Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the most frequently asked questions about Project MUSE. If you cannot find the answer to your question here, please contact Project MUSE Customer Support. If your question is related to access or another technical issue and is not otherwise addressed in the questions and answers below, please contact MUSE using the Request Technical Help form.

A separate Frequently Asked Questions addresses questions specific to Project MUSE Book Collections.

Subscriptions and Access

Subscription Terms of License


Tools & Resources

Linking & Other Technical Information

Subscriptions and Access

Q. How do users get access to the MUSE journals online?

On-campus access is primarily by IP (Internet Protocol) address. A library or institution subscribing to MUSE provides the institution's range(s) of IP addresses with the subscription order. MUSE also permits access by referring URL. At this time Project MUSE does not accept IPv6 ranges.  The Johns Hopkins University does not anticipate implementing this technology until 2018 or so.

Off-campus access is validated through subscribing institutions. A user must be affiliated with a subscribing institution in order to access full-text articles in MUSE from off-campus. Users might login to MUSE through their library or institution's website or through a 'proxy' server. Another way for the user to authenticate is to use his/her institutional login prior to accessing the full text articles in MUSE. MUSE supports authentication through the single sign-on method provided by Shibboleth.

To login, a user selects his/her institution from the list of institutions registered to access MUSE through Shibboleth. If their institution is not listed, they should refer to their librarian for assistance.

Shibboleth is available only for institutional collection subscribers, and it can be used by institutional subscribers to access their MUSE collection as well as single titles they subscribe to on the MUSE platform. Shibboleth is not available to institutions that subscribe only to single titles.

A subscribing library can request access by referring URL or Shibboleth when placing a subscription order or by sending a request to MUSE Customer Support.

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Q. Who is allowed access to Project MUSE if we subscribe?

Authorized users are defined as faculty, staff, students, alumni and library patrons of the subscribing institution. Distance learners, alumni, and other off-campus affiliates may access Project MUSE if their Internet access is through the campus network. Subscribing institutions are expected to enable access only to those people who are authorized users of the campus network.

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Q. How can my institution provide remote access for our users?

Remote access can be offered by setting up a proxy server (for example, EZproxy is one brand of proxy server), referring URL, or Shibboleth.  Please note that at this time Shibboleth consortia do not make their services available to high schools.

Because of the great variety in campus computing environments Project MUSE cannot advise institutions about which approach to use nor can MUSE provide instructions for the configuration of a remote access solution. Useful information can be found on the internet in places such as OCLC, Wikipedia and YouTube, however, you will need to contact your institution's or system's tech support for assistance.

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Q. Can I access all journals on MUSE?

Authorized users have access to the full text of all journals in the journal collection to which their institution subscribes. Journal collections range from including all journals to including subsets of all titles on MUSE. Generally, you have access to the journals showing the green checkmark icon, which means ‘You have access to this content’.

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Q. Does Project MUSE have Open Access content?

MUSE Collections do not include open access journals, but Project MUSE welcomes OA Journals on the Project MUSE platform through its Hosted Journals program.

With the generous support of the Mellon Foundation, MUSE is developing a program for the broad and cost-efficient distribution of OA monographs in web-native formats.  This project will launch in 2018.  More information is available here.

Examples of OA journals on Project MUSE include:

 Examples of OA books on Project MUSE include books from Cornell University Press.

Back to TopQ. What are hosted journals?

Hosted journals are additional titles provided by MUSE publishers and are available to institutions as single title subscriptions. Journals hosted on MUSE are not included in the journal collections.  An institution may subscribe to any of the hosted journals in addition to subscribing to a journal collection. Hosted journals have the same look and all the same functionality as journals in a collection. Click to see the current list of hosted journals available for subscription.

Back to TopQ. What are the Terms and Conditions for Single Title Online Subscriptions?

Subscriptions to many journals are available as single title subscriptions on the MUSE platform. Read the Terms and Conditions for Single Title Online Subscriptions to understand the rights, responsibilities, authentication, and other terms that apply. Contact Journals Customer Support with any questions.

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Q. Does MUSE allow for alumni access?

Both the MUSE book and journal licenses allow for alumni access to content. Alumni access is provided at no additional charge to the institution.  Institutions are responsible for setting up access for their alums. It may be helpful to remember that MUSE supports a number of Shibboleth federations including the U.S.

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Q. Can I access MUSE on my mobile device?

MUSE can be accessed on mobile devices with a web browser, such as the iPhone, iPad, or Android. We are continually optimizing the MUSE website to provide the best mobile user experience.

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Q. Can I access MUSE journal articles if I am an independent researcher not affiliated with a subscribing institution?

Even though not affiliated with an academic institution there is still a lot that an independent researcher can do on MUSE.  While access to the full-text of articles is not available, researchers can perform many research functions:

The MUSE platform is available to all for searching. Article citations may be saved, printed, or emailed. Some institutions provide access to MUSE for their alumni. If applicable, check with your institution to see if this service is available.

