A recurring question we get from the feedback form is why clicking on a link in SearchWorks does not automatically open in a new tab or window. Many users are used to links that leave the current website by opening in new windows; but in fact the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines recommend against it.
When you force a link to open in a new tab or window, you remove the user's ability to choose the action that they desire. There is no facility for the user to override a link's default behavior if it is set to open in a new tab or window. As it is in SearchWorks now, the user always has a choice whether to open the link in the same window or a new one.
There are a couple ways to control where a link opens. To open a link in a new tab, simply ctrl-click (on Windows) or cmd-click (on Macs) on the link. To open a link in a new window, right-click on the link to pull up the right-click menu (the context menu) and select "Open in new window."
Allowing the user to choose the action of the link is a best practice in web design and not doing so can pose some accessibility issues. There are many different ways a user can be affected by randomly opened windows. For people using screen readers, it is difficult to navigate once the new window or tab is opened. You can find more examples at the Stanford Online Accessibility Programs' website. As with all SULAIR web sites and applications, SearchWorks is designed to accommodate all users. SearchWorks follows best practices for web user interfaces and adheres to the ethical obligations of libraries to provide access to all users.