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Project MUSE News: E-Book Collections Coming to Project MUSE

September 9, 2010 - Project MUSE, a leading provider of 
humanities and social science periodical content for libraries, 
is very pleased to announce a new initiative to incorporate 
scholarly book content into its research platform and product 
offerings. Beginning next year, e-book collections will be 
available for purchase alongside MUSE journal collections, with 
an integrated discovery environment that allows for browsing and 
searching journal and book content side-by-side.

MUSE, a collaborative project which currently publishes online 
over 450 journals from more than 100 not-for-profit scholarly 
presses, will partner with many of the same publishers to offer 
high quality, peer-reviewed academic books electronically. 
Project MUSE is managed by the Johns Hopkins University Press, 
which also operates Hopkins Fulfillment Services (HFS) as a 
distribution arm for many distinguished university presses. HFS 
client presses are also among the first group of publishers 
committed to participating in the new book initiative.

The e-books program, called Project MUSE Editions, has to date 
signed contracts with the following publishers to include in the 
new offering books from their upcoming scholarly monograph 
frontlists: Baylor University Press, Brookings Institution Press, 
ELT Press, Indiana University Press, Johns Hopkins University 
Press, Kent State University Press, Penn State University Press, 
Purdue University Press, and University of Illinois Press. Talks 
are ongoing with several other MUSE and HFS client publishers, 
with more participants expected to be announced before the end of 
this year.

"For fifteen years, MUSE has successfully brought together 
publishers and libraries to develop a sustainable, innovative 
model for digital scholarly publishing," explains Dean J. Smith, 
Director of Project MUSE. "Our future lies in leveraging our 
trusted relationships with both our library customers and 
participating presses into new product offerings that recognize 
the shared challenges faced by both these constituencies. And, 
our user community will benefit greatly from the integrated 
research opportunities presented by putting university press book 
content online alongside MUSE's well-respected journal 

Publishers participating in the program will select and set 
prices for the frontlist books they offer through MUSE e-book 
collections. The initiative is focused on scholarly monographs, 
and is not expected to include textbooks, reference books, trade 
titles or other books outside the project scope. Project MUSE 
will reserve the right to reject books that do fit within its 
collection parameters.

Kathleen Keane, Director of The Johns Hopkins University Press 
and immediate past president of the Association of American 
University Presses (AAUP), comments, "The economic challenges 
facing academic libraries and university press book publishers 
are well known.  We think that a well-planned initiative like 
Project MUSE Editions, which has been developed with advice from 
many creative colleagues and customers, has the opportunity both 
to distribute academic titles more widely and to test a new 
business model."

Book content on MUSE will be offered via a purchase model, on a 
twice-yearly seasonal (Spring/Fall) basis. Libraries will 
"pre-purchase" access to a collection of the frontlist monograph 
titles included in the upcoming season's publishing schedule from 
the participating publishers. Details on the books included in 
the collection will be available prior to the purchase. Books 
will be released electronically simultaneous with the print 
publication, and libraries that have purchased a collection 
including the title will have immediate access on the MUSE 

MUSE expects to offer its first e-book collection for the Fall 
2011 season, with between 250-500 frontlist monograph titles 
anticipated for inclusion in the collection. If there is a 
critical mass of titles in one or more academic disciplines, 
subject-based book collections may also be made available for the 
Fall 2011 season. Beginning with Spring 2012, MUSE expects to 
consistently offer both comprehensive and subject-based e-book 
collections for purchase.

Pricing for book collections on MUSE will be based upon the sum 
of the list prices of the included titles, as set by the books' 
publishers, with tiered discounting of the collection price 
modeled upon MUSE's Carnegie Classification-based tiered pricing 
for its journal collections. Consortium purchase programs will 
also be available.

Books on MUSE will be in PDF format, and will be searchable and 
retrievable to the chapter level. COUNTER-compliant usage 
statistics will be available to libraries purchasing book 
collections on MUSE. MARC records for the e-books will be 
provided to purchasing libraries at no charge. Users will be able 
to search across combined book and journal content in MUSE, or 
limit searches by content type.

MUSE's focus is on offering digital book collections at 
reasonable prices, much as it has done successfully with journal 
content for many years, and the initial phase of the program does 
not include individual book title purchase options. A separate 
initiative is underway to examine the possibility of an offering 
of backlist e-books from the participating Project MUSE Editions 
publishers. Further information on a potential e-book backlist 
product will be available sometime in 2011.

Users and libraries may expect to see "beta" digital books on 
MUSE as soon as the first quarter of 2011. Project MUSE plans to 
formally debut the e-book collections, and provide information on 
specific titles and pricing for the Fall 2011 offering, at the 
Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Meeting in 
late March 2011.

About Project MUSE
Project MUSE provides full-text, affordable subscription access 
to content from scholarly journals in the humanities and social 
sciences. Our mission is to excel in the broad digital 
dissemination of high-quality scholarship. Through innovation and 
collaborative development, Project MUSE anticipates the needs of 
and delivers essential resources to all members of the scholarly 
community. Since 1995, MUSE's electronic journal collections have 
supported a wide array of research needs at academic, public, 
special, and school libraries worldwide. The 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. Visit http://muse.jhu.edu.

For more information, please contact:
Dean J. Smith,
Director, Project MUSE