Accessible Content

Edward Elgar Publishing is committed to publishing accessible content. A digital accessible text is one that is compatible with screen reading software to allow equal access to content for those with visual or reading impairments.

The European Accessibility Act (EAA) establishes accessibility targets which we, in common with all Publishers, must meet to ensure free movement of books within the EU market. The EAA strengthens the rights of people with disabilities to access products and services, including ebooks and e-readers and is already in force. Publishers need to be compliant by June 2025 to ensure our products can enter the EU market.


Alternative Text

Alternative Text (‘alt text’) is a key principle of accessible publishing and we require alt text to be provided for images and lengthy or complex tables so that those with visual or reading impairments can access the descriptive information for these.

To provide alt text for your work, please follow the instructions below:


How to write alt text for figures and tables

  • Describe the image as specifically as possible. Alt text is designed to provide text explanations of images for users who are unable to see them.
  • Keep your description short (one or two sentences) as some screen readers cut off alt text at around 125 characters.
  • Include your keywords where possible but focus on writing descriptive alt text that provides context to the image.
  • There is no need to include “image of,” “picture of,” etc. in your alt text.
  • Do not use a file name, duplicate text, or URLs as alt text, as these are not useful to someone with a visual impairment.

Please provide your alt text for all images and any lengthy or complex table in a single separate Word file, clearly indicating the figure and table number and caption that the alt text belongs to (i.e. Figure 2.1, Table 3.2 etc.). A template form for providing this information is available here.


For examples of alt text see the Alt Text Samples PDF.


Structured content for e-readers

In order for your chapter to be navigable using screen readers, we require your assistance with the following:



Any subheadings need to be clearly identified with either numbered or lettered headings within the text, e.g. Chapter One may contain an Introduction section labelled ‘1.1 Introduction’ or ‘A. Introduction’


Labelling Tables, Figures and Boxes

Similarly, all Tables, Figures and Boxes in your book need to be clearly labelled in order to be easily navigated to - they must have numbers e.g. ‘Figure 1.1’ and titles e.g. ‘A graph from 2021–22 of employed women in UK’.



Endnotes and footnotes should ideally be inserted using the Word endnote/footnote tool so they are ‘linked’ and easily cross referenced.



Any boxes or lengthy quotes should ideally be introduced in the text immediately preceding them, e.g. ‘Box 1.1 discusses the idea of X’ or ‘John Smith’s talks about Y below’.



Please avoid including merged, split, empty or large cells in any tables. These make it very difficult for screen readers to read out accurately. If these need to remain, then please note your table will be treated as an image, and we will need you to provide a ‘Table Summary’ alt text paragraph which we can add to the image (see guidelines above for how to write this).