JHU Press receives Mellon grant to develop MUSE Open

By Melanie Schaffner, Project MUSE Staff

Johns Hopkins University Press is delighted to announce the award of a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the development of MUSE Open, a distribution channel for open access monographs through Project MUSE, a leading provider of digital humanities and social science content for the scholarly community.

“The Mellon Foundation was an early and important supporter of Project MUSE,” said Kathleen Keane, Director of Johns Hopkins University Press. “Mellon’s support of MUSE Open will be instrumental in sustaining and extending our mission to ensure the long-term viability of monographic scholarship.”

MUSE Open will leverage a powerful and trusted distribution channel for long-form humanities scholarship in an enriched digital format. Monographs included in the program will be distributed globally and made visible and usable through discoverability and accessibility tools normally reserved for paid content. MUSE Open content will be promoted to researchers, students, and general readers worldwide through existing library channels and through social media, including MUSE Commons. Participating publishers will enjoy the freedom to control the sales, distribution, and marketing of the corresponding printed works.

“In an era of declining library budgets and shifts in reading and consumption habits, scholarly publishers find it increasingly difficult to sustain high-quality digital and print monograph publishing programs in the humanities and qualitative social sciences,” said Keane. “MUSE Open will take advantage of new funding models that take the purchasing burden away from end users for the purposes of providing important new scholarly content available free of charge to readers around the world.”

Since its founding in 1878, Johns Hopkins University Press has demonstrated a commitment to both tradition and innovation. Today it stands as one of the world’s largest university presses, publishing 83 scholarly journals along with award-winning books in history, science, education, criticism, political science, and consumer health.

A ground-breaking collaboration of the Johns Hopkins Sheridan Libraries and the JHU Press founded in 1995, today Project MUSE provides digital access to more than 600 scholarly journals and more than 36,000 monographs from 238 non-profit publishers to institutions worldwide.

Melanie Schaffner is director of sales and marketing for Project MUSE.