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By Project MUSE

The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted both Project MUSE’s library customers and its participating not-for-profit publishers, along with the rest of the research and education community. After a great deal of consultation with our constituents, in light of the ongoing operational and financial pressures affecting us all, we have made a decision to keep pricing for all our Project MUSE Journal Collections flat for the 2021 calendar year subscription term. There will be no increase in the annual cost for any current customer to renew for the same journal collection for 2021.

MUSE has been an integral part of the scholarly communications ecosystem for 25 years, providing libraries with affordable access to vetted, essential scholarship from our cohort of respected not-for-profit publishers. MUSE’s mission, to support the sustainable dissemination of trusted content, is aligned with those of both our library and publisher communities. By distributing the significant majority of our revenue from library subscriptions directly back to our university-based publishers, we return a great deal of value to the system of scholarship, rather than extracting it. We invest in maintaining a collaborative platform that provides for crucial needs of discoverability and accessibility, complies with major information standards, and offers library-friendly and user-friendly terms.

“Positioned as we are within our home at the Johns Hopkins University Press, Project MUSE has a keen insight on the shared challenges our community faces. Many are grappling with a rapid transition to online and hybrid learning environments and significant disruptions to our usual operations,” said Wendy Queen, Director, Project MUSE. “Our platform was ready for the transition and continues to provide essential support for research and teaching worldwide. We want to ensure our core humanities and social science resources remain available to all who count on them.”

Over the next several weeks, we will be in direct contact with our current consortium partners and library subscribers to confirm renewal information for the coming year. All MUSE subscriptions operate on a calendar year term, with a December 31 expiration date. We hope that announcing this pricing decision as early as possible will assist customers with future planning.

One of the consequences of the decision to keep collection prices flat for 2021 is that Project MUSE will not be able to incorporate new titles into its journal collections, only replace for attrition as applicable. Any changes to the collection content for 2021 will be announced later this summer, as details are confirmed. In recent years MUSE has grown its options for hosting journals on the platform outside its collections, both as open access and for individual title subscriptions, and we do expect to take on additional hosted titles over the next year.

We understand that even with holding our prices flat for 2021, some customers may wish to evaluate their best options for retaining maximum access to content on MUSE within their particular budgetary constraints. Project MUSE offers a number of Journal Collection options and is always happy to assist libraries with a usage analysis to determine the best fit for their needs and available funds. Please contact MUSE Sales Support with any questions or concerns.