Authorized User Reference Manual
Details the most frequently used authorized user functions and activities within the AccessText application. Documentation for each activity includes:
- Step by step instructions
- Screen shots with labels to provide further clarification
- Links to brief video tutorials about specific tasks within the application
Tables in the AccessText Application
The application uses a number of tables that hold data in the form of records for the various procedures needed to process requests from Authorized Users to publishers. It is important to note that to make changes to a record the record must be opened for editing, and the changes will not be permanent until the record is saved. There may be required fields in a record that must be present in order for the record to be saved.
- Publishers A record is kept for each publisher member containing contact information and preferences.
- Imprints There is a record for each publisher imprint. Imprints are associated with publishers.
- Titles There is one title record for each unique book title in the AccessText catalog. Titles are associated with imprints.
- Authorized Users This table has information on all current DSS and AMC members.
- Requests There is a record of every request made by the Authorized User. Each request is associated with a specific title.
- Downloads This is a record of files downloaded from the AccessText FTP server by the Authorized User.
- Support Logs This is a record of the support logs created by an AU. A support log is associated with a specific request.
- Research Titles This is a record of the title research requests submiited by an AU.
The application comes with a number of reports for organizing and tracking information. Extensive assistance with report creation can be found in the QuickBase documentation, and AccessText staff are available for assistance.
Publishers, Titles, and Imprints
Each publisher has their own profile page, showing the publishers address, contact information and application settings for approval methods (more on approval methods below). One important factor in the success of the AccessText application is our database containing current, complete, and accurate information about the textbook titles published by the member publishers.
This data enables authorized users to request the appropriate book titles that their students have been assigned, and it will allow publishers to provide useful information about the types of electronic files they have available and the approximate timeframe expected for requestors to receive files.
Authorized User Verification Process
The majority of AccessText Authorized Users (AU) will be Disabled Student Services (DSS) offices at public and private colleges in the United States and its territories, but there are also expected to be several Alternate Media Centers (AMC) as members. AMCs make requests on behalf of other DSS offices. The AU office staff are the people making requests for files and permission through the AccessText system.
When a AU applies for membership, the AccessText staff will verify their eligibility to ensure that only qualified personnel receive access to the application.
Note: Publishers have access to AU profiles and to the cumulative record of all file and permission requests made for that publishers titles. Publisher will not be able to view titles that the AU has requested from other member publishers, nor will an AU be able to view any information about other AUs.
Making Requests for Electronic Files from Publishers
The first step in the process involves an AU logging on to AccessText. As specified in the membership agreement, requests must only be made on behalf of qualified students with disabilities for assigned textbooks. The AU will locate the required title in the database and create a new request record, which will be used to track the request throughout the fulfillment process.
Locating a Title
The next step in making a request is to locate the title in the AccessText database. The AU should have the book information from the student ready when they begin the process. The most accurate way to locate a title is by ISBN, and the best way to search for an ISBN is to follow the links for 'Search Titles' in the Toolbox on the Dashboard to the Search Titles by ISBN link. You can also search by title or author, but the important thing is to be sure the correct book is located. Each Title record displays information about that book and also contains a link to create a request for the title.
Note: ISBN refers to the 13 digit unique identifier found on every commercially published textbooks. Some older books may only display a 10 character ISBN, which can be used for searches. Some non-commercial material such as course packs will not have ISBNs and cannot be requested through the ATN system. Creating a Request
Once the correct title has been located, the AU can click on the 'Add Request' link to create a new request for that title. This will open a new page in your browser with a request record open in edit mode. The AU must select the type of request, and for file requests, the type of file preferred (Note: Publishers are not bound by this selection and may provide a different format). To complete the request, the AU saves the record and the request is passed to the publisher.
Titles Associated with Related Titles
Publishers may add information to a title record about related titles. For example, if the title is for a bundle of three books, the can list the ISBNs of the related titles in the title record. They may set the status of the bundled title to unavailable with an explanation that the AU should request the titles in the bundle individually. If a Title is listed as Unavailable
If the publisher has set the status of a title to Unavailable, they should have entered a reason or an optional method of obtaining the title. It may be that an ISBn refers to a bundle of material that the publisher would prefer the AU to request individually. The AU can still request permission to scan the title or permission to redistribute an existing file to another qualified student.
If a Title can not be Located
There are several reasons a title may not be in the AccessText title database:
- The title is not published by a member publisher
- The title is by a member publisher but is missing from the database
- The title contains an incorrect ISBN or other data
If the title is published by an ATN member publisher but can not be located in the title table, the AU should create a Research Title request. This can be done from the Dashboard by clicking the link in the Research Title cases section, 'Add a New Research Title Case' and following instructions. If it is determined that the title is valid, it will be added to the title table and the AU will be notified they can now make a request for it. If it is not a valid title, the AU will be notified and provided further information.
If the title is not published by a member publisher it can not be requested through the AccessText Network. Please refer to the publisher and imprint table to verify the correct publisher information. For non-member publishers, please consult www.publisherlookup.org for contact information.
Note: Several publishers have informed ATN staff that some of their custom titles or bundled titles may not be included in the Books in Print database used for the ATN title table. ATN staff will work with ATN members to try and improve this situation as the application evolves.
Canceling a Request
If a file that has been requested is no longer needed by a student before the file has been received by the AU, the AU should cancel the request so that the publisher can move on to other requests. To cancel a request, locate the request record for the title, open the record for editing, click the check box for 'cancel request', complete the other fields needed, and save the record
How Requests for Files are Fulfilled
Once a request for a file has been approved, its status is considered to be 'pending fulfillment'. The general steps in the fulfillment process are:
- The requested file is located and retrieved by the publisher.
