In response to the unprecedented challenges created by the COVID-19 global public health crisis, Johns Hopkins University Press is providing free access to its collection of 1,400 JHU Press books and 97 journals currently on Project MUSE, a massive online collection of humanities and social science research. All JHU Press content currently on the Project MUSE platform will be freely available to readers worldwide until at least May 31, 2020.
The decision aims to ease the transition to remote learning for students who might have difficulty accessing their university libraries as they complete their spring semester coursework. Content that is freely available on the Project MUSE platform during the COVID-19 crisis will display a distinctive "Free" icon, indicating that the material is temporarily accessible and distinct from permanently free status of "Open Access" material.
"Access to the best research and scholarship is essential for students completing their studies, for faculty members in their teaching and research, for policymakers weighing critical decisions, and for health professionals working to save lives," said JHU Press director Barbara Kline Pope in a message to the JHU Press community. "It is comforting and empowering during this uncertain time to do everything we can to stay true to our mission and to help each other navigate unprecedented challenges to daily life—including being a student and conducting research."
Project MUSE is working with other participating publishers to make similar arrangements to quickly address the access needs of university students and faculty as they complete the academic year. In addition to Johns Hopkins University Press, the publishers currently opting to make content free on Project MUSE are 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). Project MUSE expects to announce additional participants and will continually update the list of publishers offering free access to content.
"Serving the needs of libraries, publishers, and scholars has been core to the MUSE mission since day one," said Wendy Queen, the director of Project MUSE. "The global COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in enormous and rapid changes to the lives of all our constituents, with the need to adapt daily to new methods of communicating and working. MUSE is grateful for the opportunity to support our community through this crisis, as a hub to connect users and the content they need, from wherever they can."