Beginning with the year 2000, Project MUSE, the online journals database published by the Johns Hopkins University Press and one of the pioneers in online scholarly publishing, will expand to include full-text online access to titles from other university presses.
To date, nine other presses have committed 62 titles to joining MUSE, bringing the total to 110 and more than doubling the size of the collection. The publishers involved are Carnegie Mellon University Press, Duke University Press, Indiana University Press, MIT Press, Oxford University Press, Pennsylvania State University Press, University of Hawaii Press, University of Texas Press and the University of Wisconsin Press. It is expected that even more titles may be added by the end of 1999.
"Project MUSE has set a standard for scholarly electronic journals in the humanities and social sciences," explains Mark Nolan, Project MUSE manager. "Our subscribing libraries have asked us to provide greater depth of coverage in these underrepresented areas. We saw this as an opportunity to develop a cooperative effort with other university presses to make their titles available within an established online publishing model that has been widely accepted and appreciated by the library community."
Marie Hansen, director of Project MUSE, adds: "Such a joint effort by publishers who are, after all, in competition with one another, to collaborate in a publishing venture is an unprecedented undertaking. By working together we can create an exciting collection of scholarly materials that will be of far greater value to publishers, scholars and librarians than any of us could produce singly. Not only that, we will be creating a broad and deep range of titles in many subject areas. We would like scholars in many fields--for example, history or literary theory--to think of MUSE as the first portal to performing online research."
With the addition of the new journal titles, Nolan believes MUSE will become even more attractive to libraries that wish to increase their holdings while providing a variety of quality periodicals to their communities. As of June 1999, more than 650 universities, colleges and other institutions worldwide have subscribed to Project MUSE.
The main thrust of Project MUSE's initial expansion will be in the subject areas in which a number of university presses have established strong reputations, such as literary theory and criticism, history, cultural studies, philosophy, social sciences and performing arts. The new titles represent a broad array of interests, including African American literature, gender studies, medieval studies, higher education, health policy, political science, and Asian culture and history. Over the next year, science, technical and medical periodicals will also be added to the collection.