Now Books: JSTOR vis-a-vis Project MUSE, Revisited
In October 2009, I wrote a brief post about JSTOR Current Scholarship and suggested that it had obvious implications for Project MUSE. Kevin M. Guthrie, President of ITHAKA, was kind enough to reply to that post and argue that my concerns were unfounded. Readers can refer back to these discussions.
All I want to say now is that there was once a kind of division of labor between JSTOR and Project MUSE, both not-for-profit initiatives that largely benefitted university presses, scholarly societies, and those scholars who depended on them (and who were lucky enough to be attached to subscription-paying institutions). Both organizations have early Mellon funding in their histories. JSTOR focused initially on journal back files and Project MUSE focused on current journal content.
In 2009, JSTOR announced its plans to move into current journal content. This move was realized for end users with the new year that has just arrived. In 2010, Project MUSE announced plans to move with its university press partners into electronic book delivery. In an announcement circulated in anticipation of a presentation that was to be made (and surely was made) today at the ALA meetings, JSTOR/ITHAKA announced that it was moving on a program to begin publishing books.
As I did in 2009, I have regrets about the way this is shaping up. Is there commentary from Project MUSE folks out there anywhere?
(My anxieties are my own and do not reflect the views of any of the organizations of which I am a member, several of which benefit in significant ways from the success of both JSTOR and Project MUSE.)
UPDATE 1/12/2011: Find Jennifer Howard’s Chronicle of Higher Education story on the launch of multiple e-book programs here: http://chronicle.com/article/University-Presses-Face/125919/ and Steve Kolowich’s Inside Higher Education story on this topic at: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/01/12/academic_journal_archives_move_toward_integrating_digital_books