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Subscription Terms of License

Q. What are the permitted uses of Project MUSE?

Please review the Project MUSE licensing agreements for complete details on permitted and not permitted uses of MUSE journals and books..

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Q. Is interlibrary loan allowed?

Facsimile images that are exact representations of the print journal pages or of printouts from the electronic database may be provided for interlibrary loan under CONTU guidelines and distributed in paper, fax, or digital form.

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Q. Are the URLs for content in Project MUSE stable? Can we link directly to the content?

All content level URLs in MUSE are stable, and adhere to a standard format.

MUSE encourages librarians and faculty members at subscribing institutions to link directly to MUSE content from electronic reserves and online class syllabi. No special permission is required to link. Be sure to verify the link from the MUSE site.

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Q. Can Project MUSE articles be used in course packs? May I include them in my e-reserve?

Project MUSE articles may be included in course packs and in electronic reserve only through a link to the article. The articles themselves may not be placed on electronic reserve or used in course packs. No special permission is required to link. Refer to the previous question about linking to MUSE article URLs.

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Q. Is it permissible for MUSE articles to be included in institutional repositories?

MUSE owns the MUSE-generated PDF articles and they may not be used in repositories. The author of an article included online in MUSE should consult his/her agreement with the journal publisher to determine whether the publisher allows a copy of the article to be included in a repository. If both the author and the publisher have provided permission for deposit in a repository, they must provide their own electronic file. MUSE owns the MUSE copy and permission is not granted for the MUSE version in repositories

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Q. Are the paper and digital articles the same?

Project MUSE digitizes scholarly journals, most of which have been published in paper form for many years. The "edition of record" of these journals is still the paper form, the digital version being enriched with hypertext but otherwise not altered in any way. All content from the print edition is included in the online edition, with the exception of advertisements. If there is a correction made or an errata to announce, we always flag those changes. Occasionally, an audio or video element may be offered in the online version as supplementary material to an article. In a case such as this, the availability of the supplementary material and its URL will be noted in the print article. Presently, there are four electronic-only journals in MUSE: Advertising and Society Review, Postmodern Culture, Theory & Event, and Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History.

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Q. Are all MUSE journals peer-reviewed? How is content selected?

All journals participating in Project MUSE are peer-reviewed, scholarly titles. The basic criteria for participation in MUSE are that the journal must be peer-reviewed, be published by a not-for-profit press or scholarly society, and be a sensible fit with titles in the humanities, the social sciences and the arts. Project MUSE has a formal collection development policy for the selection of new titles. Surveys of subscribing libraries regarding subject areas for which they desire more online periodical content are also taken into consideration, as are specific title suggestions from participants and users. Publishers wishing to have their journal considered for participation in MUSE can use our online submission form. If you would like to recommend a title for MUSE please use our Recommendation form.

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Q. What is MUSE's status regarding accessibility and Section 508 compliance?

Project MUSE is committed to providing a web site that is accessible to all individuals and continually works to improve access for people with disabilities. Please check our Accessibility and "Section 508" page for the latest information.

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Q. What does "archive only" mean when it appears after a journal title?

The phrase "archive only" means that the journal no longer contributes new issues to MUSE. There are a number of different reasons for a journal to stop contributing new issues to MUSE. For example, the journal might have been acquired by a commercial publisher or a publisher that does not participate in MUSE, the publisher might have other reasons for choosing not to have that journal participate in Project MUSE any longer, or the title might have ceased publication. Even though a journal does not contribute new issues to MUSE all previously launched issues of that journal will remain online and accessible to subscribers. Please also see our Archiving and Preservation policy for further information.

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Q. How is Project MUSE addressing the issues of archiving and permanent preservation?

Project MUSE is committed to providing permanent maintenance and preservation of all the digital files in the MUSE database. No journal content published online in MUSE will be removed or made inaccessible to current, paid subscribers. All MUSE partner publishers are contractually bound to allow any journal content published in MUSE to remain permanently in the database, even if they should choose to discontinue their relationship with MUSE.

Project MUSE maintains both local back-up servers and a mirror server offsite, in Australia. Further, Project MUSE works with other providers to arrange storage of backup copies of all digital files at their sites to ensure future availability.

Libraries own the material from the MUSE journal collection(s) to which they subscribe. For details on the specific archiving rights of subscribing libraries, please see Section V. Archiving, of the Project MUSE Institutional Licensing Agreement.

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Tools & Resources

Q. Does MUSE provide usage statistics?

Project MUSE provides usage statistics for publishers, institutions, and consortia with a paid subscription to a MUSE journal collection or purchase of a MUSE book collection. Usage statistics are not available for single title subscriptions or for free trial access.

Librarians and consortium administrators may easily view their usage statistics online.

