
2“Are figures accessible in mathematics academi...
“Are figures accessible in mathematics academic journals?” - CSUN 2014 3
In Science,Technology, Engineering, and Mathemati...
4
Barriers to visually impaired students and students
with learning disabilities in research literature
“Are figures acces...
5
Mathematics literature include
Sources: [1- 3 ]
“Are figures accessible in mathematics academic journals?” - CSUN 2014
Solution for math notations: MATHML
6
Source:
[http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0166218X12002363]
“Are fi...
7
Sources: [1- 5 ]
What about graphics?
“Are figures accessible in mathematics academic journals?” - CSUN 2014
“If I can’t see the image I read its description”
8“Are figures accessible in mathematics academic journals?” - CSUN 2014
9
The image is…
it shows…
it represents…..???
“Are figures accessible in mathematics academic journals?” - CSUN 2014
 Readers
 Access to the content
 Publishers
 fulfill accessibility regulations
 Comply with social responsibility
 A...
 To review publishing practices, policies and
submission guidelines concerning the
accessibility of visual content in a s...
 Where are the text alternatives?
 In the image’s captions.
 In the surrounding/adjacent text.
 In the mentions of the...
Objectives
 To foster the inclusion of accessibility policies
in the submission workflow of academic
journals
 To show t...
14
Accessibility policy?
Submission policy and guidelines for visual content?
Top ten journals in mathematics in JCR
“Are ...
15
One article for each journal in PDF version
Are figures “readable”?
 Image format
 Color contrast and coding
 Label ...
16
What is in image-related text?
“Are figures accessible in mathematics academic journals?” - CSUN 2014
 No journal had an accessibility policy
statement.
 Only two journals made a reference to the
inclusion of descriptive c...
 Visual elements in mathematics papers have
peculiar characteristics and treatment compared
to figures in papers of other...
Vector images in PDF = content stream in
object
19
No alternative/ functional actual text
“Are figures accessible in mathe...
Raster images not tagged in PDF
20
No alternative/actual text
“Are figures accessible in mathematics academic journals?” -...
“Are figures accessible in mathematics academic journals?” - CSUN 2014 21
Source: Bogomolov et al.
 Two frequent disappointing decisions
concerning the fonts in formulae:
 Usually, the label font size in formulae is low...
NO content semantic descriptors
in XMP metadata
23“Are figures accessible in mathematics academic journals?” - CSUN 2014
24
10
2 2 2
5
3
2
4
0
5
2
0
9
8
7
8
0 0 0 0 0
8
7
2
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Accessibility issues evaluated in ten journals ...
Good practices documented
in journal policy
Good practices applied in paper
Vector format 10 9
Color alone 2 8
Color Contr...
 Lack of consistency between image
submission policies and their application
 The practices do not fulfill basic
recomme...
27
Promote the inclusion of alt text (and other
accessibility issues) in the publishing
workflow
 Recommendations in subm...
 Provide solutions for avoiding the loss of
semantic data associated with figures during
the transformation from original...
29
Metadata management
in the publishing workflow
How are metadata and image annotations created
and transmitted from init...
30“Are figures accessible in mathematics academic journals?” - CSUN 2014
 Lack of common and clearly defined guidelines
a...
Questions?
centelles@ub.edu
http://www.ub.edu/adaptabit/
adaptabit@ub.edu
31
“Are figures accessible in mathematics academic journals?” - CSUN 2014
1. Fedor Nazarov, Dmitry Ryabogin and Artem Zvavitc...
33
Common set of international guidelines
for image submission
“Are figures accessible in mathematics academic journals?” ...
34
Start from existing guidelines
on image description
“Are figures accessible in mathematics academic journals?” - CSUN 2...
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Mathematical figures accessibility CSUN 2014

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In Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) academic literature, mathematical formulae, diagrams and other two-dimensional structures are a critical information source (Sojka et al.). Even for many sighted students “math education poses a serious roadblock in entering technical disciplines” (Karshmer et al.). The outputs of mathematics literature could create even greater barriers to visually impaired students (Smeureanu et al.) and students with learning disabilities (Lewis and al.), due to the technical notations they include, the large number of visual resources used (such as diagrams, graphs and charts) and the inclusion of visual concepts, such as spatial concepts. Currently, the inclusion of visual information in academic research papers is a widespread practice. Efforts to convert academic literature in mathematics to accessible formats after their publication have been made (Sojka et al.). However, most research literature is not currently supported by a publishing process that produces accessible outputs of scientific documents (Gardner et al.).
A solution for making the mathematics in electronic documents accessible is to provide alternative textual descriptions to critical graphical information (Webb), as the textual information can be rendered in speech by screen readers or in Braille. This solution “corresponds to the standard accessibility approach” (Cooper et al.) proposed by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines WCAG 1.0 and WCAG 2.0 (W3C).
