Two e-book initiatives merge

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Two 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 next January.

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.

'This is a great moment,' said Kathleen Keane, director of the Johns Hopkins University Press, home of Project MUSE. 'By bringing these two initiatives together, we have taken a major step forward to ensure the ongoing viability of university presses.'

Representatives of UPeC and PME are said to have 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.

'The University Press Content Consortium will be the online destination for peer-reviewed university press scholarship,' said Steve Maikowski, director of the New York University Press and one of the press directors spearheading UPeC. 'The efficiencies and cost savings resulting from this collaboration will bring far more revenue to participating presses than current third-party models,' he said. 'Because both initiatives are university-press based, there is a strong mission alliance.'