University Press Week 2014: Collaboration
The tour will feature posts from 31 different university press-based blogs throughout the week, with posts each day clustered around a special theme. Today the tour will be stopping here at the MUSE Commons, and also at the University Press of Colorado, University of Georgia Press, Duke University Press, University of California Press, McGill-Queen’s University Press, Texas A&M University Press, Yale University Press, University of Chicago Press, and University of Virginia Press. Be sure to visit all the stops on the tour today—and throughout the week.
When choosing which day to participate in the tour, today’s theme just seemed like a natural for Project MUSE: Collaboration. After all, our “tagline” here at the Project MUSE Commons is “Content, Community, Collaboration.” Collaboration is an important part of our culture and our heritage at Project MUSE.
Project MUSE is the result of a collaboration between a university press and a university library, and throughout 2015 we will celebrate 20 fruitful years that have resulted thus far from that collaboration. The high-quality scholarly journals from the Johns Hopkins University Press formed a compelling online product that was innovative and ahead of its time in 1995. The library-friendly policies and practices that won subscribers and support from the library community were the result of our partnership with the Sheridan Libraries at the Johns Hopkins University. MUSE has been collaborating with the library community ever since.
In 2000, Project MUSE expanded to include journals from other publishers, many of whom were university presses but also scholarly societies and independent journals. This expansion began a new era of collaboration with our participating publishers.
Yet another landmark in MUSE’s history was a result of collaboration. In 2011, Project MUSE responded to requests from publishers and librarians alike and began to work on adding scholarly books to the MUSE platform. Not long after we began our work, we were honored to be chosen as the publishing partner for the University Press eBook Consortium, which was a Mellon-funded initiative led by a group of university presses. We merged our two ebook initiatives to form the University Press Content Consortium and successfully launched collections of ebooks in January 2012. We now have almost 30,000 books on our platform from over 100 publishers.
In 2014 we have launched our Project MUSE social networking site, the Project MUSE Commons, using the open source software Commons in a Box. Our goal in creating this new site is to usher in a the next era of collaboration with all of our constituents using the social networking tools afforded by the Commons. We’re excited to provide space on the Commons for our publishers to create their own sites in order to create content and engage their own constituents; thus far we’ve launched three sites from the Journal of Korean Studies, Baylor University Press, and Tampa Review within the MUSE Commons network. Coming next: bringing publishers together on the MUSE Commons to highlight synergies around different subject areas in MUSE and directly engaging journal editors, book series editors, article and book authors, and scholars in new conversations around MUSE content.
We thought that ruminating on collaboration and its role throughout MUSE’s history would provide an appropriate backdrop to other posts today on specific collaborative initiatives on today’s blog tour. We’ve also enjoyed providing an introduction to our new Commons site!
Be sure to continue the tour tomorrow with a different group of university press-based blogs—including the blog from our parent institution, the Johns Hopkins University Press.