Admins: “DASH!” FAQs

DASH! stands for ‘Data Sharing Fast’.  It’s an ebrary product that empowers libraries to create, upload, and share their own PDF collections, right from their own computers.

What can I do with DASH!?

  • Use DASH! for your existing special collections, theses, and dissertations – anything in PDF that you have a legal right to distribute.  You cannot add copyrighted material to your DASH! collection unless you own the copyright.
  • Create collections of public domain content (see our H1N1 site as an example).
  • Share your collections with other institutions or publicly on the web.

Is my ebrary site eligible for DASH!?

DASH! is available without charge on ebrary sites that have a subscription collection such as Academic Complete, Government Complete, Public Library Complete, or Community College Complete.  To check whether your ebrary site is eligible for DASH!, contact

How do I request DASH!?

Request DASH! by emailing; include the URL of your ebrary site and the ebrary account username(s) of individual(s) to be your DASH! administrator(s).

What functionality do my DASH! documents have?

Titles created with DASH! are searchable alongside titles in your ebrary subscription collections and perpetual access titles using ebrary’s search tools if you use PDFs that retain text-searchable information. PDFs created from a Word document, for example, preserve the text information of the content.

Can I customize the live TOC (Table of Contents) displayed to the right of the content?

No, currently the live TOC only shows pages or page ranges (depending on length of the content).

How many documents can a library upload at once with DASH!?

Libraries are limited to 1,000 documents per day.  There is an additional limit of 300MB per upload – either 1 or multiple files.

When will documents become available on ebrary?

Customers can view uploaded documents immediately and use our rich features including InfoTools.  Documents should become searchable in as little as five minutes or at most within two hours.

Will MARC records be generated from the metadata I’ve entered?

Nope, no MARC records are generated for DASH! documents.  However ebrary’s search functions will search on the metadata you’ve entered.

Can I export the metadata I’ve created for my DASH! documents?

Yes, you can export most of the metadata fields by doing an “Advanced Search” by Collection = your DASH! collection, then click the “Export Search Results” button.  This will export a file with whatever you’ve entered in the following fields:  ISBN, Title, Author, Publisher, Published year, LC Call Number.  It will also include a link to the document on your ebrary site.

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.