The Johns Hopkins University Press

Director's Commentary

The Success of Project MUSE

Kathleen Keane, Press Director

As the article on page one of this issue of InPress makes clear, it has indeed been a big year for Project MUSE. I am enormously proud of work of the MUSE and Hopkins Press staff in planning and launching the UPCC initiative, which added a mind-boggling 15,000 scholarly books to the highly regarded scholarly journals content that has long made MUSE and indispensable resource. Project MUSE director Dean Smith and many talented staff deserve much credit and our sincere thanks.

As I saw the UPCC initiative unfold over the past year and had to opportunity to speak to the directors and staff of the some of the 200 publishers who now have journals and books available in Project MUSE, I was struck by the fact that they too were investing in Project MUSE and working hard to make it a success. These publishers trusted us with their most valuable assets—authors’ works—and allowed us to redistribute those in a new and untested way. This was a bold move, especially for university presses operating on slim margins. These publishers also contributed a great deal of their time and expertise to the effort. They retooled their traditional workflows to give us reformatted book files in unfamiliar time frames. Many of these publishers also served on our advisory board, helping us regularly with smart questions and informed advice.

The academic library community members were also key collaborators as we developed the UPCC offering and launched the new website. The Library Advisory Board helped us refine subject collections, and encouraged us to offer a variety of purchasing and subscription options. We also received great support from ICOLC and the Association of Research Libraries as we started selling the UPCC collections in the marketplace. Of course the many libraries who bought collections in our inaugural year deserve special thanks. They are investing in Project MUSE also. Scholars, publishers, librarians all form a community with many shared values. This year I am especially proud of how well members of all worked together to achieve the dissemination of knowledge in a new and sustainable program.