I received this press release from the AAUP mailing list today. It is reprinted in part below.
Two major university press e-book initiatives –Project MUSE Editions (PME) and the University Press e-book Consortium (UPeC) — have joined
forces. The result of this merger — the University Press Content Consortium (UPCC) — will launch January 1, 2012.
The partnership allows e-books from an anticipated 60-70 university presses and non-profit scholarly presses — representing as many as
30,000 frontlist and backlist titles — to be discovered and searched in an integrated environment with content from nearly 500 journals
currently on MUSE.
The merger is part of a multimillion-dollar commitment to the ongoing growth and expansion of Project MUSE, according to director Dean Smith.
“By leveraging the MUSE brand and investing in technology that ensures the program’s future performance, we can grow at a rapid pace while
continuing our 15-year tradition of providing quality scholarly content at a fair price.”
Representatives of UPeC and PME worked closely with librarians over the past two years to develop a scholarly e-book model that benefits both
libraries and presses. Incorporating extensive research and feasibility analysis from both groups, the UPCC Collections will be sold by MUSE in
comprehensive and subject-based collections, with minimal digital rights management.
Research on the feasibility of a university press-based scholarly e-book initiative was commissioned by the UPeC directors in 2009 with
grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Working from the outset with two groups of highly experienced consultants-Informed Strategies,
which surveyed the needs of the library community, along with Chain Bridge Group, which developed and tested the business model-UPeC began
its search for a business partner three months ago. While a number of potential partners offered exciting opportunities, JHUP’s success in
balancing the interests of publishers and librarians informed UPeC’s selection of MUSE, according to Maikowski.
Content integration, collaboration, and sustainability have emerged as watchwords from this new alliance.
About the University Press e-book Consortium (UPeC)
The University Press e-book Consortium (UPeC) emerged in 2009 to explore the feasibility of a university press-based e-book initiative.
Five press directors serve as UPeC principals: Steve Maikowski, New York University Press; Alex Holzman, Temple University Press; Marlie
Wasserman, Rutgers University Press; Eric Halpern, University of Pennsylvania Press; and Donna Shear, University of Nebraska Press. UPeC
planning and development was supported by two grants from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
About Project MUSE
Project MUSE is a leading provider of digital humanities and social science periodical content; since 1995, its electronic journal
collections have supported a wide array of research needs at academic, public, special, and school libraries worldwide. MUSE is the sole source
of complete, full-text versions of journal titles from many of the world’s leading university presses and scholarly societies, with over
100 publishers currently participating.