Sage Research Methods accessibility guide

Last updated: 14 November 2022.

Welcome to the accessibility guide for Sage Research Methods. 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 AA conformance and Section 508 compliance, you can message Sage's accessibility team at 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 Sage Research Methods, contact us at

Sage Research Methods content and alternative formats

The Sage Research Methods platform provides content through its interface, as well as offering a download option which automatically generates a PDF of the content. All content provided through the platform is DRM-free and there are no technical limitations placed on downloading or printing, though you should ensure that your use of the content is reasonable and complies with our  Terms of Use.

Should a qualified student require a book hosted on this site as an ePub or fully typeset PDF, we recommend that disability officers first try obtaining the title through our partners  AccessText NetworkBookshareRNIB Bookshare or the Accessible Book Consortium's  Global Book Service. Note that there are no typeset or ePub versions of titles other than those in the Books and Reference collections. 

If you need further assistance, you can send an inquiry to 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 - SRM interface

Specific guidance for keyboard navigation

Skipping repetitive content

Sage Research Methods 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.

Video shortcuts

Our video player supports a number of keyboard shortcuts to control playback. These are shown when you click the 'Video quick keys' link on video pages.

Specific guidance for visually impaired users

Reading order

Reading order 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 Sage Research Methods 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.

Navigating 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 the results begin with an h2 tag reading 'Search results', and each individual result is marked with an h3 tag so you can easily skip through them.

Color contrast

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 and we will endeavor to update them.

Text size and magnification

You can 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. Sage Research Methods 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 Sage Research Methods 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.

Audio descriptions are available on Sage Research Methods for videos published from 2020 onwards.

Limitations and exceptions.

  • Automatically downloaded PDFs render alt text where available in the content, but do not render long descriptions.
  • Non-visual navigation of the Methods Map does not refer to the shape of the objects within it. This will only be an issue if a screen reader user is trying to follow another user’s visual instructions.

MathML support

Mathematical notations are rendered in MathML for newer content, and as such can be read, reformatted and magnified using assistive technology. All math contained in Cases, Datasets and Foundations, as well as Book and Reference content published from 2015 onwards, is displayed as MathML.

Limitations and exceptions.

  • The engine that generates downloadable PDFs does not support MathML, so equations in downloaded PDFs are rendered as images even when MathML is available. When reading content that is likely to contain equations, we recommend using the online interface instead.

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:

  • JAWS and Chrome
  • NVDA and Firefox
  • VoiceOver and Safari

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.

Specific guidance for hearing impaired users

Video captions

All videos on Sage Research Methods have synchronized closed captions, which are written by professional transcribers and available in several formats.

On video pages, the transcript alongside the video automatically scrolls and highlights the section of the transcript currently being spoken. You can also scroll the transcript yourself, search within it, or download it as a PDF. Clicking on the transcript will skip to the relevant part of the video.

If you prefer to view the captions as subtitles, you can switch these on and off by clicking the 'CC' button in the video player.

Podcast transcripts

All podcasts on Sage Research Methods have transcripts available through the interface or as a downloadable PDF.

Specific guidance for problems with comprehension, memory, problem-solving or attention

Scrolling transcripts

Videos on Sage Research Methods contain transcripts which automatically scroll and highlight text. If you find this distracting, you can switch this feature off by unchecking the 'Auto-scroll' checkbox.

Text-to-speech tools

All content on Sage Research Methods 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 Sage Research Methods interface. If you would rather read from the automatically generated PDF, you should bear the following in mind.

Limitations and exceptions.

  • 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.
  • PDFs downloaded from the platform convert equations to images and do not render in MathML.
  • 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.

Evaluation and testing methods

The information  in this accessibility guide is based on a third-party expert evaluation of the Sage Research Methods platform conducted by Tech for All between 28 September and 14 October 2022.

As well as automated testing and manual evaluation of captions and text alternatives, an expert screen reader user worked through the web application on a Windows 10 environment using the NVDA 2022.3 and JAWS 2022 screen readers with the Chrome browser (Version 106).

Subsequent to this evaluation, the Sage product and user experience teams met to itemise any outstanding accessibility barriers on the site’s accessibility roadmap, the most relevant issues from which are noted in this guide.

Full testing and evaluation criteria are available on the site’s VPAT, which along with the full roadmap is available on request from

Ongoing support for accessibility

The Sage Research Methods team 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 Sage Research Methods, Sage's accessibility team would love to hear from you. You can contact us at

This accessibility statement was independently verified by ASPIRE on 16 November 2022, achieving gold standard with a score of 100%