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The fields discussed in this section can be accessed from the Manifold backend by selecting Settings from the main menu and then Properties in the submenu.

Only users logged in with Admin credentials can access this view.


Manifold identifies itself to your users and provides descriptive information to search engines and web crawlers at various points. The fields in this section provide a means to calibrate those engagements to your specific identity.

How Do You Refer to Your Manifold Installation?#

When sending emails to users or when referencing specific components of the application Manifold refers to itself. By default it will do so generically:

Welcome to Manifold. Thanks for signing up.

By creating this account, you agree to Manifold’s terms and conditions.

You can adjust that messaging to reflect your own identity by providing a preferred means for describing your instance in this field.

Default Page Title#

Text entered in this field displays in the browser’s title bar or the page’s tab for core Manifold pages. If this field is left blank the system will render the default: “Manifold Scholarship.” On Project pages the page title will automatically adjust to the name of the specific content being displayed.

Page Title Best Practices

Page titles are considered by search engine algorithms in deciding the order of the results they return. Because search engines tend to truncate page titles after 55–60 characters, it is considered best practice to keep the title descriptive but brief.

Default Page Description#

The copy in this text box provides a brief summary of your instance’s content and purpose so that search engines can properly catalog and surface it in results. This description will usually be displayed as part of the result, beneath the page’s title and link.

Page Description Best Practices

As a general rule, it is best to keep these brief—between 50 and 160 characters—without any internal formatting, just plain text.

Default Publisher and Place of Publication#

Manifold displays metadata for Projects, Texts, and Resources. Names and places entered in these spaces will automatically populate the Publisher and Publisher Place fields for new Projects, found in their Metadata sidebar and displayed in a Project’s Metadata content block.

These fields are the electronic equivalent of publisher information traditionally found on title pages in print volumes.


Changing the content of these fields will not automatically update existing Projects.



The Manifold footer, which spans the bottom of all core Manifold pages, includes a space where you can define the copyright information for the instance as a whole.

The copyright symbol (©) will precede text entered in this field by default. If left blank, no default notice will appear.


In the Reader, Manifold displays the copyright information of specific Texts instead of the general copyright notice.

Social Sharing Message#

Links to individual Resources and Resource Collections can be shared by readers directly to their personal Twitter or Facebook timelines.

Manifold will pre-populate those posts with the text entered here. If left blank, the system defaults to “Shared from Manifold Scholarship.”

In all cases the message will be followed the URL of the content being shared.

Twitter Account and Facebook Page ID#

These fields provide you the means to include links to your existing social media profiles in the Manifold Footer. The Twitter Account field is expecting your Twitter username, with or without an ampersand. The Facebook Page ID corresponds to the name that appears in the URL of your Facebook homepage. When left blank, the Twitter or Facebook links will be absent from the footer.

Contact Email#

Manifold has a built-in contact form that readers can use to provide feedback directly to you through the application.

When an email address is included in this field, the link to the contact form, labeled as “Email,” will appear in the Manifold Footer.

Messages that readers compose and send through the contact form will be delivered by Manifold to the email address in this field.


The instance’s email settings need to be configured before Manifold can deliver messages to you from readers that are using the contact form.


Disable Internal Analytics#

By default, Manifold tracks anonymous usage data like visits and views, rendering that information in various graphs and tables in the backend. When tracking is disabled, Manifold will not collect or display any usage data in Analytics views for the instance or individual Projects, Journal Issues, Texts, or Text sections (see Analytics).

Restrict Access to All Projects#

By default all Manifold content is freely available to read, even for those folks who haven’t created an account on your instance.

Engaging this toggle changes that default behavior. Now, every Project and Journal Issue on your Manifold will be closed. Readers will only be able to access Project and Issue content if you provide them an entitlement to that Project or Issue, or if they are part of a Reading Group that has an entitlement to the Project or Issue.


While it is possible to override this setting for individual Projects and Issues, so that some Projects or Issues in your library are openly accessible to everyone, you cannot grant readers or reading groups a site-wide entitlement that allows them to read any or all Projects on your instance.

Restricted Access Notice Header and Body#

When you enable Restrict Access to All Projects, Manifold will reveal two additional fields where you can message to readers why content is restricted and how they can gain access to it.

The Restricted Access Notice Header and Body text display below the Project hero in a blue banner for only those readers who don’t have credentials to access the Project. If left blank, the header message defaults to “Access to this Project is restricted,” and the body message will read “Only users granted permission may view this Project's texts, resources, and other content.” The Restricted Access Notice Body field accepts Markdown formatting.

Disable Library Views#

If you want to leverage the power of Manifold as part of your existing web presence, instead of having it run as potential competition for attention, you have the option to disable your main Manifold landing page and all associated pages that normally display your Projects and Journals as a library of related content. In this state, you can continue to focus your audience on your existing website, ushering them to specific Manifold Projects or Journals directly from there.

With Library Views disabled, the main menu bar that appears atop all library and transactional pages will no longer contain any navigational links to library views (Home, Projects, Journals, Reading Groups).

The system provides the following options for your consideration when you toggle this setting on:

Enforce Standalone Mode for All Projects#

If engaged, all Projects and Journal Issues will render in standalone mode, overriding individual Project settings.

