Scalar is a free, open source authoring and publishing platform that’s designed to make it easy for authors to write long-form, born-digital scholarship online. Scalar enables users to assemble media from multiple sources and juxtapose them with their own writing in a variety of ways, with minimal technical expertise required.
More fundamentally, Scalar is a semantic web authoring tool that brings a considered balance between standardization and structural flexibility to all kinds of material. It includes a built-in reading interface as well as an API that enables Scalar content to be used to drive custom-designed applications. If you’re dealing with small to moderate amounts of structured content and need a lightweight platform that encourages improvisation with your data model, Scalar may be the right solution for you.
Scalar also gives authors tools to structure essay- and book-length works in ways that take advantage of the unique capabilities of digital writing, including nested, recursive, and non-linear formats. The platform also supports collaborative authoring and reader commentary. The ANVC’s partner presses and archives are now beginning to implement Scalar into their research and publishing workflows, and several projects leveraging the platform have been published already. Scalar is a project of the Alliance for Networking Visual Culture (ANVC) in association with Vectors and IML, and with the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities.