Advisory Committee Meeting 10-7-09

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AccessText Advisory Committee Meeting, October 7, 2009


  • Facilitator: Christopher Lee
  • Scribe: Susan Roche

Roll Call and Ground Rules: Christopher Lee

Project Up-Date: ATN Team

  • Review Project Timeline (Christopher Lee)
  • Membership (Christopher Lee)
  • Request and Fulfillment Numbers (Christopher Lee)
  • Application and Training Surveys and Support Logs Topics (Bob Martinengo)
  • Application Update (Todd Runkle)
    • File Transfer System
    • Title Data Management
    • Other Changes
    • V1.3 Features (Todd and Committee Feedback)

Advisory Committee Application and Training Feedback: Committee

ATN Publisher Report & Issues: Ann Berlin

  • International Interest in ATN (Ann Berlin and Ed McCoy)
  • Accommodating Faculty with Disabilities (Ann Berlin and Ed McCoy)
  • CSU Membership (Jeff Senge and Mark Tuner)
  • AHEAD Review of the ATN DSS Membership Agreement (Ron Stewart)
  • New Publisher Exploration and Status (Rick Bowes)

Expanded Services: Christopher Lee

  • DSS to DSS Exchange
  • Post-Production Library
  • Federated Search

ATN Training 2010: Julie Balassa

Proposed for January 2010

Alt Media Conversion 101

What do I do when I receive publisher files from the AccessText Network?

We will address different file formats- (pdf, word, xml)

We will address making this an EASI webinar.

1. Select Guest Speaker

2. Resources

3. Follow up Training

4. Produce a Survey from Authorized Users.

Intuit QuickBase Donation Feedback Survey: Christopher Lee


Download Presentation Slides in Powerpoint

Download Presentation Slides in Word

Meeting Minutes

Next Meeting: 12/10/09 2:30 – 4:00pm

(Note: It is recommended that you view the slides for the meeting presentation as you review these minutes to obtain a better understanding of what is being discussed at each point.)

1. Roll Call was conducted.

2. Project Update – Major project milestones since April 2009 were reviewed.

Highlights included:

  • July 2009 Collaborative Discussions with APH, RFB&D, Bookshare
  • August 2009 Launch of the Access Text Network application
  • August 2009 Media Coverage including: Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Education and various campus newspapers

