This guidance has been developed at the request of licensees and with the input of HEIs and the Copyright Negotiating and Advisory Committee (CNAC). These recommendations are intended to help HEIs produce the best possible quality of Digital Copies under their Higher Education Licence, both to ensure licence compliance and to promote best practice across the sector.
The terms of the CLA Higher Education Licence include various requirements about how material can be copied and presented to students. These are listed under the Moral Rights section of the User Guidelines and under 4.2.9 of the Licence (https://cla.co.uk/higher-education-licence-docs).
Moral rights are enshrined in copyright law, and include the following on behalf of authors and visual creators:
- the right to be identified as the author (or visual creator) of a work;
- the right not to have their work misrepresented;
- the right not to have a work that they did not create falsely credited to them;
- the right to object to derogatory treatment of their work.
Adaptation of extracts
You can adapt extracts (e.g. shorten/annotate them), but any adaptation must be entirely for pedagogical purposes and not detrimental to the moral rights of the author and/or visual creator. No other alteration or manipulation is permitted.
Please note the following:
- Adaptations should include an indication (for the students to see) that the extract has been altered – e.g., for an English Literature course, ‘Please review this extract which has been adapted from [Title] by [Author]’.
- You can abbreviate or shorten the text of an extract, provided any omissions are clearly marked and don’t affect the meaning or sense of the text in any way that might affect the author’s moral rights. For example, you can blank out parts of a text, or translate some of the words from/into English or another language, for the purposes of asking students questions about it.
- You can add annotations to copies, e.g. in the form of a commentary, and annotate an image by adding some narrative text/commentary. As noted on page 15 of this document, you can produce a copy of an image stripped of its accompanying text. You can also synchronise text and/ or images otherwise separated by the layout of the source.
Other than pedagogic alteration, Moral Rights can also determine what the requirements are in terms of quality, as the right not to have an author’s work misrepresented does extend to the quality of reproduction.
For example, when copying from a double-page spread we often see obscured text, such as in the example below. We can see that the text nearest the indent is obscured, which affects the meaning of the text.
This is an example of what can happen when poor scanning quality could mean breaching the terms and conditions of the Licence.
The following section details CLA’s recommendations on how to make the best quality scans / Digital Copies under your HE Licence. We would ask that all institutions do their best to implement these, and consider their responsibilities under the EU Web Accessibility Directive, however we acknowledge that not all HEIs may be able to adhere to these recommendations, which is why they are advisory and not Licence requirements.
These recommendations were created in collaboration with our licensees from a breakout session at the Winter 2019 CITE meeting.
OCR stands for Optical Character Recognition and is the conversion of text as an image into machine-encoded text, so that it can be searched for, copied, highlighted and read.
We would recommend all new documents to be created as OCR, as this offers a basic level of accessibility. It will be necessary to provide OCR scans for any visually impaired students who wish to, for example, have text read aloud by screen reader technologies. But OCR is also extremely useful for all students, to search text, highlight and copy.
Many professional scanners come with automatic OCR. For those that don’t you can use OCR software products to do this after you scan. We will focus on specific products at the end of the guidelines, but this article on the top OCR products may be of use: https://techigem.com/ocr-software/
DPI stands for Dots Per Inch and indicates the image scanner dot density (per inch). It indicates image quality. The higher the dots per inch, the higher the quality of the scan, and this is especially important when magnifying text.
We would recommend that all scans in the DCS are at least made at 300 DPI. This keeps the balance between quality of scanning and the file size of the document itself. Documents that are too big can take a long time to load and even longer to download to a PDF in the Student Reader, which can affect the student experience (see file size section).
Reflow allows the text on the page to be enlarged without the horizontal scroll bar appearing. When the text size increases, the text wraps so content is not lost in the margins. This allows students with visual impairments to zoom into the document whilst still having a simple user experience of scrolling down the page.
We recommend reflow for all documents, which allow for a zoom of up to 200% on the page. Reflow can be added by a number of programmes which tag words and characters in the document to facilitate a logical reflow. As well as visually impaired students, reflow can give all students a better user experience and allow them to magnify a document as much as they might want or need.
Alt-text or alternative text are the words and phrases that can be added to images and diagrams in documents to describe the nature or content of the images and diagrams.
Alt-text can be added by individuals to each image / diagram but can also be added automatically by some programmes such as textBOX.
We recommend that, where possible, images and diagrams are accompanied by alternative text to describe what’s in the image.
We recommend that scans be kept to a single scanned page for each page of the original text.
This will make documents easier to read and easier to navigate for students.
We recommend that all lines and hues are removed from documents to ensure clarity and, as indicated in the first section, copying shouldn’t come up to near to the line if you do have to copy double pages for one scanned page.
Documents should avoid shadows and should only encompass the scan itself (rather the black edges that can appear around the scan)
In general documents should be as legible and aligned as possible.
Increased file sizes are often a result of creating accessible formats for documents, however an overly large file can negatively affect student experience. There are some great OCRed, reflowable, single-page documents in the DCS that are under 1MB, so it is possible to keep quality high and file sizes low.
Usually this involves compressing the file, and we would recommend using the same tool you may have used for accessibility for file-compression, as that will make it more likely that your accessible features are kept in place.
We recommend, where possible, file sizes are kept below 5MB. This isn’t always possible, especially with files with lots of images or diagrams, and therefore recommend adding a warning message wherever you place the file (VLE, Reading List etc) for all files over 5MB.
For example: “Warning: this is a large file and may take some time to open and download as a PDF, depending on local internet speeds”
The Digital Content Store Workflow
Currently there are two ways to add accessibility to the DCS workflow.
Before the file is initially uploaded – users can run their files through any programs that add accessibility features and then upload their scans using ‘Add Document’. Click ‘Content is OCR’ when uploading.
By downloading any DCS file – all DCS files, including those from the British Library, are DRMfree (without igital rights management). You can download any file from the ‘Preview’ option in the DCS request and then run the file through any program you wish. After completing this, re-upload as referenced above.
HEIs can also request that CLA bulk replace content in the DCS. To do this we require a list of all the PDF names that you want to upload to the DCS to replace current links and what the Request ID is for all these requests (so we know what request to add the file to). You will also need to request access to the CLA Cloud to upload your new (accessible) versions of your PDFs.
To request a bulk replacement of your DCS content, please get in touch: email@example.com
CLA is also exploring other options for accessibility workflows in the DCS and will update users when any changes are made.
The following are Technology Providers that you may wish to consider. If you have a recommendation, please let us know and we will add to the list.