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Project MUSE celebrates 10 years.

Ten years ago, the Johns Hopkins University Press (JHUP) and JHU's Milton S. Eisenhower Library collaborated on a project to make all of JHUP's academic journals available online through a service called Project MUSE.

"The initial mission," said Aileen McHugh, JHUP director of electronic publishing, "was to make available electronically the approximately 40 journals then published by JHUP and [to] develop a sustainable institutional subscription model for scholarly journals online."

Since then, Project MUSE has grown from a small grant-funded, single-publisher outfit to a widely known academic search tool. It provides users with the full text of more than 300 journals from 60 different publishing groups worldwide.

In the last year, MUSE has been finding ways to adapt to the new demands of electronic reference for the long haul. One of the changes it made was to add the Premium Collection. This newly available journal collection was developed to be "a new option that would incorporate all the new titles selected and provide an option for libraries that have the need and the funding to acquire a more expansive collection of refereed titles in the humanities and social sciences," according to McHugh.

The Premium Collection will offer 30 more titles than the current Full Collection, which has been renamed the Standard Collection and which offers "a stable, core collection with predictable pricing," McHugh said. Both lineups will include new selections from publishers such as Oxford University Press. Despite the recent additions, MUSE has committed to a 6-percent cap on yearly price increases through 2007.

High schools now have the option of purchasing access to MUSE's Standard Collection for the discounted rate of $1,000. McHugh said "encourag[ing] and support[ing] the use of online scholarly journals in the college-preparatory school environment for both research and information literacy training" is a key component of MUSE's mission. She also said MUSE is planning to offer a subscription model to public libraries in 2006.

Project MUSE also added several new partners in 2005 and expanded its offerings. MUSE and CrossRef will provide CrossRef users with access to citation information and links to MUSE articles. Subscribers also can now search MUSE articles via Google Scholar. And, as a part of its expanding international presence, MUSE agreed to let the Hong Kong-based iGroup serve as its exclusive sales agent in the Asia-Pacific region. According to McHugh, 28 percent of MUSE's subscription base now consists of international customers in more than 30 countries.

For the past 10 years, MUSE has grown by paying close attention to its customers' needs. In the next 10 years, McHugh said MUSE plans to continue growing by "giving customers more options for building their collections based on their budget and mission while continuing to offer customers the benefits of bundling and a common interface."

Jessica L. Dye, a recent graduate of Princeton University, is the editorial intern for Information Today, EContent, and Marketing Library Services. Her e-mail address is

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Title Annotation:Johns Hopkins University Press
Author:Dye, Jessica L.
Publication:Information Today
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2005
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