MUSE Meets 2021: Envision What’s Next

Project MUSE launches a community conversation 
to consider the future and cap its 25th anniversary year

MUSE Meets 2021: Envision What’s Next begins with an online conversation in January to connect stakeholders and help shape the agenda for a virtual conference in April

Project MUSE, the leading platform of scholarly journals and books in the humanities and social sciences, will host a wide-ranging conversation about the future of digital publishing in the humanities and social sciences that starts online in January with brainstorming and discussion and culminates in April with a virtual conference.

MUSE Meets 2021: Envision What’s Next begins with an opportunity for librarians, publishers, and other stakeholders to shape the focus of the April conference using IdeaScale, a user-friendly virtual brainstorming platform. From January 5-31, participants can visit the dedicated website, https://projectmuse.ideascale.com/, to create an account and suggest the important issues and questions that should be addressed by speakers, panels, and roundtables at the virtual conference from April 27-30. 

The platform allows participants to vote and comment on suggestions, track the ideas that generate consensus and enthusiasm, and connect with colleagues who share similar concerns and priorities. The results will be available on the website and used by the MUSE staff to finalize the agenda and format of the virtual conference.

“We are looking for this input because we believe it’s vital to expand the conversation between the library and publishing communities and to welcome new perspectives,” noted Kelley Squazzo, the director of publisher relations for Project MUSE. “This challenging year has been a powerful reminder that we are all in this together, every voice has value, and we are strongest when we work together to envision the future and ensure the growth of digital humanities and social science content for years to come. We really want the community to shape this discussion.”

MUSE Meets 2021: Envision What’s Next is an expanded and reimagined version of MUSE’s annual publisher’s meeting. It aims to take full advantage of the online format to broaden the participation of key stakeholders throughout the academic community and launch a more inclusive discussion of the digital future of scholarly communications. The virtual gathering will also serve to cap MUSE’s 25th anniversary, which has been celebrated online this year after long-planned in person events were cancelled.

In addition to the usual forums and information sessions designed exclusively for MUSE’s participating publishers, the expanded conference in April will also include programming for librarians, scholars, and administrators, all free of charge.  Most importantly, the reimagined format is designed to create new opportunities for the vast MUSE community to connect and interact, share ideas and concerns, and consider a future full of opportunities and challenges for digital scholarly communications. Every member of the academic community is welcome to participate.

“We are so excited to call on friends and colleagues throughout the community to help us identify the most pressing issues of the moment and gather the questions and topics that are truly top-of-mind,” commented Wendy Queen, director of Project MUSE. “Conversations among librarians and publishers in particular don’t happen often enough, and MUSE is uniquely positioned to bring them together. We also want to hear from scholars, journal editors, users, and other stakeholders. They are all our indispensable partners and we are eager for their input—in the January conversation, at the April conference, and in the years ahead as we ‘envision what’s next’ for Project MUSE.” 

Mark your calendar for MUSE Meets 2021: Envision What’s Next:
  • January 5 – Go to [link], set up an account, and join the conversation
  • January 5-31–  Suggest topics, speakers, and formats for the April conference; vote and comment (even if you don’t have topics to suggest); track results and connect with colleagues
  • January 31 – Last day for online comments and voting
  • Mid-March – Virtual conference final schedule is announced and registration opens; visit https://about.muse.jhu.edu/about/publishers-meeting/
  • April 27: Virtual Conference Welcome & 25th Anniversary Celebration; Special Guest (TBA); Keynote Speaker, Kathleen Fitzpatrick (Open to all)
  • April 28: Opening Remarks; Panel Presentation and Discussion: "Envision What's Next: Perspectives from Publishers, Librarians, and other Scholarly Publishing Stakeholders” (Open to all)
  • April 29-30: Concurrent MUSE Participating Publisher Meetings (Current participating publishers only; sessions will be repeated ay varying time to accommodate varying time zones)
  • April 30, 2 PM EDT: Closing Presentation by Project MUSE director Wendy Queen (Open to all)