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Science in the Making accessibility conformance report

WCAG Edition based on VPAT® Version 2.4

Name of product

Royal Society Science in the Making website

Report date

January 2023

Product description

Science in the Making hosts the full collection of archival materials related to the Royal Society journal collection, published from 1665.


The following screens were tested in the scope of this evaluation

  • Homepage

  • Search page

  • Search results page

  • Collections list page

  • In focus list page

  • Collections detail page

  • In focus detail page

  • Archive item detail page

  • People detail page

The following user actions were tested

  • Navigating between different pages
  • Performing searches (free text and filtering by facets)

Evaluation methods used

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1, Chrome DevTools, axe DevTools Browser Extension, W3C html validator, WebAim colour contrast checker, NVDA screen reader for Windows 11 on Browserstack, Screaming Frog for identification of images with missing alt attributes, text spacing bookmarklet, manual testing

Applicable Standards/Guidelines

This report covers the degree of conformance with the following accessibility standards/guidelines:


Included In Report

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1

Level A (Yes)

Level AA (Yes)

Level AAA (No)


The terms used in the Conformance Level information are defined as follows:


The functionality of the product has at least one method that meets the criterion without known defects or meets with equivalent facilitation.

Partially supports

Some functionality of the product does not meet the criterion.

Does Not Support

The majority of product functionality does not meet the criterion.

Not Applicable

The criterion is not relevant to the product.

Not Evaluated

The product has not been evaluated against the criterion. This can be used only in WCAG 2.0 Level AAA.

