ProQuest is committed to providing all our users with a fully accessible experience for research, teaching and learning. We make every effort to ensure that our platforms – including the ProQuest Platform – can be used by everyone. The ProQuest Platform is continually designed and developed to meet Level AA of the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1) and Section 508 of the US Rehabilitation Act for features and functions.
Accessibility features and gaps
The ProQuest Platform is home to a large number of databases. These databases can be searched separately or together using the same interface. Regardless of which database(s) you use on the ProQuest Platform, you should be able to:
- Navigate the website using just a keyboard or speech recognition software.
- Go directly to main content areas on the page using skip links.
- Listen to the website using a screen reader.
- Navigate page content using headings.
- Access fully searchable transcripts and captions for most video content.
- Request on-demand an accessible, textual version of image-based text content.
- View and manipulate images using keyboard-accessible controls.
- Zoom in up to 400% using browser tools without text spilling off screen.
Some of the content on this website is not fully accessible:
- Some PDF documents provided by publishers are not optimized for accessibility.
- A small portion of our image-based content does not have an accessible equivalent option.
- While alternative text is present for images and icons within the user interface, there may not be alternative text for every image within an article.
- There may be cases where headings are not included or heading levels are skipped.
- Some video or audio-only content doesn't have transcripts. Most videos do not have audio descriptions.
For more information, refer to the section below: Accessibility of various formats and content types
If you have a disability and need to make your computer, tablet or other device easier to use, AbilityNet
is a recommended resource. We also recommend browsing free plugins offered for Google Chrome
and Mozilla Firefox
Technical Information about this site’s accessibility
ProQuest is committed to making the ProQuest Platform accessible, in accordance with:
- Level A and Level AA of the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1)
- Section 508 of the US Rehabilitation Act for features and functions.
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- UK Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No.2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.
- EU Directive on the accessibility of the websites and mobile applications of public sector bodies 2016.
Compliance level and report
This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines v2.1 AA standard. Accessibility features and areas of non-compliances are listed in the following section. Access the full Accessibility Conformance Report
(VPAT 2.3 & WCAG 2.1)for the ProQuest Platform.
Accessibility of the user interface
The user interface of the ProQuest Platform is designed to be accessible and operable with multiple input mechanisms, including keyboards, screen readers, and voice control technologies. This is enabled by comprehensive labeling of form elements and icons, and features like headings that are used to make the platform easier to navigate without a mouse. For example, the titles of all search results are Heading level 3 elements, which makes it possible to quickly scan the results list with assistive technologies.
Skipping repetitive page content via skip links is also possible on every page. Skip links allow you to bypass persistent header links and jump directly to main content. On the results page, there are additional skip links before the result items that let you jump directory to the filter options and highlighted content areas.
The ProQuest platform is built to be responsive, meaning that regardless of the device you are using or the zoom level set in your browser, interface elements and content will reflow. This means that text will be legible, controls will be usable, and content will not require scrolling in multiple directions. Note that some content in PDF format does not reflow due to the nature of PDF formatting (see next section).
Accessibility of various formats and content types
While using the ProQuest Platform, you may come across several types of formats and content types. To help you learn about how best to access and use this content, we’ve noted our recommendations below, along with known issues that may affect accessibility.
Textual content includes content originally published in scholarly journals, newspapers, magazines, books, and other textual sources (digital books are discussed in an upcoming section). The example shown in the screenshot below is an article from a trade journal that was found on ABI/INFORM Collection, a database on the ProQuest Platform. The features shown here are common across most textual records. Below the title you will find the formats available for that document. The most common options are “Full text” and “Full text – PDF.” When available, other format types will also be listed in this area.
For many records, we are able to offer the full text in HTML format. HTML is the standard technology for displaying text on the internet. For records with this format, you will be able to use standard browser functionality to enlarge and reflow the text. Color and other properties of page elements can be manipulated by assistive technologies or browser plugins. When this format is available, you will see the label “Full text” in a tab above the article text. We recommend it above other formats, since it is the most flexible and accessible. Please note that some content sets present an alternate full-text view optimized for viewing magazines and historical content created from scanned images (See the “Scanned Image Content”
For users that want to have full text articles read to them, a text to speech
option is available, if enabled by your institution. If you don’t see this option, you can use the inbuilt text to speech functionality in the Edge browser (Windows only) or explore browser plugins for Chrome and Firefox.
When provided by the original publisher, section headings are preserved in full text articles, but you may find cases where they are missing or incomplete. To learn about how to add headings to full text documents, read our support article: Adding headings to full text articles.
Our image viewer tool allows you to zoom, rotate and pan large resolution images included in full text documents. For users with reduced motor ability, images can be manipulated using a keyboard-only option.
Full text – PDF
Some records include the original PDF from the publisher as an alternate format. Other records, including dissertations and theses offer this PDF as the only full text option. Many researchers prefer these PDFs because they preserve the original formatting, layout, and graphics used in their original publication. For these same reasons, PDFs can be less accessible than the HTML “Full text” format described in the previous section.
The accessibility of the original PDFs found on the ProQuest Platform varies depending on the manufacturing process used by the original publisher. Despite having a fixed layout, most PDFs include text that can be selected, copied, and read by assistive technologies. Rather than reading the PDF on ProQuest’s on-page display, you may find that downloading the PDF and opening it in a PDF reader will give you more options to manipulate the format and appearance of the text. You can do this by using the “Download PDF” option found directly after the title of the document.
Some PDFs contain text that is not able to be searched or selected. In general, PDFs published more recently will have more accessibility features.
Scanned Image Content
If your research involves referencing historical records or magazines in their original presentation format, you may encounter documents created from scanned images, where the text is not selectable or accessible by assistive technologies. Where possible, ProQuest offers an on-demand service that will use OCR (optical character recognition) technology to create a readable version of the text within the scanned image. For more guidance about how to access these records, including instructions about how to generate this plain text version, please read our support article: Generating a text version of scanned image documents
For users with reduced motor ability, a keyboard-only option for manipulating images is available. This tool allows you to zoom, rotate, and pan the image without using a mouse. To learn more about how to use this tool, read our support article: Using the Keyboard Accessible Image Viewer on the ProQuest Platform
Books on the ProQuest Platform come in several digital formats. The vast majority of these books can be searched, navigated with a persistent table of contents, and are accessible to screen readers. The specific format and accessibility features for a given book may vary. For example, while much of our book content is DRM free, some ebooks contain print and copy limitations. To learn more about the accessibility of books on the ProQuest Platform, read our support article: Books and Accessibility on the ProQuest Platform
Video and audio
The majority of video and audio content on the ProQuest Platform have features designed for accessible access, including independent controls for volume, searchable time-stamped transcripts, and closed captions. Some older videos may not feature closed captions, but most of these have accessible transcripts. Transcripts can be downloaded in text format by opening the “All Options” menu and selecting “PDF” or “TXT” under the “Other Options” heading.
Audio descriptions are not widely available for videos found on the ProQuest Platform. Where audio descriptions may be required, or where users may have problem accessing video content, contact us to discuss the most appropriate solution.
The accessibility of the ProQuest Platform is a continual effort at ProQuest. Accessibility standards are built into our design and style guides and included as part of requirements in our software development and quality assurance pipeline.
- The ProQuest Platform’s code is checked for accessibility using a range of automated and manual checks including but not limited to:
- Color Contrast Analyzer provided by WebAIM
- Deque aXe accessibility testing tool
- High Contrast Chrome extension
- Keyboard-access manual testing and assessment
- WAVE (Web Accessibility Evaluation tool) provided by WebAIM
- ProQuest tests all existing and new functionality with the latest version of JAWS, NVDA, and VoiceOver.
The ProQuest Platform is tested on the latest versions of Firefox, Safari, Edge and Chrome and on devices including Mac and PC Desktop, iPad & Android tablets, and iPhone and Android phones.
What We’re Doing to Improve Accessibility
Accessibility of our tools and content is an ongoing effort at ProQuest. We’re committed to working with the community to ensure we continue to meet our customers’ needs. A list of our ongoing efforts includes:
- Testing with a range of assistive technology users
- The ProQuest Accessibility Council: a team of stakeholders working to increase accessibility resources and capabilities
- Pursuing partnerships with colleges, universities and other institutions to assist us in reviewing and updating our accessibility standards
- Supporting certifications for our employees
- Consulting with, and performing audits through, accessibility experts such as Deque
- Accessibility is embedded in our development process. Our acceptance of new features and functionality requires compliance with WCAG 2.1 AA.
Support and feedback
If you have difficulty accessing specific ProQuest content or features with adaptive technology after trying the workarounds suggested in this statement, you can contact us using the links provided below. Our support services will respond within three days and are available to accommodate the communication needs of end users with disabilities. We will work with you to identify the best option for remediation, subject to content licensing restrictions and technical capability.
Online: ProQuest Technical Support
United States & Canada (toll free):+1 800 889 3358
Outside North America:+800 4997 4111
or +1 734-707-2513
Preparation of this accessibility statement
This accessibility statement was prepared on June 22nd, 2020. It was last reviewed on July 24, 2020.
The website was last tested in December 2019. The test was carried out internally at ProQuest.