[Eril-l] Publishers Provide Free Content on Project MUSE During COVID-19 Crisis

Melanie Schaffner MBS at press.jhu.edu
Wed Mar 18 09:41:21 PDT 2020

Publishers Provide Scholarly Content Free on Project MUSE During COVID-19 Crisis

In response to the challenges created by the global public health crisis of COVID-19, Project MUSE is pleased to support its participating publishers in making scholarly content temporarily available for free on our platform. With many higher education institutions moving into an exclusively online learning environment for the foreseeable future, we hope that easy access to vetted research in the humanities and social sciences, from a variety of distinguished university presses, societies, and related not-for-profit publishers, will help to support teaching, learning, and knowledge discovery for users worldwide.

Among the publishers currently opting to make content free on Project MUSE are Johns Hopkins University Press (all books and journals), Ohio State University Press (all books and journals), University of Nebraska Press (all books and journals), University of North Carolina Press (all books), Temple University Press (all books), and Vanderbilt University Press (selected books). We expect to announce additional participants and will continually update the list of publishers offering free access to content at https://about.muse.jhu.edu/resources/freeresourcescovid19/.

"These are turbulent and challenging times. Above all, we are committed to ensuring that students and researchers around the world can access information from our books and journals easily," said Donna Shear, Director, University of Nebraska Press. "Enabling this through making our content on Project MUSE open for the next few months is one important way to do that."

"The COVID-19 pandemic presents an unprecedented challenge to the global scholarly ecosystem and its institutions. This move is our way of helping to ease the burden on students and instructors so that they can continue research and coursework as smoothly as possible, as well as to honor the work of our authors in making their research available when the world needs nuanced and rigorous scholarship the most," said Tony Sanfilippo, Director, Ohio State University Press Director.

Content that is freely available on the Project MUSE platform during the COVID-19 crisis will display a distinctive "Free" icon, different from the "OA" icon used for fully open access content on MUSE, or the familiar green checkmark that users associate with content held by their library. MUSE search results (muse.jhu.edu/search), by default, include any content to which a user has access, so will offer the researcher any relevant free, OA, or entitled articles and books.  There are over 2000 open access books and a small number of fully OA journals on the MUSE platform. More information in MUSE OA content is available at https://about.muse.jhu.edu/muse/open-access-overview/.

"Serving the needs of libraries, publishers, and scholars has been core to the MUSE mission since day one," said Wendy Queen, Director, Project MUSE. "The global COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in enormous and rapid changes to the lives of all our constituents, with new methods of communicating and doing our work to which we must adapt daily. MUSE is grateful for the opportunity to support our community through this crisis, as a hub to connect users and the content they need, wherever they may safely do so."

"This is an extraordinary moment. Pedagogy and research are sprinting swiftly to online platforms, while at the same time, we're devolving into an increasingly unstable economic environment," said John Sherer, Director, University of North Carolina Press. "Nevertheless, we at UNC Press are compelled to remove the paywalls from the scholarship that we have in platforms like Project MUSE. My hope is that by making it easy and inexpensive to utilize these resources now, libraries, students, teachers, and administrators will realize the enormous value in these kinds of collections. And, when the current crisis has passed, they will dedicate the resources needed to support them."

Project MUSE has a robust continuity plan in place and does not anticipate any significant disruption to our service as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. MUSE staff are available as we transition to a remote work environment, and we encourage communicating any concerns or questions to Customer Support at muse at press.jhu.edu.

Melanie Schaffner
Director, Sales & Marketing
Project MUSE
mbs at press.jhu.edu<mailto:mbs at press.jhu.edu>
p 410-516-3846 (Eastern Daylight Time)

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