May 20, 2022

The Mellon Foundation Awards $938,000 Grant to Fund MUSE Open, A New OA Platform

From Project MUSE:

The Johns Hopkins University announced today that it is 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. This is one in a series of grants issued by the Mellon Foundation that support US university presses’ ability to edit, produce, market, disseminate, and discover long-form digital publications in the humanities. MUSE Open is planned as an Open Access (OA) platform for monographs in the humanities and social sciences that will be a public-facing, mission-focused aggregator that adds 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, JHUP’s trusted provider of authoritative humanities and social science books and journals from more than 250 of the world’s most distinguished university presses and scholarly societies.

In the arena of open access monograph production, distribution of the final monograph via the MUSE platform is an essential element in ensuring the dissemination, discovery, accessibility, and utility of the works to be found on MUSE Open. Project MUSE has demonstrated network effects; it realizes 23 million unique visits annually. MUSE looks forward to collaborating with two key partners on the grant, Brilliant Experience and the Collaborative Knowledge Foundation, who will be instrumental in the design and the technological infrastructure build.

“The challenge being addressed by MUSE Open is a critical one if more university press books are going to be made available via Open Access. That is, how do we ensure that these publications are as discoverable and as usable as our traditional ones?” noted John Sherer, Director of the University of North Carolina Press.

 Wendy Queen, Director of Project MUSE added, “We believe that OA content embedded in the linked open data environment, but also made available adjacent to a large corpus of analogous and complementary works in the humanities and qualitative social sciences will offer a definite benefit to researchers. 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.”

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.