Project MUSE Announces Free Access to Gun Violence Scholarship

Providing access beyond institutional subscribers aims to ground the policy debate in research and current scholarship

Project MUSE, the massive online collection of scholarship administered by Johns Hopkins University Press and accessible primarily through university libraries, is providing free access to more than a dozen journal articles and books focused on understanding and preventing gun violence.  The goal is to encourage the broadest possible engagement with current research and expertise on the topic as the latest round of gun policy debates and discussions continue in the wake of shootings in California, Texas, and Ohio. The collection, called “MUSE in Focus: Addressing Gun Violence,” is available at http://bit.ly/MUSEinFocus-Gun-Violence.

“We wanted to work quickly to assemble this material,” said Project MUSE director Wendy Queen. “While MUSE content is available to millions of researchers worldwide through their subscribing institutions, it was important to us that this work be made available to everyone.”

The material was selected by the Project MUSE staff in consultation with publishers to provide a broad range of perspectives and expertise relevant to the policy debates that are inevitably renewed with each new incident of gun violence.   Participating publishers include Johns Hopkins University Press, Michigan State University Press, Penn State University Press, University of Massachusetts Press, University of Michigan Press, University of North Carolina Press, and University of Pennsylvania Press. The collection features titles such as Private Guns, Public Health, by David Hemenway, and After Gun Violence: Deliberation and Memory in an Age of Political Gridlock, by Craig Rood.

Also included is the book, Reducing Gun Violence in America: Informing Policy with Evidence and Analysis, edited by Daniel W. Webster and Jon S. Vernick, which JHU Press director Barbara Kline Pope decided to make available as an open access PDF in 2017 after the mass shooting in Las Vegas.  She had joined the Press only several weeks before that incident.  Information about the book’s free availability has been shared repeatedly after subsequent shootings.

“It’s enormously sad— it’s astonishing, frankly—that this is the fourth time in less than two years at  JHU Press that I have been part of an effort to make material like this available to the public in the wake of horrific gun violence,” commented Pope. “It’s tremendously important that the voices of experts and the insights of years of relevant research have full weight in the discussion of gun policy by lawmakers, journalists, and the public.  Lives literally depend on understanding that research-based solutions and consensus are possible.”

Project MUSE is a leading provider of digital humanities and social science content for the scholarly community.  Since 1995, the MUSE Journal Collections have supported a wide array of research needs at academic, public, special, and school libraries worldwide. MUSE is the trusted source of complete, full-text versions of scholarly journals from many of the world's leading university presses and scholarly societies, with over 120 publishers currently participating. Books on Project MUSE offers access to more than 57,000 books from over 100 presses, fully integrated with MUSE's scholarly journal content for browsing and discovery.