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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Scalar: An Introduction: Start a Scalar Project

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

Have More Questions?

Have more questions? Contact Scholarly Communication and Publishing at scpub@library.illinois.edu for more information and guidance or visit our website. 

Scholarly Communication and Publishing

Starting in Scalar

To start a Scalar project you must first register for a free Scalar account: 

  • Start at the Scalar website.
  • Click on the blue Sign In button in the banner at the top of the page.
  • In the subsequent screen, click on Register an account and enter the details. To get the registration key, fill out a short form by clicking on the form link.
  • After your register, you will be taken to the Index page. This page contains a list of all of the published books in Scalar. When you have created a book, it will show up on the left hand side of the screen.

That's it! You're ready to create a book.

Starting a Scalar Book

Now that you have an account, you are ready to create your first Scalar book.

  • Navigate from the opening Index page to your Dashboard by clicking the "Dashboard" link in the upper right corner of your screen.
  • You will automatically be taken to the Account screen.

The My Account screen lists books created on the right hand column with the “create new book” button at the top.

  • In the right hand column, find click on Create new book. Type in the desired title, subtitle, and select the genre of the book. 

The Create New Book dialogue box.

  • The new book will appear in the list to the right. To go to your new book’s dashboard, mouse over the book title. The Dashboard button will appear.
  • If you want to return to the Account screen and view all the books you have created, click on your name at the top left of the dashboard at any time.

**NOTE:  You cannot delete a Scalar book in this interface. Email Scalar Admin to request deletion of a book.

The Dashboard

The Dashboard section of Scalar serves as a control panel. The Dashboard allows you to navigate to the different sections of your Scalar book as well as gain a detailed, comprehensive view of the content.

Learn how to make best use of the dashboard by reading about each of the tabs and their functions.

  • View and edit the title, subtitle, and description of your book
  • Assign the Genre (book, article, project)
  • Make your book URL public or private, allow requests to join your book, and allow other users to duplicate your book
  • Add and order items in the Table of Contents
  • Get an overview of your book’s progress through the editorial workflow
  • Quickly change the editorial state of multiple items at once

Note: In order to use the editorial workflow, you must have at least one Editor assigned to the book. Editors can be added within the Dashboard under the Users tab. 

Change basic style elements such as

  • background image
  • thumbnail image, and
  • add custom style or Javascript
  • View all book content in one place—pages, media, paths, tags, annotations, comments, and terms (note: comments will not show up unless you make them visible)
  • Search for items in your book
  • Toggle whether content is visible or hidden
  • View the last date an item was edited and the user who edited it
  • View all past versions

The content tab of the dashboard

The content tab of the dashboard links out to content items and past versions.

The version editor

The Version editor collects all past versions of an items, the date of the edit, and the user who made the edit. Buttons at the bottom of the list allow users to delete or re-order versions.

  • Add/remove users
  • Change the role of each user—author, editor, commentator, reviewer, or reader.
  • Choose the order in which users are listed and if they are listed at all
  • Manage bio pages for each user
  • View user contributions

The user's tab of the dashboard

On the Users tab of the dashboard, hovering over the row for a user makes buttons for “Edit row,” “Bio page,” and “Contributions” appear. Selecting “Contributions” displays a list of all content items created by the user, including past versions. Character counts are given to the right of each version.

 

  • Import content from another Scalar book, raw Scalar DF-JSON, or CSV (for more information see the Scalar 2 Guide on Advanced Topics)
  • Export your pages and relationships (but not the actual media files) as RDF-JSON or RDF-XML.
  • Use the API Explorer to generate API queries for your Scalar book, grab excerpts to copy over to another book, and get word counts.
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