When Projects are in standalone mode, the standard library menu bar, which displays your logo and color theme, will be supplanted by a more basic standalone header.

Library and Home Page Redirect URLs#

Disabling library views does not destroy the instance’s library or home pages. Instead Manifold prevents readers from accessing them. When library views are disabled, Project, Journal, and transactional pages, like those for customizing notifications and reading groups, will render with the normal library menu bar and footer; the menu bar will not include links to HomeProjects, Journals, or Reading Groups, though custom Manifold Pages can still be set to show in this space; global search will be scoped down to just the active Project or Journal; and transactional pages will display in the context of the last Project that the user visited.

The URL you include in these fields will tell Manifold where you want to direct your readers when they would otherwise reach a library or home page.

If left blank, Manifold will return a 404 Page Not Found error to readers trying to access non-Project pages.

Disable Public Annotations and Comments#

Manifold was built, in part, to foster scholarly discussion and interaction. By default, readers can leave public annotations on any Text in an instance. And from those annotations, comment threads can grow as other readers react and respond. If that dynamic is not desirable or appropriate for your instance, you can engage this slider and prevent readers from being able to leave annotations and comments that are generally viewable.

Engaging this setting does not prevent all annotations entirely: readers will still be able to (1) leave private annotations for their own personal use and (2) access, join, and annotate Texts in the context of Reading Groups, which will be viewable only to other members of that group. In both cases, readers will not be able to transform those private annotations into public ones.

So long as this setting is engaged, public Reading Groups will function as if they were private ones. However, users will still be able to access, from the My Reading Groups View, a listing of previously public Reading Groups and join them.

If you wish to further limit the annotation functionality across your instance, you can also either disable all Reading Groups across your instance or you can disable just those Reading Groups that are publicly viewable (the sections below describe more about both of those options). When publishers disable both public annotation and Reading Groups, users will only be able to leave private annotations they alone can see.


Disabling public annotations and comments here will affect every Project and Journal Issue in your instance. If you want to instead prevent annotations and comments only for specific Projects (or Issues), you can do so the settings section for that specific record.

Disable All Reading Groups#

By default, any reader who has an account on your instance can create or join a Reading Group. Reading Groups are a mechanism to band together a discrete collection of readers and the annotations, highlights, and comments they choose to associate with a group. If Reading Groups aren’t desirable or don’t fit with how you’re presenting your instance, you have the options to disable them globally.

When you choose to Disable All Reading Groups, users will not be able to create new reading groups, nor will they be able to join or access existing reading groups in any context. Annotations associated with Reading Groups created prior to this setting being toggled on will no longer be accessible to anyone—including the users who left those annotations.

Toggling this setting on does not destroy existing Reading Groups or any associated annotations. When this setting is toggled off, those would again become accessible to those who had permission to access them.

When Reading Groups are disabled, the language in various spaces of the interface will change slightly, substituting the word Group for Visibility.

If you only want to prevent your readers from leaving public annotations and comments on your instance, then we suggest simply disabling public annotations, described above. That alone will make all Reading Groups function as if they were private Reading Groups, with group activity only accessible to group members. Likewise, you can also choose to only disable Public Reading Groups, discussed in more detail in the following section, which prevents new public Reading Groups from being created.


Because it is possible for readers to potentially access and engage with materials across your entire instance, Reading Groups do not have direct relationships with specific Projects or Journal Issues. Thus it is not possible to selectively disable Reading Group functionality on a Project-by-Project basis.

Disable Public Reading Groups#

The title for this option is slightly misleading. When the Disable Public Reading Groups option is engaged, public Reading Groups will still be available to users who were members of them prior to this toggle being engaged. Any annotations or comments made in the context of those established Reading Groups will likewise be viewable by anyone accessing the site.

However, when this setting is engaged, it will not be possible to create new public Reading Groups, nor will it be possible to join pre-existing public reading groups without being invited to do so with an invitation code or URL.

This setting is a means to retain the social aspect of the system while also guarding against SEO spammers and other bad actors from taking advantage of your instance and polluting it with ads or otherwise.

Disable Spam Detection#

This option provides a means to prevent Akismet from filtering potential spam content on your instance. For instances that are hosted by Manifold Digital Services, where Akismet filtering happens by default, or for self-hosted instances that have configured their instance to filter content through Akismet, this toggle provides a means to temporarily suspend spam checking. When toggled off, any existing Akismet spam filtering will resume.

See the Mitigating Spam section for more about Akismet.

Akismet API Key#

This field expects an API key provided to you by Akismet. If your instance is hosted by Manifold Digital Services, the key value is already present and your site is already filtering content for spam by default.

If you are self-hosting Manifold, and you want to pass content—specifically, all comments, public reading group titles, and public annotations—through Akismet to check for spam, you will need to sign up for an Akismet plan. Once you have done so, Akismet will send you an API key via email that you can save here. After you have done so, your instance will begin filtering for spam. For more on securing an API key, see the Akismet help site.

API Limits

It is important to note that the amount of content that Akismet will filter depends on the Akismet plan you select for your instance and how may API calls per month are allowed through that plan. If your instance makes more calls than the plan you selected from Akismet allows for, filtering will begin to fail silently and spam may appear on your site.