There are a variety of ways that books are presented on the ProQuest platform, and each way has its own accessibility features built into the experience. The type of books you find on ProQuest will vary based on your institution’s subscription.
Books displayed with the ProQuest ebook viewer
Many books on the ProQuest Platform are presented within the ProQuest ebook viewer, the same viewer used in ProQuest Ebook Central. This viewer is recognizable by the various save and view options presented before the book, as well as the icons in the sidebar that will allow you to navigate to specific chapters or search the book for keywords.
The ProQuest Ebook Viewer has many accessibility features. While these are explained in detail in the Ebook Central Accessibility Statement
, here are a few of the key points you might want to know:
- Book formats: There are two book formats displayed in this viewer: EPUB and PDF. In general, EPUB books are more accessible, with reflowable text that can be enlarged without requiring scrolling in two directions. PDFs, on the other hand, present content with a fixed width layout, which can make reading more difficult at high zoom levels.
- Table of contents: To navigate a book chapter by chapter, use the table of contents panel, found in the sidebar and denoted by the list icon. This icon is readable by assistive technologies and can be navigated with keyboard only.
- Usage restrictions: Within the limits of daily usage, 99% of individual chapters – as well as hundreds of thousands of full titles – are available on Ebook Central without download, copy or print restrictions. Some ebooks come with rights restrictions set by the publisher. In these cases, full-book access is available through Adobe Digital Editions.
- Copy and print restrictions: Access to copying and printing functionality is available using assisted technology. Some titles have copy and print limitations. Most titles with restrictions allow for 20% of the text to be copied and 40% printed. Information about print and copy limits is available for each book within the Availability section of the book detail information.
- Alt text and image descriptions: The ProQuest Platform supports alternative text and image descriptions when provided by the publishers.
- Colors & Contrasts: ProQuest style guides specify using colors that meet minimum contrast specifications. These aspects can be adjusted in the browser settings.
- Accessibility Mode: There is an “Accessibility Mode” that displays text content with PDFs in a format more similar to EPUB, where the text can reflow and be enlarged without requiring scrolling in multiple directions.
Enabling Accessibility Mode
To enable Accessibility Mode on the ProQuest Platform:
1. Go to the “Bookshelf” section in the “My Research” dropdown menu in the header.
2. From there, select the Account Settings link.
3. Select “Enable Accessibility Mode” in the “Accessibility Mode” section of the page.
Books presented as Scanned Images
Most historical books, including manuscripts dating back to the Middle Ages, are presented as scanned images of the pages of the book. You can tab through book pages and manipulate individual images of each page layout using the Keyboard Image Viewer Controls
. These scanned books are identified by the “Image full text” tab on the document view pages. Examples of databases that contain these types of books are Early English Books Online (which also has 50% of its content in HTML full text format) and Early European Books.
Books presented as full text
Some books on the platform are presented in full text format. For book records with this format (either entire books or chapter results), 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. 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 books and book chapters, 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