October 31, 2020

Now Available: Project MUSE Announces Beta Release of Newly Redesigned Platform, Current Site Will Remain Available For Several Months

From a PM Announcement:

Project MUSE invites you to preview our newly redesigned platform by visiting our beta site.

The beta site is a work in progress, with additional development and new functionality occurring on an ongoing basis, and will run in parallel with our current site for the next several months leading up to the formal release of the new site in mid-2018.

A feedback form is available on the beta site and comments, questions, and suggestions are encouraged.

New Features

Among the new features available in this early preview of the new site are content footnotes and references presented “in-line” with the associated text in a journal article or books chapter, additional search facets for book series and thematic journal issues, and the launch of new “My MUSE” personalized accounts. Users who create an account will be able to save searches, create a library of their favorite MUSE materials (books, chapters, journals, issues, or articles), generate citations for all or selected items in their library, and search within their personal library.

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http://beta.muse.jhu.edu/

Development

These, along with many other features of the new interface, were developed through an extensive, iterative research and design process conducted in collaboration with external user experience innovators Brilliant Experience, in which multiple rounds of user testing revealed desires for simplicity, consistency, and more personalized interactions with content.

OA Monographs in HTML5 Format

Also available now is a sample set of open access monographs in browser-native HTML5 format. A key goal of the MUSE Open grant was to “unlock” the OA books from the commonly-available PDF format, allowing not only a browser-based reading experience with no additional software required, but also much greater flexibility for creating content connections and supporting conversations around the scholarship. MUSE embraced community-supported open source software from the Collaborative Knowledge Foundation to create new workflows for publishers to submit epub files and for those files to be transformed into HTML5 for dissemination on MUSE. A further benefit of the new system is that it may be used for any book for which a publisher is able to submit epub, whether gated or open on MUSE.

Cornell University Press’ The Taming of Evolution, a foundational anthropology title recently digitized and made open access through the National Endowment for the Humanities’ (NEH) “Humanities Open Book” grant initiative, is just one example of the new format OA books on display. When MUSE’s new platform is released in mid-2018, we expect to host over 300 additional open access monographs in HTML5. All of the open access books will be fully supported with discovery tools including MARC records, KBART availability, and metadata distribution and linking, and will be preserved with support from PORTICO and LOCKSS.

Funding

Project MUSE was awarded a nearly $1 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to implement MUSE Open, a distribution program for open access (OA) monographs in the humanities and social sciences on the MUSE platform. Intended to ensure the OA monographs’ usability, discoverability, and accessibility and fully integrate them with MUSE’s current content, the grant supported the development of a more robust user experience for all content on MUSE, with an intuitive new scholar-informed interface and a suite of tools focused on the researcher.

Read the Beta Launch Announcement

See Also: Open Access Books: Project MUSE Announces Launch of MUSE Open; More Than 550 Social Science and Humanities Books Now Available to All

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) 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 Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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