Several proposals exist on making standard statistical graphics accessible. Demir (Demir et al.) and Ferres (Ferres et al.) have applied statistical and natural language processing techniques for the generation of spoken descriptions of statistical graphics. Doush (Doush et al.) has proposed a multi-modal approach for accessing charts in Excel for visually impaired users.
The National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) has created guidelines on how to textually describe diagrams and other standard graphics within Digital Talking Books, with the aim of making them more accessible by for students or scientists who are blind or visually impaired.
In this paper we aimed to review publishing practices, policies and submission guidelines concerning the accessibility of visual content in a sample of ten mathematics academic journals in mathematics. We checked the application of the accessibility policy in one article for from each journal. In particular, we focused our analysis on the alternative textual means of accessing the underlying semantics of figures. As noted by Cooper (Cooper et al.), the design of appropriate image textual descriptions of images is a challenging task and “this becomes more challenging as the complexity of the mathematics increases”. In order to address this issue, Splendiani (Splendiani et al.(a)) suggests that “the function of the text alternative can be accomplished by any textual description.

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Mathematical figures accessibility CSUN 2014

  1. 1. Bruno Splendiani, Mireia Ribera, Miquel Centelles Adaptabit Group – University of Barcelona CSUN Conference 2014
  2. 2.  Introduction  Our work  Methodology  Results  Proposal  Conclusions 2“Are figures accessible in mathematics academic journals?” - CSUN 2014
  3. 3. “Are figures accessible in mathematics academic journals?” - CSUN 2014 3 In Science,Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) academic literature, mathematical formulae, diagrams and other two-dimensional structures are a critical information source. Source: [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/STEM_Magnet_Academy]
  4. 4. 4 Barriers to visually impaired students and students with learning disabilities in research literature “Are figures accessible in mathematics academic journals?” - CSUN 2014
  5. 5. 5 Mathematics literature include Sources: [1- 3 ] “Are figures accessible in mathematics academic journals?” - CSUN 2014
  6. 6. Solution for math notations: MATHML 6 Source: [http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0166218X12002363] “Are figures accessible in mathematics academic journals?” - CSUN 2014
  7. 7. 7 Sources: [1- 5 ] What about graphics? “Are figures accessible in mathematics academic journals?” - CSUN 2014
  8. 8. “If I can’t see the image I read its description” 8“Are figures accessible in mathematics academic journals?” - CSUN 2014
  9. 9. 9 The image is… it shows… it represents…..??? “Are figures accessible in mathematics academic journals?” - CSUN 2014
  10. 10.  Readers  Access to the content  Publishers  fulfill accessibility regulations  Comply with social responsibility  Advantages in article retrieval 10“Are figures accessible in mathematics academic journals?” - CSUN 2014
  11. 11.  To review publishing practices, policies and submission guidelines concerning the accessibility of visual content in a sample of ten academic journals in mathematics.  To check the application of the accessibility policy in one article from each journal.  To analyze the alternative textual means of accessing the underlying semantics of figures. 11“Are figures accessible in mathematics academic journals?” - CSUN 2014
  12. 12.  Where are the text alternatives?  In the image’s captions.  In the surrounding/adjacent text.  In the mentions of the image in main text.  In the image title.  In the metadata. 12“Are figures accessible in mathematics academic journals?” - CSUN 2014
  13. 13. Objectives  To foster the inclusion of accessibility policies in the submission workflow of academic journals  To show the need for guidelines to standardize the submission of images in scientific papers. 13“Are figures accessible in mathematics academic journals?” - CSUN 2014
  14. 14. 14 Accessibility policy? Submission policy and guidelines for visual content? Top ten journals in mathematics in JCR “Are figures accessible in mathematics academic journals?” - CSUN 2014  Journal of the American Mathematical Society  Communications on Pure and Applied Mathematics  Annals of Mathematics  Acta Mathematica  Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society  Inventiones Mathematicae  Foundations of Computational Mathematics  Journal of the European Mathematical Society  Publications Mathématiques de l'IHÉS  Fixed PointTheory and Applications
  15. 15. 15 One article for each journal in PDF version Are figures “readable”?  Image format  Color contrast and coding  Label font type and size  Minimum resolution  Minimum dimensions “Are figures accessible in mathematics academic journals?” - CSUN 2014
  16. 16. 16 What is in image-related text? “Are figures accessible in mathematics academic journals?” - CSUN 2014
  17. 17.  No journal had an accessibility policy statement.  Only two journals made a reference to the inclusion of descriptive captions of figures in their submission guidelines. “Are figures accessible in mathematics academic journals?” - CSUN 2014 17
  18. 18.  Visual elements in mathematics papers have peculiar characteristics and treatment compared to figures in papers of other research areas, like Medicine, Biology, Computer Science.  Preferential use of vector format rather than the raster format.  Usually, the figures are considered as part of the text.  Fonts preferences mismatch with accessibility requirements.  NO content semantic descriptors in XMP metadata “Are figures accessible in mathematics academic journals?” - CSUN 2014 18
  19. 19. Vector images in PDF = content stream in object 19 No alternative/ functional actual text “Are figures accessible in mathematics academic journals?” - CSUN 2014
  20. 20. Raster images not tagged in PDF 20 No alternative/actual text “Are figures accessible in mathematics academic journals?” - CSUN 2014
  21. 21. “Are figures accessible in mathematics academic journals?” - CSUN 2014 21 Source: Bogomolov et al.
