CQ Researcher Accessibility Guide
Last updated: 04 August 2023
Welcome to the accessibility guide for CQ Researcher. We frequently make improvements to make our site more accessible, so you may wish to bookmark this page and check back every now and then.
This page is intended as a user guide to the site's accessibility features. If you would like to request specific information on WCAG 2.1 AA conformance and Section 508 compliance (including VPAT requests), you can message Sage's accessibility team at email@example.com. If you're interested in the accessibility of other Sage products and formats, or accessibility at Sage generally, see our global accessibility statement.
This document is also available as an accessible PDF. If you would like this document in an alternative format, or if you have any other questions about the accessibility of CQ Researcher, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CQ Researcher content and alternative formats
If you need further assistance, you can send an inquiry to
email@example.com . We reply to all inquiries promptly, typically within five working days. If we do not have the file in-house we shall exercise reasonable efforts to have the file produced at no cost to the requestor. Please note this service may take 2-3 weeks. We are not able to provide books in Word, HTML or XML format. PDFs obtained from Sage directly are also DRM-free (no password protection or print/copy restrictions) and permit magnification by the rendering application. Please note that accessible copies are issued for use by qualified students only.
Reading and viewing guidance – CQ Researcher interface
Specific guidance for keyboard navigation
You can use a keyboard to navigate CQ Researcher and use its features. Use the tab key to move through the interactive elements of the page and the visible outline will indicate which element has focus. Features on the site have been designed not to rely on mouse-only interactions like hovering and drag-and-drop.
Skipping repetitive content
CQ Researcher contains a 'Skip to main content' link on each page, which becomes visible when it receives focus. This link always appears as the first link on the page, so you can navigate to it by tabbing down once when the page loads, or tabbing back up to the top of the page at any time. Clicking the link will bypass the site's navigation menus and move focus to the page's main content.
Specific guidance for visually impaired users
Reading order usually follows the visual order of the content and uses a left-to-right, top-to-bottom convention.
Limitations and exceptions: in a few cases, the default reading order may cause content to be read before its context is made clear. For example, in search results the 'Add to list' link is read before the title of the search result, so you will have to navigate back up the page to use this functionality.
Navigating by page section
Each page on CQ Researcher is divided into landmarks so that the layout of the page can be perceived by assistive technologies. As well as using the skip link on each page to bypass repetitive elements, if you use a screen reader you can use these landmarks to scan and navigate the page. Useful landmarks include:
- Banner: The site's global header containing a link to the homepage, navigation menus, a search function and a login menu.
- Main: The main content of the page. Structurally, this is always the first landmark after the banner landmark.
- Navigation: Navigation elements, such as the browse menus.
- Complementary: Content that is separate but supplements the main content, for example related content and chapter tools.
- Contentinfo: The site's footer where useful site-wide information, such as policies and contact information, can be found.
- Region: The site also contains miscellaneous named regions, such as 'Also from Sage Publishing' which links to other Sage products.
- Search: Functionality that enables the user to search the site. On search results pages, filters are contained in a search landmark with the name ‘Quick filters’ so they can be accessed or bypassed easily.
Navigate by heading
Attention has been given to each page's semantic structure (i.e. its h1 to h6 tags) to ensure that headings are descriptive and useful. For instance, on search results pages each search result is marked with an h2 tag so you can easily skip through them.
All text on the platform meets minimum recommended contrast ratios against the background. This is 4.5:1 for normal text and 3:1 for large text. If you still have trouble reading text on the site, the next section contains information about changing the text size. Alternatively, you may find it helpful to use a browser extension to specify your own color combinations, such as
Change Colors for Chrome.
Limitations and exceptions: some content, particularly older content, may contain figures and graphics (including images of text) that do not use sufficient color contrast, or use color as the only means of conveying information. If you find any graphics to be illegible, contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we will endeavor to update them.
Text size and magnification
You can change the text size of content by using the 'Text size' icon in the tools section. This tool does not affect navigational labels. You can also change the size and style of text by altering the default font settings in your browser, or you can alternatively use your browser's zoom functionality. CQ Researcher uses responsive design, so changing the zoom level in your browser will reflow the layout of the page: as you zoom in or out, the page will rearrange itself to use your screen space in the best way.
