Mellon Foundation grant of nearly $1M to fund open access platform MUSE Open

Johns Hopkins University Press will develop, deploy platform for hosting scholarly monographs

Johns Hopkins University has been awarded a two-year, $938,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop and deploy MUSE Open in Project MUSE, a unit of The Johns Hopkins University Press.

Project MUSE is the Press's provider of authoritative humanities and social science books and journals collected from more than 250 distinguished university presses and scholarly societies worldwide. MUSE Open is an open access, or OA, platform for monographs in the humanities and social sciences. It will be a public-facing, mission-focused aggregator and will add significant long-term value to the lifecycle of scholarly resources. According to Kathleen Keane, director of Johns Hopkins University Press, this is the largest grant of its kind ever in support of Project MUSE.

Project MUSE receives 23 million unique visits annually. The team behind Project MUSE looks forward to collaborating with two key partners on the grant who will help design and build the technological infrastructure for the platform, Brilliant Experience and the Collaborative Knowledge Foundation.

"We believe that OA content embedded in the linked open data environment ... will offer a definite benefit to researchers," said Wendy Queen, director of Project MUSE. "As of January 2016, 42,000 books and 650 journals were being hosted on the MUSE platform. Indeed, it is our firm belief that MUSE can provide significant exposure beyond that afforded by deposit in an institutional repository. To that end, we intend to collaborate across related projects in order to increase the value of OA monographs to publishers, authors, and end users within the scholarly community."

The grant is one in a series issued by the Mellon Foundation designed to support university presses' ability to edit, produce, disseminate, and discover long-form digital publications in the humanities.