  22. 22.  Two frequent disappointing decisions concerning the fonts in formulae:  Usually, the label font size in formulae is lower than 12 pt.  Usually, the font family in formulae is the serif one… since it is recommended by the ISO International Standard 80000-:2009. “Are figures accessible in mathematics academic journals?” - CSUN 2014 22
  23. 23. NO content semantic descriptors in XMP metadata 23“Are figures accessible in mathematics academic journals?” - CSUN 2014
  24. 24. 24 10 2 2 2 5 3 2 4 0 5 2 0 9 8 7 8 0 0 0 0 0 8 7 2 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Accessibility issues evaluated in ten journals and articles Good practices documented in journal policy Good practices applied in paper “Are figures accessible in mathematics academic journals?” - CSUN 2014
  25. 25. Good practices documented in journal policy Good practices applied in paper Vector format 10 9 Color alone 2 8 Color Contrast 2 7 Combination of colors 2 8 Minimum resolution 5 0 Minimum dimensions 3 0 Font type sans-serif 2 0 Minimum Font size 4 0 Alt/actual text (PDF) 0 0 Caption 5 8 Mention(s) 2 7 Metadata 0 2 “Are figures accessible in mathematics academic journals?” - CSUN 2014 25
  26. 26.  Lack of consistency between image submission policies and their application  The practices do not fulfill basic recommendations on accessibility  Images lack alternative descriptions  Visual information of scientific articles is not accessible to people with visual disabilities 26“Are figures accessible in mathematics academic journals?” - CSUN 2014
  27. 27. 27 Promote the inclusion of alt text (and other accessibility issues) in the publishing workflow  Recommendations in submission system  Automatic alt text check  Automatic image check (contrast, resolution, font size..) “Are figures accessible in mathematics academic journals?” - CSUN 2014
  28. 28.  Provide solutions for avoiding the loss of semantic data associated with figures during the transformation from original LaTex documents to the final publication PDF documents.  Research opportunities:  About the metadata workflow.  About the adaptation of Image Processing and Interchange Standard (IPI) “Are figures accessible in mathematics academic journals?” - CSUN 2014 28
  29. 29. 29 Metadata management in the publishing workflow How are metadata and image annotations created and transmitted from initial submission to article publication? Is image metadata in mathematics publications preserved throughout its lifecycle? “Are figures accessible in mathematics academic journals?” - CSUN 2014
  30. 30. 30“Are figures accessible in mathematics academic journals?” - CSUN 2014  Lack of common and clearly defined guidelines addressing accessibility issues related to figures in highly cited mathematics journals.  High variability in the application of recommendations related to graphical features and textual alternatives to the figures in PDF articles.  We propose to improve image accessibility in mathematics by promoting the inclusion of alternative text in publishers guidelines and authors practices.
  31. 31. Questions? centelles@ub.edu http://www.ub.edu/adaptabit/ adaptabit@ub.edu 31
  32. 32. “Are figures accessible in mathematics academic journals?” - CSUN 2014 1. Fedor Nazarov, Dmitry Ryabogin and Artem Zvavitch , An asymmetric convex body with maximal sections of constant volume, J. Amer. Math. Soc. 27 (2014), 43-68 2. Grégory Miermont,The Brownian map is the scaling limit of uniform random plane quadrangulations,Volume 10, issue 2. June 2013 3. Mladen Bestvina , Geometric group theory and 3 manifolds hand in hand: the fulfillment ofThurston's vision, Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 51 (2014), 53-70 4. Jonathan D. Hauenstein and Charles W.Wampler, Isosingular Sets and Deflation, Foundations of Computational MathematicsThe Journal of the Society for the Foundations of Computational MathematicsVolume 13, Issue 3. June 2013 5. Piotr Mackowiak,The existence of equilibrium in a simple exchange model, Fixed PointTheory and Applications 2013, 2013:104 32
  33. 33. 33 Common set of international guidelines for image submission “Are figures accessible in mathematics academic journals?” - CSUN 2014 ISO 80000-2:2009 WCAG 2.0
  34. 34. 34 Start from existing guidelines on image description “Are figures accessible in mathematics academic journals?” - CSUN 2014

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