Accessibility statement ScienceDirect

Last updated on January 30, 2024

Accessibility statement ScienceDirect

Last updated on January 30, 2024

We demonstrate our commitment to web accessibility by enabling access and optimizing the experience for individuals with disabilities and impairments, including auditory, cognitive, physical, speech, and visual disabilities.

ScienceDirect aspires to meet all guidelines established by the World Wide Web Consortium's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1  and the U.S. Section 508 Standards  of the Federal Rehabilitation Act, as well as similar standards enacted by countries around the globe.

For a detailed review of how ScienceDirect supports each of the WCAG 2.1 and Section 508 criteria, please refer to our Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) document. This accessibility conformance report was last updated in November 2023. To see the latest improvements, please refer to our list of recent accessibility updates.

Accessibility support and feedback

  • To report any accessibility issue or for accessibility support, please contact
  • If you require electronic files for a student or staff member with a disability, you may use the AccessText Network or the Elsevier Disability Request Form to request a file. Most requests are fulfilled same day.
  • For general Customer Service support for ScienceDirect, please complete the HTML Contact us form.

Summary of ScienceDirect Accessibility Features

Feature Blindness / Screenreader Low vision Hearing impaired Mobility / Keyboard-only Cognitive (Dyslexia, Non-native English)
Controls and features are operable using keyboard only yes n/a n/a yes n/a
Pages include a visible Skip Navigation link to skip repetitive elements yes n/a yes yes n/a
Pages are responsive, and content reflows well up to 400% zoom n/a yes n/a n/a n/a
Users can jump directly to a main section in a journal article or book using the outline panel to the left of the article and book chapter pages yes yes n/a yes yes
Content is available in HTML and PDF which can be read using assistive technology such as JAWS screen reader yes yes n/a n/a yes
Math equations are available in MathML yes yes n/a n/a yes
Pages employ ARIA (Accessibility for Rich Internet Applications) to enhance navigation, orientation and labelling for users of screen readers and other assistive technology yes yes n/a n/a yes
All graphical elements and color-coded items have meaningful text equivalents yes yes n/a n/a yes
Forms are marked using labels that are read correctly by screen readers and allow for easier manual selection yes yes n/a yes yes
Error messages are clearly identified using headings and iconography yes yes n/a n/a yes
Pages are uniquely and descriptively titled yes n/a n/a n/a yes
Global navigation links are consistent across pages and enable users to quickly and easily understand the layout of the site yes yes n/a n/a yes
Tutorials are available in HTML text in addition to captioned videos yes yes yes n/a yes
Journal articles include Highlights which summarize main points n/a n/a n/a n/a yes
Closed Captions (pilot) in video journal ScienceTalks n/a n/a yes n/a yes
Accessibility Customer Support is available by an accessible web form or through direct email: yes yes yes yes yes

Reading options

Most content on ScienceDirect is available in both HTML and PDF format. We recommend our HTML format as the most accessible version.

Image descriptions

  • User interface images have alternative text descriptions to convey the meaning of an image to screen readers.
  • Inline content figures are accompanied by a text caption and in some cases meaningful descriptive text in the adjacent body text.

Clear Navigation

  • Pages are well structured using headings, landmarks and lists which allow users of assistive technology to easily jump around pages.
  • Global navigation links are consistent across pages and enable users to quickly and easily understand the layout of the site.
  • Links are named appropriately and include meaningful information about the purpose of the link.
  • Pages have unique and descriptive page titles which help with orientation, tabbed browsing and bookmarking.
  • Readers can skip between sections on all views, using the outline on the HTML page or the Enhanced Reader view or using the table of contents on the PDF.

Keyboard friendly

  • Pages provide logical tab order.
  • Pages include a visible skip navigation link to skip repetitive elements.
  • Interactive elements provide an obvious visible focus state.
  • Keyboard-only users can jump directly to a main section in a journal article or book by using the left-side table of contents.
  • Controls and features are operable using keyboard only.
  • When opening dialog windows and panes, the system places the focus in logical places.

Flexible display

  • Magnification: The Enhanced Reader view also offers options to adjust text size (+ and – buttons). Users can also enlarge pages and text with either browser controls or screen magnification software such as GW Micro’s Windows-Eyes, or ZoomText.
  • Reflow: Content can be viewed in either HTML or PDF. The PDF does not reflow but the HTML version does. Content can be zoomed up to 400% with reflow and without causing horizontal scrolling.
  • Pages use separate cascading style sheets (CSS), allowing users to more easily customize the display and contrast.
  • Pages are usable when style sheets are disabled.

Colors and Contrast

  • Text and link color contrast ratio with background is at least 4.5:1 (e.g. dark grey text on white background, and blue links on white background).
  • Link text has at least 3:1 contrast with surrounding text (e.g. blue links against surrounding dark grey text).
  • Links are identified using color but also use an obvious visual hover and focus state – a color change and either a border or underline.
  • Error messages utilize an icon in addition to red color and an alert role to denote the error state.
  • Disabled links are shown in gray but also coded with aria-disabled or disabled.
  • The best way to adjust color contrast on ScienceDirect is to utilize the accessibility settings in your operating system (e.g. Windows high contrast modemacOS Dark modeiOS Dark Mode, Android dark theme) with the benefit that it will therefore apply to all websites you access.

Screen Reader Friendly

  • HTML journal articles and book chapters are compatible with screen readers such as JAWSNVDA and Apple’s VoiceOver.
  • Math content is displayed in MathML, which can be spoken by text-to-speech engines, magnified, converted to Braille, and pasted into math equation editors or Microsoft Office documents.
  • Article and chapter experimental data are presented in HTML tables with appropriate header markup.
  • Pages employ ARIA (Accessibility for Rich Internet Applications) to enhance navigation, orientation and labeling for users of screen readers and other assistive technology.
  • PDFs with searchable text are available.

Copying & Printing

Other accessibility initiatives

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