About Project MUSE

Our Mission:

Project MUSE’s mission is to excel in the broad dissemination of high-quality scholarly content. Through innovation and collaborative development, Project MUSE anticipates the needs of and delivers essential resources to all members of the scholarly community.

What is Project MUSE?

Project MUSE is a unique collaboration between libraries and publishers, providing 100% full-text, affordable and user-friendly online access to a comprehensive selection of prestigious humanities and social sciences journals. MUSE’s online journal collections support a diverse array of research needs at academic, public, special and school libraries worldwide. Our journals are heavily indexed and peer-reviewed, with critically acclaimed articles by the most respected scholars in their fields. MUSE is also the sole source of complete, full-text versions of titles from many of the world’s leading university presses and scholarly societies. Currently, MUSE provides full-text access to current content from over 500 titles representing more than 120 not-for-profit publishers.

Beginning in January 2012, Project MUSE will also offer  eBook Collections in partnership with the UPCC (University Press Content Consortium). This collaboration will initially make available well over 10,000 digital books from more than 65 major university presses and related scholarly publishers.  Project MUSE eBook Collections will provide libraries, researchers, and students access to a wealth of high quality book-length scholarship, fully integrated with MUSE’s successful electronic journal collections, via a platform that enhances discovery and provides easy use. A beta site featuring free sample book content, integrated with journals, and utilizing our sophisticated new cross-content search functionality, will be live in early August 2011. The beta is expected to include over 300 books from 27 publishers.

MUSE began in 1993 as a pioneering joint project of the Johns Hopkins University Press and the Milton S. Eisenhower Library (MSEL) at JHU. Grants from the Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities allowed MUSE to go live with JHU Press journals in 1995. Journals from other publishers were first incorporated in 2000, with additional publishers joining in each subsequent year.

Today, MUSE is still a not-for-profit collaboration between JHUP, the participating publishers and MSEL, with the goal of disseminating quality scholarship via a sustainable model that meets the needs of both libraries and publishers. At this time, Project MUSE subscriptions are available only to institutions.

Why use Project MUSE?

The complete content of each and every journal issue is online—including all charts, graphics and images—with most articles available in both HTML and PDF. There are no embargoes on journal content in MUSE—the MUSE issue typically appears online before the print version mails. To supplement current issues, MUSE subscribers also have free access to over a decade of backfiles for selected titles. Further, it is a MUSE policy that once content goes online, it stays online. As the back issues of journals increase annually, they remain electronically archived and accessible.

We continually refine our interface and navigation, and our sophisticated search interface allows both experienced and novice researchers to quickly locate relevant content. Many popular indexing/abstracting services and e-journal gateways, as well as JSTOR, are seamlessly linked to MUSE content. Article-level URLs are stable, allowing for direct linking from online syllabi and electronic reading lists. Project MUSE also provides users with tools including citation exporting, RSS feeds, and social bookmarking to assist with saving and sharing favorite content. Easy-to-use subject guides and other instructional materials are available to enable users to get the best results from their research in MUSE.

How is MUSE Unique?

As a collaboration between the participating publishers and Johns Hopkins University libraries, MUSE understands the unique needs and challenges of today’s scholarly publishing environment. The MUSE staff includes professional librarians with experience in user services, tech services, reference and bibliographic services. They use this knowledge and experience to develop MUSE into the most affordable, accessible online tool possible. Our primary interest is not meeting the needs of shareholders, but those of our subscribers and the scholarly publishing community.

Our subscription license was designed with librarians, for librarians. The MUSE license allows unlimited access, interlibrary loan, content linking for e-reserves and includes remote users. We provide COUNTER-compliant statistics so that libraries can evaluate their use of MUSE. Subscribers “own” MUSE content, even if they do not renew their subscription. Libraries are not required to maintain print subscriptions to the journals in our collection.

MUSE subscriptions enable libraries to enhance their collections with a variety of journals they may not otherwise have been able to acquire. Compared to other full-text online journal collections, the MUSE price per journal title is extremely reasonable. A tiered pricing structure and six collections from which to choose offer affordable options for every library, with accommodations for different needs and expected usage levels. For research libraries, MUSE provides a comprehensive selection of top-tier, heavily indexed, and widely held journals. For undergraduate libraries, we combine the most widely held, heavily used, core general education titles. Humanities and social sciences collections allow libraries with specialized needs to acquire a set of key journals. In addition, MUSE collections are a very economical and effective information literacy tool for secondary schools and community colleges.

See For Yourself

Feel free to take a look around the Project MUSE website. Tables of contents and sample full text articles can be viewed without a subscription, and our search feature is publicly available. Qualifying institutions may also request a complimentary 45-day trial subscription.

About The Johns Hopkins University Press

Project MUSE is managed by the Johns Hopkins University Press, in collaboration with the participating publishers and the Milton S. Eisenhower Library at the Johns Hopkins University. The Johns Hopkins University Press is one of the country’s oldest and largest university presses, publishing more than 200 books each year and over 50 scholarly journals. By long tradition the Press has published with distinction in such disciplines as literary studies, classics, history, economics, political science, and the history of science and medicine. Its innovative publishing program embraces both traditional and newer modes of scholarly communication. The Press continues to uphold the ideal set forth by Daniel Coit Gilman, the first president of the Johns Hopkins University, upon his inauguration of the Press in 1878: “It is one of the noblest duties of a university to advance knowledge, and to diffuse it not merely among those who can attend the daily lectures—but far and wide.”


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