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Scalar: An Introduction: Uploading Media

This is a short introductory guide to using the Scalar publishing platform.

Uploading Media

Follow this guide for step-by-step instructions on importing media to your Scalar Book. 

Have More Questions?

Have more questions? Contact The Digital Scholarship Team at for more information and guidance.

Scholarly Communication Librarian

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Jennifer Coronado
(317) 940-9549

Two Interfaces: The Dashboard vs. The Book

The Dashboard gives you broad, comprehensive control over your Scalar book, but it does not allow you to upload content items or edit them. For more detailed management of your book and its contents, edit the book directly. 

To switch from the Dashboard to your book, click Return to Book in the upper right hand corner. To return from your book to the Dashboard, click the wrench icon, labeled Options button.


If you are on the Dashboard screen, click Return to Book. Then, using the toolbar on the upper right hand corner, hover over the Import menu to Files and URLs and select the desired upload method.

In your Scalar book, the Import menu is accessible from the toolbar on the top right, providing import options for affiliated archives, other archives, uploaded media files, and links to media files.

When linking out to media files, always be aware of link rot which is the fact that some items may become permanently unavailable. Some websites are more prone to link rot than others.

The Importer asks for three fields:

  • The title of the item – each title must be unique
  • The description – optional. This is not so much a caption, as it is alternative text (alt-text), the description which makes visual content accessible to those with visual impairments
  • The media file URL – the actual link to the media content itself

The Link to Media file Importer with the fields filled

Below the importer, the user can make several adjustments to the media object. Before saving and exiting out of the upload, select the Metadata tab to add key information about the content being uploaded.

Scalar uses Dublin Core Metadata, which is a formal schema with terms that can be viewed online. Adding just a few pieces of metadata will help keep track of the content you use in the archive. The ones to look out for are source, creator, identifier, rights, and type.

The Metadata fields are demonstrated with a Vincent van Gogh painting from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The MET’s accession number becomes dcterms:identifier, the stable link to the page becomes dcterms:source, and so on.

Importing files from your local computer is slightly different. On the public server, they cannot exceed 2M. Click Add additional Metadata to add Dublin core metadata to media items.


Email Butler University Libraries
Irwin Library: 317-940-9227
Science Library: 317-940-9937

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