3. Application and Training Review/Feedback

  • Membership by week
    • 650 Members (including the members served by participating Alternate Media Centers)
    • Members from 48 states plus the D.C. – the only states not represented West Virginia and Delaware
    • Most unique inquiry: Myrtle Beach Surf School has requested membership – not approved
  • Requests
    • 2519 received as of this morning
    • 400-500 requests each week for the first two weeks on line - demonstrates eagerness/need for application
  • % of Requests by Publisher
    • Distribution of requests is similar to the market share that each publisher commands
  • Average Fulfillment
    • Overall 4.5 day
    • Vast majority filled within the AT window of 10 days
    • 150 orders were fulfilled within 24 hours
    • 500 were fulfilled within 24 hours
  • Formats Requested
    • P80% PDF; 20% Word
    • PDF - Most commonly available format from Publishers
    • Is it possible to order EPub and Daisy format in application? Not available through the drop down menu, could put a request for these formats in the notes field.
    • One publisher was surprised at requests for PDF because before ATN they were usually asked to provide Word format which is easier for them to provide. Responses:
    • Many schools prefer PDF because they get a formatted copy of the text book, in a Word document often images/charts etc. are misplaced in the text and without a hard copy of the book it is difficult to correct these issues when making the book accessible. PDF generally more advantageous as a backbone for future editing as it provides access to graphics and a good visual reference for modifying.
    • Consider: All PDFs are not the same. Has there been any thought given to reviewing the Publisher files provided to see how many are tagged or not tagged? Most reported that they had not seen a lot, if any publisher files tagged. Although they are not tagged, there has been a large improvement in the publisher files being issued, as they have moved from previously being Print Ready PDFs (high resolution graphics, large file size), now many are issuing Web Ready PDFs (lower resolutions but acceptable graphics, smaller file size)
    • Action Item: Recommendation to conve a group/sub-committee to put together some guidance (not standards or requirements) about settings that publishers could use when creating files, that would make files easier for post production for accessibility. Note: There are several groups releasing Accessibility Standards statements. These should be considered, but this groups recommendations to publishers might not be the same.
  • Research Title Requests
    • About 10% of the titles entered
    • Most of these are custom titles from publishers, once the custom title is added to the database members can request it
    • Pearson has been handling their own Research Requests
    • Action Item: Advisory Committee would like to see the turnaround times on Research Title Requests
  • Fulfillment Methods
    • What is the difference between Email (providing information about how to access a file on a publisher’s FTP site) and Publisher FTP site data?
    • Email – Publisher sends an email to requestor that requires that they use the link in the email to access the publisher FTP site to download file
    • Publisher FTP – A link to the Publisher FTP site is placed in the ATN system so that the requestor can go directly from the application to the website to download the file
    • Why are some publishers not placing the links to their FTP server files in the ATN system? Some publishers use characters in their addressing schemes that are read as invalid and break the link so they are sending separate emails outside of the system.
  • Application Training and Feedback
    • Training numbers follow the registration/approval patterns.
    • Followed the AMX model for training, all users must attend training before being given access to the application. This has dramatically cut down on number of Support Calls initiated.
    • Training covers everything from ISBN numbers to searching for a book title as well as placing/tracking orders.
    • Training Feedback Survey – 95% Training Met Expectations.
  • Support Logs
    • Surprising that Norton has more logs than any other publisher, have determined that Norton is initiating Support Calls to Requestors advising them of issues such as “Obtaining this title in the requested format is likely to take X days, however the title may be obtained in X format more quickly, Please advise of preferred course of action.”
    • Advisory Committee Feedback/Comments:
      • My boss is allowing us to try this system out now as it is free, however, the need for this system will be reconsidered when there are costs associated with it. One way that I am able to position this system as having added value is through some reporting functionality. Would be easier to sell, if I was able to track more through system via customizable columns.
      • Would be helpful if system could be set to allow both primary and secondary contact to receive emails indicating that files are ready for download.
      • Would be helpful if you could track the time between the initiation of a Support Call and resolution. Can now do this via thread, but would be more useful if you could generate a standard report to do so.

4. Application Update

  • Now operating Version 1.3 Beta (third release)
  • All release notes available on AccessText wiki under Publisher area.

  • File Transfer
    • When application was first built, FTP site had a 1GB limit by default, but never expected files that large would be uploaded/downloaded. After issues with the server timing out and users support calls regarding their inability to download, FTP size limit was reduced to 150MB. Has recently been increased to 250MB. Have not received any Support Calls indicating trouble with uploading/downloading files at this size.
  • Title Data Management
    • Moving away from Bowker Books in Print Data to direct ONIX feeds from publishers
    • Publishers already converted to using ONIX feed data – Norton, Cengage, Wiley
    • Publishers in process of being converted – Pearson
    • Biggest identified hole in data – customized titles, working with publishers to see how ATN can get this info feed into the system as a means to greatly reduce Research Title Requests.
  • Potential Application Enhancements - The following are amongst the planned enhancements for the next release:
    • Customizable email notifications
    • The ability for users to track receipt of files provided outside of the system
    • The ability to initiate a support call for ATN support staff
    • Advisory Committee Feedback:
      • Please to hear about the plans for the customizable fields/emails
      • What type of server is FTP server? Linux based box
      • Concern regarding 250MB file size limit for FTP server. ATN staff is looking into options to address and make the FTP file size unlimited in the future.

