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Re: Science Commons, SPARC Announce New Tools for Scholarly Publishing


I appreciate the support for Project MUSE that's evident in this 
thread, and I want to assure readers that MUSE is aware of the 
need to grow, adapt, and evolve as the needs, desires, and 
expectations of the community change.

The transitional era that Joe mentions is not over, and the 
transition of MUSE from what it has been to what it will be in 
the future is also ongoing. MUSE remains in a strong position in 
that each year more titles seek to be included than we can 
responsibly add.  We have open and respectful dialogue with the 
library and publishing communities, and value these relationships 
greatly.  MUSE continues to fill a need shared by nonprofit 
publishers, including many university presses, and subscribers 
worldwide, and I have no doubt that as those needs change, we 
will change with them.  As Joe alludes to, we're aware that we 
can't meet the needs of every publisher or every journal, and we 
are mindful of the difficult business decisions publishers must 

I hope that your support continues and that you will work with us 
to retain the confidence of publishers and subscribers that we've 
worked hard to earn. I'm happy to continue to answer any 
questions or listen to suggestions related to the evolution 
that's underway, although perhaps that should take place off 

Best wishes,

Mary Rose Muccie
Director, Project MUSE
The Johns Hopkins University Press
2715 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
Phone: 410-516-6981
Fax: 410-516-6968

>>> sgt3@psu.edu 05/29/07 8:45 PM >>>

I can't speak for other publishers, Joe, but I can say that, at 
least for Penn State, the revenue stream Project Muse produces is 
quite sufficient to keep our journals afloat. Maybe we have lower 
overhead than some of our peers.... :)

>We agree on your comments about the implications of the author's 
>addendum, but I don't think this is the worst of Project Muse's 
>Muse is an artifact of a transitional era, a period when income 
>was primarily derived from hardcopy subscriptions; anything that 
>came from electronics was additive.  When the electronic revenue 
>stream is the primary one, or when it is the sole one, as 
>increasingly is the case, then Muse is not likely to provide 
>enough income to its constituent journals to keep them all 
>afloat.  The problem is simply that Muse doesn't cost enough; 
>thus the sums it sends back to its publishers are inadequate to 
>pay the bills.  We have already seen some defections from Muse 
>on this account, and we can expect to see more. Muse's problems 
>are despite the fact that Muse has been an outstanding service 
>for the library community.  This does not mean that Muse is 
>helpless or that innovative management can't develop a new 
>strategy (yes, there are such strategies), but that even without 
>having to wrestle with the author's addendum, Muse has a 
>difficult road ahead.
>For anyone who wishes to challenge this point of view, please 
>see Susan Skomal's post to this list a while back concerning 
>BioOne ("For titles with very large and stable traditional 
>subscription sales, however, BioOne may not be an appropriate 

>Skomal's post addressed a slightly different problem, but the
>general issue is the same.  I am not suggesting that Skomal
>endorses my point of view.
>Joe Esposito