The Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS)  is a national data archiving and dissemination service which came into operation in January 2003.
Many Web sites fail to comply with accessibility and usability guidelines or consist of valid code. Prior to setting up the ESDS Web site it was decided that a Web Standards Policy would be agreed upon and adhered to.
The ESDS Web Standards Policy was released in June 2003 and applies to all newly constructed ESDS Web pages.
ESDS is committed to following agreed best standards and good practice in Web design and usability. The underlying code of the ESDS Web site achieves compliance with W3C guidelines for XHTML and Cascading Style Sheets. It strives to meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and be Special Educational Needs Disability Act (SENDA) compliant. Where this is not feasible or practical, e.g., proprietary software programs such as Nesstar Light, we will provide an alternative method for users to obtain the assistance they need from our user support staff. JISC and UKOLN recommendations have been reviewed for this policy.
|Standards||Validation and Auditing Tools|
|XHTML 1.0 Transitional
|W3C XHTML validation service
|CSS Level 2 http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-CSS2/||W3C's CSS validation service
Conformance Level: all Priority 1 checkpoints, most Priority 2 checkpoints, and some Priority 3 checkpoints.
For more detailed information about accessibility standards and how best to implement them see:
HTML is the recommended format for small documents and Web pages.
ESDS also provides access to significant amounts of lengthy documentation to users as part of its service. For these lengthier, more complex documents, we generally follow these JISC recommendations.
If a link leads to a non-HTML file, e.g., a zip or Adobe PDF file, this will be clearly indicated.
Portable Document Format (PDF)
For documents provided in PDF, a link to the Adobe free viewer will be made available.
Rich Text Format (RTF)
All leading word processing software packages include a standard facility for reading RTF and some documents may therefore be made available in this format.
The ESDS is committed to keeping the links on its pages as accurate as possible.
ESDS Web pages are checked using Xenu Link Sleuth  or an equivalent checker, on a monthly basis.
ESDS catalogue records are checked using Xenu Link Sleuth or an equivalent checker on a monthly basis.
ESDS Web page links are manually checked every six months to verify that the content of the pages to which they link is still appropriate.
New templates and all pages are checked for use with these standard browsers:
We test our pages on PCs using Microsoft Windows operating systems. We do not have the equipment to test on an Apple Macintosh platform and rely on the standards we use to assure accessibility.
Diane Geraci and Sharon Jack
Economic and Social Data Service
UK Data Archive
University of Essex
For QA Focus use.