- The file is sent to the AU directly, or the AU is notified by email where to obtain the file.
- The request record is updated by the publisher with the fulfillment date and method, which changes the status of the request to fulfilled.
Note: When a publisher knows that it will be more than 10 days before a request can be fulfilled, they should enter the projected fulfillment date in the form field of that name.
When the publisher is ready to complete a request they will update the request record with the fulfillment method and send the file to the AU. When the request record is updated an email notification is automatically sent to the AU. The AU will then log on to the AccessText system to see what delivery method was selected and download the file if the publisher used that fulfillment method. The methods the publisher may use to transmit the file are:
- CD The publisher has burned the file(s) on a CD and mailed it.
- Email The publisher will send an email directly to the primary contact. The file(s) were either attached to the email or the email contains instructions for the AU to retrieve the file.
- FTP The publisher sent the file using the FTP server provided by the ATN.
- Publisher FTP The publisher used their own FTP or web-based file transfer system.
If the publisher used the FTP server included in the AccessText application, they will also have a record of the time the file was downloaded by the AU. The link to the file is encrypted and secure, and expires 14 days from the time it is issued. The AU can download the file for 14 days after receiving the fulfillment notice.
Requests that can not be Fulfilled
There are a number of reasons why a publisher may not be able to provide a file for a request: Titles are acquired from other publishers without the source files, books are too old to have usable files, things get lost, etc. In these cases, in addition to informing the AU that the request cannot be fulfilled (and the reason), the publisher may offer to provide a desk copy of the book or offer another option at their discretion.
If an AU has requested a title that a publisher will not be able to fulfill, the publisher should update the title record for that title indicating it is unavailable and giving a reason why. This will save the AU and the publisher time by avoiding making requests for titles that are not available. The publisher may note pertinent information on the title record when files are available for a related title. The publisher will enter one of the following disposition codes in the request record as appropriate:
- Requestor may scan print materials.
- Publisher does not hold copyright for title.
- Third-party copyright restrictions.
- Third-party-copyright restrictions. Requestor may scan specific portions of print material.
- Denied for other reason [publisher will provide additional explanation].
Making Requests for Permission to Scan or Redistribute Files
AUs will use the AccessText application to request permission from publishers to scan books in order to create alternative media for their students, and also to redistribute files in their possession to other qualified students with disabilities for the same purpose. The AU will go through the same process as when creating a request for a file (see 'Locating a Title' above) but will indicate that the request type is 'permission to scan' or 'permission to redistribute file' on the request form. For these types of request the publisher is not being asked to provide an electronic file.
Permission to Scan
If the request is for permission to scan and the publisher has set the approval method for this type of request to manual, the publisher will have to manually approve the request. When they have done so, the system will send an email to the AU letting them know the request was approved and permission was granted. If the publisher has set the approval method to automatic, the AU will receive an automated email generated by the AccessText application shortly after they submit the request.
Permission to Redistribute File
When an AU wishes to provide a file obtained through the ATN system for one qualified student to another qualified student who needs the same file, the AU must request and receive permission to redistribute the file from the publisher. The AU must indicate on the request form if the file was created by the AU by scanning a printed book, or if the file was originally obtained from the publisher.
The publisher can either approve these requests automatically or manually. If they approve them automatically the AU will receive an email shortly after they submit the request. If the publisher has opted for manual approval the AU should wait until they receive notification that the request has been approved before providing the file to additional students.
When a AU has a question or concern regarding a request they have made they can create a Support Log linked to a specific request. The AU enters the subject of the inquiry in the Subject field and then adds details in the Notes field of the Support Log. The AU can then select who should receive email notification of the inquiry:
- Email Publisher Approval Contact Check this box if you want to email this support log to the publisher rights and permission approval contact. An email notification is sent when the support log record is created or updated. Normally, this box would be checked by the requestor if the support log is an issue regarding approval of the request.
- Email Publisher Fulfillment Contact Check this box if you want to email this support log to the publisher fulfillment contact. An email notification is sent when the support log record is created or updated. Normally, this box would be checked by the requestor if the support log is an issue regarding fulfillment of the request.
The publisher is expected to respond to the AU in a timely manner by opening the Support Log for editing and replying with information related to the inquiry. If the publisher cannot resolve the matter immediately, they should enter a note indicating what steps are being taken to resolve the matter.
Note: A publisher can also create a Support Log for an AU if they have a question about a specific request the AU has made. The AU will receive an email with a link to the Support Log, which should contain details about the publishers question.
Application Help Icons
The ATN application is based on the QuickBase platform, which has its own extensive Help materials to assist users with basic operating procedures, such as creating, emailing, and saving custom reports. It also has a built-in Help Icon system, in which a yellow 'question mark' icon is shown next to every field that has help text associated with it. ATN developers have created help text for any application field that requires explanation.
Wiki-based Support Materials
- The wiki contains a detailed Reference Manual and User Guide for Authorized Users. The materials will be updated as changes are made to the application.
- The FAQ section answers many questions about the application.
- The Glossary contains definitions of the various terms used throughout the application and in the alternative media field in general.
There will also be other documentation developed as the need arises, including video presentations, recordings of trainings, and other support materials. These will be posted to the wiki or to the AccessText.org website as appropriate.
ATN Staff Support
The ATN staff are available to assist with questions and concerns via email and also a toll-free phone line Monday through Friday during normal business hours. ATN staff will also process Title Research requests submitted by Authorized Users for appropriate resolution, which may include contacting publishers for more information about specific titles.