Publishers and Conversion Houses FAQ

What is NIMAS?

NIMAS 1.1 is a subset of the DAISY Talking Book specification. It is the only file format that the NIMAC can receive. Technical support regarding the specification and producing NIMAS is provided by the National Center for Accessible Educational Materials. Further information can be found on the NIMAS Specification and Creating NIMAS pages of their website.


What types of materials can customers require publishers to provide to the NIMAC?

Customers can require publisher to submit NIMAS files for K-12 textbooks and related core materials. The materials must be published primarily for use in K-12 education, and required for use by students in the classroom. The NIMAC can now accept files for digital instructional materials. For more information, see the NIMAC and Digital Materials: Frequently Asked Questions.


What kinds of materials are exempt from NIMAS?

Per the definition provided in IDEA 2004, NIMAC does not generally receive trade books, college textbooks, or reference books. We also cannot accept materials that are exclusively for the use of the teacher, such as teacher’s editions of textbooks. If you have questions about whether your publications are appropriate for submission to the NIMAC, please contact us.


Do I have to provide NIMAS for materials published and distributed only in a digital format?

As of May 26, 2020, the NIMAC can accept NIMAS file sets for digital instructional materials, as long as these materials can be supplied to the NIMAC as valid NIMAS 1.1 format. See the NIMAC and Digital Materials: Frequently Asked Questions page for more information. Please contact the NIMAC if you have questions about this new policy.


How do I register for an account with the NIMAC?

If you are a publisher that needs to submit files to the NIMAC, just email us at NIMAC@aph.org and we can send you the registration link.


What is a conversion vendor?

Because NIMAS is not a format produced in regular print book workflows, virtually all publishers outsource NIMAS work to companies that specialize in digital conversion services. These contractual relationships are directly between the publisher and the chosen vendor and do not involve NIMAC. If you are a publisher seeking a conversion vendor, we maintain a self-listing page for Conversion Vendors who are looking for NIMAS work. NIMAC is also happy to provide you a list of vendors that have submitted files in the past year.


How do conversion vendors gain access to the NIMAC?

Once your account with the NIMAC is activated, the primary account holder for your company can create as many additional accounts as needed, either for others at your company, or for conversion vendors preparing files for you.


Where do I go for guidance on the NIMAS specification or creating valid NIMAS files?

Technical support for NIMAS is provided by the National Center for AEM at CAST. Cynthia Curry is the primary contact for NIMAS questions and she can be reached at ccurry@cast.org. All files must be tagged in accordance with the NIMAS 1.1 Specification and the DAISY Structure Guidelines. These and other resources for Creating NIMAS can be found on the center’s website.


What is the NIMAC Validation Wizard?

The NIMAC Validation Wizard is a stand-alone Windows program that provides DTD validation for NIMAS file sets. It also ensures that the XML is well-formed and that all referenced images are present in the images folder. NIMAC requires that all NIMAS files be validated using the tool before they are submitted to the NIMAC. The tool is available for free download from the NIMAC system to all publishers and conversion vendors. If you are a new publisher or vendor and do not yet have an account, please contact the NIMAC and we can provide you with the set-up file.


Am I required to supply title metadata for NIMAS file sets?

Yes. In order to be accepted into the NIMAC, all files must be accompanied by the required OPF metadata. Please ensure that you follow the NIMAC Metadata Guidelines in supplying the OPF metadata for each file set.


How do I supply my NIMAS files to the NIMAC?

Files up to 300 MB in size can be directly uploaded to the NIMAC system by logging in and using the Add Inventory option. Due to upload times, however, we recommend that files over 200 MB in size be delivered by FTP. All files larger than 300 MB must be supplied by FTP; however, publishers and vendors are also welcome to supply smaller files by FTP.

If you do not have an FTP login for the publisher, send your NIMAC login ID and a request to have an FTP folder created to the OverDrive FTP Team at OverDrive NIMAC Support.


What happens once the files are uploaded to NIMAC?

Files must pass an automated validation process before they can be uploaded to the NIMAC. All files should be run through the NIMAC Validation Wizard before they are submitted. If your conversion vendor does not already have this tool, or if you are preparing files in-house, please contact us for a free copy of the validation tool.

Once uploaded, files undergo a quality review to ensure that the file matches the metadata, and that the metadata are complete and accurate.

If the NIMAC is not able to accept a file due to problems in the file set or metadata, detailed feedback will be sent to you and/or to your vendor regarding necessary corrections.

When the file is certified, the primary account holder will automatically receive an automated “digital certificate” email confirming the acceptance of the file. You can add up to three additional email recipients for these emails, if you choose. Just contact us for assistance.


Who should I contact for technical support for the NIMAC system?

Please feel free to contact the NIMAC if you have questions or encounter a problem. If we are unable to resolve the problem for you, we’ll refer you to the technical support team at OverDrive.

Any problems experienced while submitting files by FTP should be directed to the OverDrive FTP Team at OverDrive NIMAC Support.