How to cope with backlist titles? (slide 1)

Presentation to Federation of European Publishers (FEP) – Accessibility working group meeting on 2023 february 3rd.

Partenaires (slide 2)

ABE Lab is a project coordinated by EDRLa, partners are Foudazione LIA and KB national library of the Netherlands. It is funded by Creative Europe.

Context (slide 3)

Per June 2025 the European Accessibility Act will take effect, affecting many products and services, including e-books.

One topic is particularly important: how can a publisher evaluate the impact of converting non accessible backlist ebooks titles in accessible ones Earlier studies have shown very different results. In particular, the issues related with different categories of ebooks, especially the more complex ones, have not been addressed yet.

At the same time, there are some remediation tools for converting existing EPUB2 and PDF files into accessible EPUB3 versions, but…:

  • Which issues do these tools actually really solve and which not?
  • Is it really possible to automate the process, to which level?
  • Which are the related costs?
  • How much time does this process require?
  • How the production processes need to be changed to achieve the goal?

Overview (slide 4)

The aim of the ABE Lab project is to provide guidelines to European publishers for boosting the remediation of their ebook backlist and convert them into accessible.

ABE Lab is a 18-month research and development project, starting in January 2023 and ending in June 2024.

Any publication will be available at If you want to contact the team, please drop an email to

main goal and activities (slide 5)

Analyzing and testing the processes and workflows ebooks of different categories and formats transformed into an accessible EPUB in the easiest and less expensive way.

  • Collection of data on ebooks backlists at a European level
  • Identification of recurrent accessibility issues
  • Development of workflows to remediate each typology of issue
  • Identification of open-source and commercial tools for remediating
  • Testing of the tools

Work packages (WP) (slide 6)

(this slide is introducing the following ones)

WP2: Analyse the detailed composition of ebook backlists in Europe (slide 7)

Provide a clear status (volume of ebooks per country, by type of publisher, by format, by genre) of ebook backlists in EU countries

Create a classification of ebooks that fits the needs of efficient remediation

Collect and evaluate ebook samples of different categories

WP3: Analysis of remediation process and tools (slide 8)

Look for available tools for EPUB remediation

Mapping the features available in the tools with the workflow steps of previous WP

Tools will be tested using the files prepared in previous WP

Checking the results of the remediation process and defining a metric to assess the quality of remediation

Gap analysis based on a comparison between expectations and actual results

WP4: Provide guidelines to European publishers to boost the remediation of ebooks from their backlist (slide 9)

Evaluate the time and cost for publishers to remediate inaccessible ebooks from their backlist, based on what the tools offer and the manual intervention

WP5 communication and dissemination: Events and Deliverables (slide 10)


  • Fall 2023: Report on the rating of tested tools for different categories of books
  • January 2024: White paper for developers of tools for remediation
  • Spring 2024: Final report about the project, its results and impact


  • 5 workshops
  • 3 events

discussions (slide 11)

Three questions:

  1. Expected outcomes from publisher’s associations?
  2. Publisher’s meetings: how and when?
  3. Data and ebook collection: who and how?

(slide 14)

End of the presentation. Thank you for your attention.

Any publication will be available at If you want to contact the team, please drop an email to contact @