Admins: “DASH!” retiring in December 2017: FAQs

Q:  What is ebrary DASH?

A:  DASH is a feature available to some customers on the ebrary platform. It enabled librarians to upload PDF content that they had rights to, into a special DASH collection, which would then be searchable by their patrons alongside other ebrary content they had licensed.


Q:  Who had access to DASH?

A:  The DASH functionality was available only to those ebrary customers that licensed an ebrary subscription.


Q:  Is DASH going to be available on Ebook Central?

A:  ProQuest has made the decision that it will not be; we carefully analyzed our customer’s usage of this functionality and it is very rarely used. Out of the large percentage of customers with subscriptions, a tiny fraction utilize the feature. We will continue to support DASH on ebrary, until Dec. 30, 2017.


Q:  I use DASH; what will happen when I am upgraded to Ebook Central?

A:  We have a number of alternatives for you to consider, depending on how you use DASH today, and your timeframe to transition to another solution:


If used for dissertations & theses: If you are using DASH to store and make available master’s theses and PhD dissertations, ProQuest has a free service that can take the place of DASH and provide access to graduate works for your authorized users.  The service, called “Dissertations & Theses @” provides the ability for ProQuest to host dissertations and theses from accredited universities and make the citations, abstracts, full text and any supplemental files (such as audio and video) available to the submitting university at no charge.  (Further information can be found here: In addition, the university’s graduate works are made available in the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses (PQDT) Global database and to 35 major subject and disciplinary indexes. (Further information about the ProQuest dissemination program can be found here:  Please email for further information.


If used to provide access to student resources: you may want to consider RefWorks. Although RefWorks it is not a full replacement for DASH! it may be an option as a repository for your DASH! documents. RefWorks:

  • Has “Institutional Collection” feature which is a library-specific repository
  • Permits downloading, sharing, and viewing of documents
  • Stores documents in a folder
  • Has drag and drop feature to upload PDF’s
  • Automatically loads in meta-data for each PDF

If you already have an institutional license to RefWorks, you can access these features now. To learn more about RefWorks, we encourage you to speak to an account manager or check out our website at:


If you have an AVON subscription, you can have them hosted at no additional charge by Alexander Street.


If used to provide open access PDF’s beyond your own patron population: you may want to consider locating a more general digital repository. We can supply all of your DASH content back to you at any time, upon request (see next Q/A).
Q:  I have located a digital repository in my institution; how do I transfer my DASH docs to it?

A:  You just need to request that your DASH PDF’s be put onto a ProQuest FTP server, by sending an email to specifying your site ID and your DASH collection name and asking that they transfer your PDF’s to the FTP & provide you the credentials so that you can download all your docs. Once you are sent notification that they are posted to the FTP, you will have 21 days to retrieve them before they are deleted from the FTP server.


Q:  I’m not ready to decide where to put my docs, but I’m being upgraded soon; what should I do?

A:  Speak to your ProQuest representative, and you can request that they create a separate ebrary DASH site for you, prior to your upgrade—or simply email this request to: . You will need to specify the authentication method you would like for this separate site (or confirm you would like it to be the same as your current ebrary site). This site will contain only your DASH collection as of the time of your upgrade, and the collection will be static—you will not be able to edit or add to it, or download PDF’s from it (if you wish to download, request they be posted to an FTP, see question above). However the site will be accessible until Dec. 30, 2017—giving you extra time to decide the best place for these documents in the longer term.

Admins: Best Practices for Creating and Uploading DASH! Documents

The following are recommendations to maximize the appearance and functionality of your PDF materials in DASH!

