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Re: Best citation format for accessibility

From: Robin Berjon <robin@berjon.com>
Date: Tue, 22 Sep 2015 16:18:54 -0400
Message-ID: <5601B7AE.1060705@berjon.com>
To: "Siegman, Tzviya - Hoboken" <tsiegman@wiley.com>, "public-digipub-ig@w3.org" <public-digipub-ig@w3.org>
Hi Tzviya,

On 22/09/2015 11:33 , Siegman, Tzviya - Hoboken wrote:
> Great to hear from you.

Likewise :)

> There is a great lack of consensus on best practices for citation in 
> general. Harvard vs AMA vs Vancouver, and that does not include the 
> variety of HTML citations. They all include essentially the same 
> information in a different sequence.

Indeed. Your latter sentence there is what interests me: we can reorder
(and punctuate, and apply font styling) at the style level. That becomes
a matter of writing sufficiently cunning CSS that can match a given
style guide, i.e. it's a SMOP (Simple Matter Of Programming).

> I turn the question around to you. What is missing?

I'm not sure — that's why I'm asking :) I mean, I can easily go with the
order that I think would make sense as the semantic order but I want to
make sure I'm not 927ing the space.

> Should citations be chunked elements that a user can tab through?

On instinct I wouldn't think so. I think it largely boils down to what
order to use, along with some additional notions such as whether
multiple initials stuck together might somehow trip a screen reader
(e.g. Vancouver style would cite this email as from "Berjon RM" which I
reckon might read strangely).

I'd be tempted to go with something like (at 30kft): title, author,
source, date. Without the ontological markup (and with space for
readability), this would look like:

  <span class='punct'>, by </span>
  <span>Herman Melville</span>
  <span class='punct'>(</span>
  <span class='punct'>, </span>
  <span class='punct'>).</span>

> If
> AT can pick up on existing ontologies we can do this now using
> resources like BIBO [1], CITO [2], and others. (This might not be
> easy, but it's better than <span class="surname">)

At this point my understanding is that AT is still catching up to ARIA,
I don't think we should be too reliant on it picking up ontologies.

> One pain point I see is the Name Date method of citation, which 
> refers the reader to the citation by use of the authors surname and 
> year of publication. For example, a reference to Moby Dick would be 
> (Melville, 1851). Multiple references to the same work would use the 
> same reference. When digital, these references are usually links.  I 
> think this method of linking violates WCAG unless one is really 
> careful.

I'm curious which part of WCAG this might violate? Sure enough the
content text is not very explicit, but that's not what you have in mind?

We could switch references between various styles using data-*
attributes and style like the following; but that requires adding data
to the links. I'm not sure it's a good idea — at this point I'm focusing
on the actual citations.

      .refs.numeric a, .refs.author-year a {
        font-size: 0;
      .refs.numeric a::after {
        font-size: 16px;
        content: " (" attr(data-num) ")";
      .refs.author-year a::after {
        font-size: 16px;
        content: " [" attr(data-authyear) "]";

> Should we loop in WAI?

Yeah, I'll point some WAI folks at this thread.

• Robin Berjon - http://berjon.com/ - @robinberjon
• http://science.ai/ — intelligent science publishing
Received on Tuesday, 22 September 2015 20:19:28 UTC

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