PDFs downloaded from CQ Researcher support zoom and magnification. As all PDFs have embedded, selectable text, all text can be reflowed in Adobe Acrobat Reader DC and other PDF readers.
Text alternatives for visual content
Navigational images and icons, as well as many images in the content itself, contain useful alternative text. When alt text and long descriptions are available in the content, these are rendered in the interface. Some titles, particularly older ones, do not have text alternatives available for figures and other graphics. If you encounter an image that does not have a text alternative, and you need one, you can request alternative text for specific images by contacting
Images that are decorative or incidental are given a 'null' alt attribute, so they are properly ignored by screen readers.
Screen reader compatibility
Our site is designed to follow a logical reading order and semantic structure rather than work with any specific screen reader. However, we test our site with the following combinations:
Limitations and exceptions:
The main barriers screen readers will encounter will be when reading older content without text alternatives, such as images without alt text and tables that have been scanned in as images. See the 'Text alternatives' section above for more information.
Other than this, platform content and functionality should be available to you when using a screen reader, though some functionality may not provide an optimal experience:
- Making a selection in the ‘Results per page’ and ‘Sort by’ drop-downs on the search results page updates the page automatically. A fix for this issue is on the roadmap.
- The ‘private/public’ toggle for saved searches may present inaccurately to screen readers. A fix for this issue is on the roadmap.
- While you can interact with the chapter sections menu to visually scroll to a section, making a selection does not move focus to that section. It is better to use your screen reader to skip paragraphs rather than attempt to skip sections.
- There may be instances when navigating tab panels where the Screen will stop reading page content and remain stuck. To solve this issue, press the Esc key and input the command for "Start reading", usually Insert+Down Arrow. This solution was tested on both NVDA and JAWS on Google Chrome.
Specific guidance for problems with comprehension, memory, problem-solving or attention
All content on CQ Researcher can be copied and pasted into a text-to-speech tool with no barriers.
Reading guidance - PDF
We recommend that users will get the best experience if they read content directly on the CQ Researcher interface. If you would rather read from the automatically generated PDF, you should bear the following in mind:
- PDFs downloaded from the platform are not tagged for reading order, and so will follow the visual order. The main implication of this is that the page header and footer is read on each page.
- Although alt text is rendered in PDFs downloaded from the platform, long descriptions are not.
- PDFs downloaded from the platform inherit any structural or content issues mentioned above, such as unavailable alt text and untagged section headings.
- If you do not have a PDF reader installed on your computer, you can download Adobe Acrobat Reader DC from Adobe.
Evaluation and testing methods
Insert your text heThe information in this accessibility guide is based on automated testing and manual evaluation of captions and text alternatives as well as results from an expert screen reader user worked through the web application on a Windows 10 environment using the NVDA 2022.3 and JAWS 2023 screen readers with the Chrome browser (Version 106).
The Sage product and user experience teams regularly meet to discuss any outstanding accessibility barriers on the site’s accessibility roadmap, the most relevant issues from which are noted in this guide.
Full testing and evalua
tion criteria are available on the site’s VPAT, which along with the full roadmap is available on request from
Ongoing support for accessibility
The CQ Researcher teams considers accessibility as one of its core design principles. Team members receive regular training on accessibility, and we reference it in job descriptions for new hires.
We work to improve accessibility at each step of the product development process:
- Requirements for new features contain accessibility specifications that outline the desired keyboard and screen reader interactions.
- All visual designs are accompanied by a non-visual outline specifying the page’s reading order, semantic structure and landmarks.
- Developers run automated testing tools to look for obvious accessibility bugs before release.
- Our quality assurance teams perform automated and manual testing against the accessibility specifications.
- Product and user experience teams then test the overall accessibility of the experience before release, using a combination of assistive technologies including screen readers (JAWS/Chrome, NVDA/Firefox, VoiceOver/Safari).
- After major redesigns we commission a third-party evaluation.
How to contact us
If you have any comments, questions, or feedback about the accessibility of CQ Researcher, Sage's accessibility team would love to hear from you. You can contact us at