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Research Evaluates Accessibility of University Websites Worldwide

June 23, 2021

The identity and institutional image of universities are presented to the world through their websites. On their websites, universities publish their academic offerings, their mission, their vision, their academic objectives, their achievements, their regulations, their news and all their university work. Hence, the importance of university websites is accessible. The accessibility of university websites has been evaluated several times in the past, but there is no work that has summarized all the evaluations performed to provide a general overview of the situation. Therefore, in this research we have performed a systematic literature review (SLR) to consolidate, analyze, synthesize and interpret the accessibility results of university websites published in 42 papers that have been selected for this study. The methodology used in this SLR was that proposed in Kitchenham’s guidelines, which includes three stages: planning the review, conducting the review and reporting the review. The results present the analysis and synthesis of the evaluations of 9,140 universities in 67 countries. Of these, 38,416 web pages, 91,421 YouTube videos and 28,395 PDF documents were evaluated. Manual methods, methods with automatic tools and the combination of both methods were used for the evaluation. Most websites were evaluated using the ISO/IEC 40500:2012 and Section 508 standards. The accessibility guidelines most commonly violated in the evaluations were: adaptable, compatible, distinguishable, input assistance, keyboard accessible, navigable, predictable, readable and text alternatives. In conclusion, the university websites, YouTube videos and PDF documents analyzed in the 42 papers present important accessibility problems. The main contribution of this SLR is the consolidation of the results of the 42 studies selected to determine the findings and trends in the accessibility of university websites around the world.

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Source: Springer