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Open Access: Accessibility Protocol

Accessibiity Protocol

University of Bath Accessibility Protocol

The University of Bath is committed to making its Research Repository (Pure) accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

The following accessibility statement sets out how the University of Bath’s Research Repository meets these obligations. It also explains what content is exempt from this requirement.

We will update this statement as and when we make improvements to the repository.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) explained

To make sure that our website and applications are accessible, we follow the World Wide Web Consortiums (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.1.

WCAG is a universally accepted standard for measuring the accessibility of a website or app. It uses a scale A, AA and AAA to rate the accessibility of content.

The University is committed to making sure, where possible, that its content meets AA compliance. AA compliance means people who have a disability should be able to access the majority of our content easily.

How we meet WCAG standards

  • To make sure that our website is compliant with accessibility standards, our templates:
  • use valid HTML and CSS
  • let users change aspects of the site's appearance to improve their own experience
  • are easy to navigate no matter the input device or method
  • have a logical content structure and a clear information hierarchy
  • have layouts that adapt to different screen sizes without loss of functionality or usability
  • provide sufficient colour contrast between background and foreground items
  • provide alternative text descriptions for non-text elements such as images

The majority of our content meets WCAG 2.1 AA guidelines. We have, however, identified some instances where this is not the case.

Research Repository website

The University’s Research Repository is made up of a publicly accessible website, and restricted access sections used by members of the University to upload and manage content. The site went live before 23 September 2018. 


The Research Repository contains a publicly accessible interface, Bath Research Portal, presenting published information about research outputs preserved by the University. This includes a landing page for each output containing information about the output and, where possible, the full text PDF file available for download. The repository’s public-facing website/portal also includes information about its policies, and a variety of user guides.


Pure is a Current Research Information System (CRIS) which provides the architecture and user interface for the repository. It is used by members of the University to create research output records containing information (metadata) about research outputs, and upload PDFs and other files.  To access Pure you need a valid University username and password.

Non-accessible content

The University of Bath is actively working to improve the accessibility of the Repository.  In the interim, users of the Research Portal may experience difficulty accessing some content.

Non-accessible content that is outside the scope of the regulations

The following content is exempt from the ‘The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018’:

Archival content - PDFs and other documents

As a Library-managed repository preserving a collection of scientific interest, the research repository publishes research outputs such as articles, working papers, posters and reports, many of which are downloadable PDFs created during research activities from a range of disciplines. Some of these PDFs may not have been accessibility checked at the time of upload.  Many PDF documents, especially older ones, are not fully accessible to screen reader software and do not contain other common accessibility features. In particular:

  • many documents, especially older ones, do not conform to the PDF/A archiving format.
  • many lack bookmarks or document titles, therefore failing to meet WCAG 2.1 success criteria 2.4.5 and 2.4.2.
  • many discuss scientific or scholarly concepts which may be abbreviated with no mechanism for discovering the meaning of the abbreviations, or unusual words arising from scholarly discourse without definitions. These issues each fail WCAG 2.1 criteria 3.1.4 and 3.1.1 respectively.
  • there may be some documents that fail to specify their human language, thereby failing WCAG 2.1 success criterion 3.1.1.
  • many documents may not reflow satisfactorily. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.10.

Third-party content

Some outputs may include links to content hosted on external websites that are not owned, paid for, or developed by the University of Bath. This content may not be accessible.

We are therefore responsible for preserving certain content that may not meet WCAG 2.1 AA guidelines. You might experience difficulty accessing this content.

Request an alternative format

If you cannot access a specific document available on the Research repository website and would like to request an alternative format, for example an accessible Word or PDF document, large print document, easy read version, audio recording or braille copy, please email:

We will try to provide you with an alternative version; however there may be situations where this is not possible.

Reporting an accessibility issue about the research repository

If you find an accessibility problem that isn't listed, please contact the Library’s Research Publications Service:

If you are not happy with our response

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for making sure organisations meet the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018. If you are unhappy with our response, please contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS) for further advice.

University of Bath Web Accessibility Statement -