  • Compile your PDF files: If your document is split into multiple PDFs, compile them into a single file
    • Include all pages and chapters, and front and back matter (table of contents, index, etc.)
    • The final file name should not have accents or other diacritics
  • Remove security settings: Acrobat security settings must be removed for ebrary to upload and process your files.
  • Embed fonts: All files should be embedded with compatible fonts.
  • Trim and crop: All pages should be trimmed to final display size with no registration/crop marks or excessive white space.
  • PDF type: ebrary recommends that all files be provided as PDF normal. Our technology also accepts PDF image and hidden text. Image-only PDFs are not recommended as these files do not support search and other key features of ebrary’s technology. So if you scan documents, best practice is to send them through OCR software.
  • Adjust resolution: While file size does not affect page views in the ebrary system, we recommend the following image resolution ranges for processing efficiency:
    • Color: 72-300 dpi
    • Grayscale: 72-450 dpi
    • Monotone: 72-600 dpi
  • Covers: DASH! Automatically generates a cover thumbnail from the first page of the document.
  • Add bookmarks and hyperlinks: If desired, include navigational aids in your PDF documents to enable users to find information more easily, such as chapter-level bookmarks and intra-document linking.
  • Validation: Double-check the basic appearance and navigation features of your PDF documents before submitting them.
  • Metadata: Although metadata is not required to use DASH!, we recommend providing as much information as possible to maximize Advanced Search functionality.  There are three ways to add metadata:
    • Enter metadata when you upload a document as prompted
    • Add or edit metadata for individual DASH documents at any time:
      • Go to the DASH tab
      • Click on the pencil-icon over at the far right for the document whose metadata you want to edit
      • Make the changes in the window that comes up
      • Click “Submit” to save the changes
      • It may take up to a few days for the changes to be reflected in search results

Admins: Access to your DASH! collection

If your DASH! collection is on your regular ebrary site, then only users who can access your regular ebrary site can access your DASH! collection.  That is, the same IP authentication and remote access authentication applies to all the documents on your regular ebrary site – including your DASH! documents.

You can, however, request to have a separate ebrary site built for your DASH! collection, and then you can make that separate ebrary site open to everyone (i.e., an open-access collection), or to a different set of users than your regular ebrary site.

You are allowed to – and even encouraged to – share your DASH! collection with other libraries or on the web.  For examples of separate DASH! sites created by ebrary and librarians, please visit

For more information on sharing your DASH! collection, please email

Admins: To upload a PDF as a DASH document

  1. Go to your ebrary
  2. Sign in using a username that has Admin-tab ordering privileges
  3. Click on the “Admin” tab, then the “DASH” tab
  4. Click the “Upload One Document” button (you also have the option of uploading multiples)
    1. You will be asked to agree to certain terms and conditions
    2. Alert!  If you are using Internet Explorer and have pop-ups blocked, the ebrary tab will close.  To get around this, either use a browser other than IE, or turn off pop-up blocker.
  5. Click the “Browse” button to find the PDF you want to upload
  6. If you leave the Status Live button selected, this document will be a live DASH document when you finish the setup
  7. Fill in the meta-data so that you can later search for this document (this can be modified later)
  8. Click the “Submit” button

Admins: Upload metadata for several DASH! documents all at once

You can upload the metadata for several DASH documents all at once by creating a file with the metadata:

  • Create a .csv file called exactly:  metadata.csv
    • One good choice is to use Excel and save it as a .csv file
      • If you save it as a .csv format from within Excel, it will add a comma between each field (which is what you want)
    • If you create the .csv in another program, you will likely need to manually enter the commas
  • Note the text within a field can include commas, the text in the field will be put in quotes
  • Each metadata line needs to contain each of the following fields, or a blank field:
    • The file name of the DASH pdf (required) – no accents or other diacritics
    • The title you’d like it to go by (if not specified, DASH! will use the file name)
    • The author (if not specified, DASH! will use “Unspecified”)
    • The publisher
    • The publication date (formatted YYYY/MM or YYYY)
    • The publisher’s location
    • Any relevant subjects (use “|” to separate multiple subjects)
    • ISBN
    • LCCN
    • Dewey
    • OCLC #
    • Language (if not specified, DASH! will use “en” for English)
    • Action (when this field contains the value “update” DASH! will update the metadata of an already uploaded file)
  • See below for screenshots of what metadata.csv files should look like
  • Once your metadata.csv file is ready, you can upload it just like you would a PDF, but the system will recognize it as a metadata.csv file:
    • Click the “Update Multiple Documents” button near the top of the page
    • Click “Add Files
    • Navigate to the folder that contains your metadata.csv file and double-click it
    • You’ll then see it listed
    • Click “Upload files
    • That will upload and process your metadata updates, check the update notes in the “server response” section to see if there were any errors

Example metadata.csv file that does not include headers

Example metadata.csv file that does include headers

A few things to note:

  • These screenshots are wide, so had to be small.  Try using control + to zoom in.
  • The lines with “update” in column M will overwrite previous metadata for the file (if there is any), but the one with blank in column M will not.
  • If the language is English, it doesn’t matter whether you put the “en” in column L or not – “en” is the default.
  • It is fine to have blank columns – those fields just won’t have any data for those titles.