Case Study 11.1: Public Knowledge Project Accessibility Interest Group
Mariya Maistrovskaya, Digital Publishing Librarian at the University of Toronto Libraries, described the creation of the Public Knowledge Project (PKP) Accessibility Interest Group (AIG) in 2020. The group was actually conceived of at the 2019 Library Publishing Forum (LPF), when participants in a PKP sprint focused on the accessibility of Open Journal Systems (OJS). The sprinters outlined plans for creating an Accessibility Interest Group that would help audit OJS for accessibility and educate OJS users about accessibility best practices.
Once formed, the AIG focused its energy on several efforts:
- Communicating accessibility developments to the OJS community: The AIG works with the PKP communications coordinator to broadcast recent developments via the PKP blog. See, for instance, the post, “Is Your Journal Accessible? Working with Community to Make OJS Open to All.”
- Encouraging community engagement with accessibility efforts: The AIG solicits support from OJS users, who can follow latest developments via the PKP Accessibility GitHub Project. In this way, the AIG gathers community support for testing and documentation as development efforts continue.
- Educating community members about accessibility best practices: To encourage authors to pursue more accessible practices, the AIG authored “Creating Accessible Content: A Guide for Journal Editors and Authors.”
- Advocating for changes to improve OJS accessibility: As needed, the AIG continues to bring accessibility concerns to the attention of PKP developers.
The AIG’s efforts suggest the potential impact librarians can have when they choose to organize and address product-based accessibility concerns as a community.