WCAG Report

1.1.1Non-text Content
Level A
SupportsAll non-text content is equipped with a text alternative except for decorative images.
1.2.1Audio-only and Video-only (Prerecorded)
Level A
Not ApplicableThe site doesn't contain prerecorded Audio-only or prerecorded Video-only.
1.2.2Captions (Prerecorded)
Level A
Not ApplicableThe site doesn't contain prerecorded audio.
1.2.3Audio Description or Media Alternative (Prerecorded)
Level A
Not ApplicableThe site doesn't contain time-based media or prerecorded video.
1.2.4Captions (Live)
Level AA
Not ApplicableThe site doesn't contain live audio.
1.2.5Audio Description (Prerecorded)
Level AA
Not ApplicableThe site doesn't contain prerecorded video.
1.3.1Info and Relationships
Level A
SupportsThe site uses semantic markup, text labels, and ARIA labelling to ensure that visual information and relationships between elements are available to assistive technologies.
1.3.2Meaningful Sequence
Level A
SupportsContent is presented to assistive technologies in a meaningful sequence.
1.3.3Sensory Characteristics
Level A
Not ApplicableNo instructions provided for understanding and operating content used on the site.
Level AA 2.1 only
SupportsAll content can be viewed in multiple display orientations.
1.3.5Identify Input Purpose
Level AA 2.1 only
Not ApplicableNo input fields collect user information.
1.4.1Use of Colour
Level A
SupportsColour is not used as the only visual means of conveying information, indicating an action, prompting a response, or distinguishing a visual element. In particular, care has been taken to distinguish links from other text.
1.4.2Audio Control
Level A
Not ApplicableThe site doesn't contain automatically playing audio.
1.4.3Contrast (Minimum)
Level AA
SupportsLarge text has a contrast ratio of at least 3:1 and normal text has a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1.
1.4.4Resize text
Level AA
SupportsExcept for captions and images of text, text can be resized without assistive technology up to 200 percent without loss of content or functionality
1.4.5Images of Text
Level AA
SupportsThere are images of text on the site (printed as well as handwriting) because the purpose of the site is to present images of original documents. We, therefore, deem the presentation of these images of text essential to the site. Also, the user has the option to zoom into the images as well as adjust their brightness, contrast, saturation, greyscale, and more.
Level AA 2.1 only
SupportsContent can be presented without loss of information or functionality, and without requiring scrolling in two dimensions at a width as small as 320pixels and a height of 256 pixels.
1.4.11Non-text Contrast
Level AA 2.1 only
SupportsThe visual presentation of user interface components and graphical objects have a contrast ratio of at least 3:1 against adjacent colours.
1.4.12Text Spacing
Level AA 2.1 only
SupportsThere is no loss of content or functionality when line height, paragraph spacing, letter spacing, and word spacing are adjusted.
1.4.13Content on Hover or Focus
Level AA 2.1 only
Not ApplicableNo additional content is triggered on hover or focus.
Level A
Partially Supportssearch results and collections list page: Graphs in the filter by date modals not accessible
archive item detail page: Keyboard users not informed that document can be moved/panned
2.1.2No Keyboard Trap
Level A
SupportsThe user can navigate to and from all navigable page elements using only a keyboard without getting trapped at any point.
2.1.4Character Key Shortcuts
Level A 2.1 only
Not ApplicableNo keyboard shortcuts are implemented on the site.
2.2.1Timing Adjustable
Level A
Not ApplicableNo time limits are set by the content.
2.2.2Pause, Stop, Hide
Level A
Not ApplicableThere is no moving, blinking, scrolling, or auto-updating information on the site.
2.3.1Three Flashes or Below Threshold
Level A
SupportsNothing flashes more than three times in any one-second period on the site.
2.4.1Bypass Blocks
Level A
Partially SupportsThere is a link to skip site navigation at the top of each page.
Search results are shown underneath a list of filters which cannot be skipped and have to be navigated past each time a new page with results loads.
On archive item detail pages, there are thumbnails representing the different pages of an object. The thumbnails cannot be skipped and have to be navigated through before the user can access the content below.
2.4.2Page Titled
Level A
SupportsEach page has a descriptive title describing its topic or purpose.
2.4.3Focus Order
Level A
SupportsFocusable components receive focus in a meaningful and logical order.
2.4.4Link Purpose (In Context)
Level A
SupportsThe purpose of each link can be determined from the link text alone or from the link text in context.
2.4.5Multiple Ways
Level AA
SupportsMultiple ways are available to find other web pages on the site.
2.4.6Headings and Labels
Level AA
SupportsHeadings and labels describe topic or purpose.
2.4.7Focus Visible
Level AA
SupportsIt is visually apparent which page element has the current keyboard focus.
2.5.1Pointer Gestures
Level A 2.1 only
SupportsAll multipoint or path-based gestures (such as pinching, swiping, or dragging across the screen) can also be performed with a single point activation (using the keyboard).
2.5.2Pointer Cancellation
Level A 2.1 only
SupportsThe completion of all functions is tied to the up-event.
2.5.3Label in Name
Level A 2.1 only
SupportsWhere interface components present text, the accessible name for that component includes the visible text.
2.5.4Motion Actuation
Level A 2.1 only
Not ApplicableNo functionality can be triggered by moving the device.
3.1.1Language of Page
Level A
SupportsThe language of each page can be programmatically identified by assistive technologies.
3.1.2Language of Parts
Level AA
Not ApplicableThe whole site is in English.
3.2.1On Focus
Level A
SupportsWhen any user interface component receives focus, it does not initiate a change of context.
3.2.2On Input
Level A
SupportsChanging the setting of any user interface component does not automatically cause a change of context.
3.2.3Consistent Navigation
Level AA
SupportsNavigation links that are repeated on different pages (for example the main navigation in the header) do not change order when navigating through the site.
3.2.4Consistent Identification
Level AA
SupportsComponents that have the same functionality within a set of Web pages are identified consistently.
3.3.1Error Identification
Level A
Not ApplicableThe only user input is the search field and there are not error messages associated with this input field.
3.3.2Labels or Instructions
Level A
Not ApplicableThe site has no forms
3.3.3Error Suggestion
Level AA
Not ApplicableNo input errors can be triggered on the site.
3.3.4Error Prevention (Legal, Financial, Data)
Level AA
Not ApplicableThe site does not allow users to make legal commitments or financial transactions. There is no user-controllable data that could be modified or deleted. No user responses are submitted.
Level A
SupportsThere were no errors when the test pages were runt through the HTML validator.
4.1.2Name, Role, Value
Level A
Partially SupportsThe name and role of almost all user interface components are programmatically accessible to assistive technologies. There are a few exceptions when using third-party code over which have no control:

The cookie preferences button causes an issue in automated tests. They report that when the cookies modal is closed, the button is set to aria-hidden true but contains focusable elements. When tested with a screen reader and it announced everything correctly. Also, the focus did not shift anywhere unseen when tabbing.
More of an issue is that inside the cookies content modal, there is a toggle button for performance cookies which has no accessible name at all and is therefore not announced by assistive technologies.

Another example of third-party code is iframes. This code is generated on other sites and then pasted into a page on this site. The generation of this code usually does not generate a title attribute to serve as the accessible name for the iframe. It is to be expected that not all content creators are sufficiently trained to edit this code and include the title by hand. Therefore, there may be pages on the site with iframes that are not announced properly by assistive technologies.
4.1.3Status Messages
Level AA 2.1 only
Not ApplicableThere are no status messages that indicate a change in content without a change in context. The only possible place for a status message to appear like this would be in the search but whenever a search is performed or a filter is applied, the whole page reloads and therefore the context changes.