5. Publisher Reports

  • International Membership - On hold until January
  • New Class of ATN Membership
    • Publishers are supportive of creating a Governing Body Member category to allow these entities to gain access to reports regarding the Higher Education institutions under its jurisdiction, will not allow these entities to place orders. Language is being drafted.
  • DSS Membership Agreement Issues
    • California State University System Center concern that signing membership would undermine the file repository/file reuse system currently in use via the Center for Alternative Media (CAM). ATN and working with CSU CAM to forge an agreement which would give CAM permission to reuse the files, with the understanding that each useage would be reported through ATN.
    • Does the signing of the DSS agreement somehow cause the DSS office to forfeit certain exemptions and defenses it has under federal accessibility and/or copyright laws? Ed McCoyd of AAP, asked which language in the agreement causes people this concern. None was cited immediately. The issue of states with less restrictive laws also came up. Ed offered that circumventing theses laws was not in any way the intention of the group and that these issues would be further explored. He also suggested that the Advisory Committee keep in mind that all changes to the agreement would require approval of all 8 charter member publishers so it could take some time and work to find a solution that could be enacted.
    • AHEAD statement regarding DSS Agreement – Ron cited a few concerns including:
      • DSS Agreement is aimed at DSS staff who are not able to enter into a contract
      • That agreement could potentially be the cause of relinquishment, on a state by state basis, depending upon state laws
      • The need to “tighten the language” in the agreement
      • In total there are 15 or 16 concerns regarding the agreement
      • Ed asked for clarification regarding the AHEAD concerns. Ron cited that he was not able to clarify further at this time. Ed agreed to wait for AHEAD’s formal statement and then asked that ATN be able to work together with AHEAD to understand the concerns and work to address as many as possible. It was mentioned that AHEAD wants to see ATN work and hopes to be able to be a part of making the agreement better/stronger for all involved.
  • Accommodating Faculty with disabilities – On hold until January, as there are so many other large issues to be addressed at this time.
  • New Publishers for Inclusion – Requested that all Advisory Committee Members consider and advise as to publishers they would wish to see involved.
  • Advisory Committee Feedback:
    • Does agreement inhibit our ability to order from APH, BookShare or RFB&D? No. In fact ATN is in the process of forging a relationship to have a Federated Search feature with all three of these vendors. Ron suggested that it may be helpful to have this specific language in the agreement. Ed stated that he thought this is likely to be acceptable to all of the publishers but cited that there is some concern about making specific statements about campus scanning without publisher permission/response, due to different takes on this issue amongst the eight charter member publishers.
    • Point 8 of Publisher Agreement addresses the ability of publishers to remove text from availability for all titles that become commercially available in a format considered to be accessible. It was suggested that a group be convened to address this issue and offer a statement of concerns/considerations for publishers who wish to follow this practice.

6. Training

The Advisory Committee was instructed to review the training topics under considerations as indicated on the slide and react to it.

  • Advisory Committee Feedback:
    • How is this not duplicative of what AHEAD is already doing?
    • An ATN deliverable for project is to provide training.
    • Despite what is out there/available for information (and there is a lot), many DSS offices are getting large numbers of inquiries for support/direction on what to do after you receive a publisher file, to make it accessible.
    • Perhaps a curator approach, tell people where to access information/supports/vendors.
    • Opportunity for webinars/video training etc to address – could collaborate with AHEAD, Accessing Higher Ground and others already providing similar information
    • Best use of resources help people locate existing resources?
    • Consider diversity of formats when presenting information (Daisy etc.)as for some accessible PDF file is an oxymoron
    • Whatever approach we take be sure it is broken down into very specific modules/snippets that a DSS office could use as it has the need, not so big an offering of information that it overwhelms and people forget what to do at first by the time they get to the end of the process.

Action Items

1. Advisory Committee to provide to Bob Martinengo the names of publishers they would recommend ATN pursue as potential members ( Current List )

2. ATN staff to provide Advisory Committee members with a graph of the top ATN Requestors.

3. ATN staff to consider adding/providing to the Advisory Committee data regarding the turnaround time for Title Research Requests.

4. ATN staff to consider the following application modifications:

  • Customizable columns for reports
  • The ability for both primary and secondary contacts to receive notification when a file is available for download
  • Lifting the 250 MB files size limit on the FTP server
  • Adding a tracking/trigger feature to alert ATN to support call response delays

5. Respond to AHEAD concerns regarding the DSS Member Agreement once report is published.

6. ATN staff to convene the following:

  • A sub-committee to evaluate publisher files currently being produced and make recommendations for general settings that would make all publisher files easier to modify for accessibility.
  • A group to discuss the publisher prerogative to pull a title from availability when a commercially available option is deemed to be accessible.
  • A group to plan for a collaborative approach for providing training/access to training around publisher file post production for accessibility. (Possible approach: work with AHEAD in the production of webinars and video trainings in module form to support the needs of DSS offices.)