An institutional login and password is required to access that institution's usage statistics. Contact MUSE Customer Support to request a login and password if your institution does not have one already. Institutions may access their usage statistics tool at any time of day, seven days a week. Monthly usage reports are made available on the 15th of the following month, in both Excel and XML formats. Access to statistics via the SUSHI protocol is also available.

MUSE usage statistics are compliant with Release 4 of the COUNTER Code of Practice (COP).
For more information on COUNTER, please visit their web site

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Q. Does MUSE support SUSHI for accessing statistics?

Yes, MUSE supports the SUSHI protocol for accessing statistics. To use SUSHI, an institution must set up a SUSHI client to submit an XML request to MUSE. MUSE will return an XML response with the statistics data. Information needed for setting up the SUSHI connection with Project MUSE is on the MUSE usage statistics page. Log in using your MUSE usage statistics login and password. Once you have logged in to your institution's page, look for the section "Parameters required to access statistics via the SUSHI protocol". There you will find the destination URL, your institution's reference ID and requestor ID needed to set up the connection with your SUSHI client.

For more information please visit the NISO SUSHI standard.

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Q. Does Project MUSE supply MARC catalog records or other tools to help catalogers?

Yes, Project MUSE supplies catalog record sets in MARC21 format and created using AACR2 cataloging rules for each of the MUSE journal collections and for each of the MUSE book collections at no cost to libraries. The records are full level description and include Library of Congress (LC) subject headings. Updates to the records will be added periodically as new journals and books are launched during the year. You may download the records from the MUSE MARC Records Request page.

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Q. Can you notify me about new journal issues in MUSE?

Our Journal Alert service provides both announcements of new titles launched in MUSE and new journal issues released. Subscribe to alerts for particular journals, subjects, or collections.

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Q. Does MUSE provide instructional or promotional materials for libraries?

Yes. Among the resources that MUSE supplies are online and downloadable PDF instructional guides. MUSE also offers free materials such as posters and discipline brochures to distribute to campus user groups, and copies of MUSE News, which libraries can order using the Request Promotional Materials form. See the Librarians page for links to these and other resources.

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Q. Where does my institution name display on the MUSE site, and can I change it?

The institution name displays on all pages on the MUSE site, at the top of each page. We detect the institution providing access via IP address.

The institution name does not display on pages that are freely available for viewing by the public and where we do not detect the IP address of the institution providing access.

If you would like to change the way your institution's name displays on the MUSE site, please contact MUSE Customer Support, indicating how your institution name currently displays and specifying how you would like the name to display.

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Q. How do I search for journal articles and book content in Project MUSE?

Project MUSE offers a variety of ways to search and find journal and book content. Start your search using either the simple search box that appears on each page of the MUSE site or go to the advanced search page (link appears on upper right of each page) to construct a more targeted search. Both simple search and advanced search allow you to use facets to modify your results for content type, language, journal name, date, publisher and more. For more details on simple search, advanced search and search facets, please see the index of search topics in the Search Help.

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Linking & Other Technical Information

Q. How can I set up Project MUSE as an OpenURL target?

In order to link to Project MUSE as a target, set your software to link to the following URL, followed by an OpenURL-compliant query string:

Any OpenURL 0.1 or 1.0 compliant string should work. Project MUSE's software will take the data given in the OpenURL and resolve it. The more complete the data contained in the OpenURL, the better able MUSE will be to resolve at the article level. Depending on the amount of data contained in the OpenURL, MUSE may return issue or journal records.

If you are having problems using our OpenURL resolver, please Request Technical Help.

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Q. How can I set up OpenURL links for article citations retrieved in Project MUSE?

You will need to set up OpenURL links for article citations retrieved in Project MUSE searches for journals to which your institution does not subscribe. The institution-supplied link will appear on the turnaway page in MUSE and point the user to alternative resources for the articles. To set up links to your OpenURL compliant linking server for the alternative resources, complete the information requested on our Enable OpenURL Links form. Your request will be processed in two business days. Please note that MUSE supports versions 0.1 and 1.0 of OpenURL.

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Q. Where will my OpenURL links appear in MUSE?

When a search is run to include all journals and/or all books in MUSE, the search results may include articles and/or books that you do not have full-text access to because they are not part of the Project MUSE journal or book collection to which your institution subscribes.

Search results show the formats available for each item in the results and links for those formats. Journal articles are usually available in HTML and PDF formats. Book chapters are available in PDF format. Journals and books for which you do not have full-text access include another link in search results for the OpenURL link, that looks something like [OpenURL at Example University], or, [Find it! @ Example University]. When a user clicks on [OpenURL at Example University] or [Find it! @ Example University] they will be directed to your link resolver. Librarians are encouraged to supply MUSE with text they want to display for the link when they submit their OpenURL set up form. Default wording for the OpenURL link will be used if text specific for your institution is not provided.

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Q. Does MUSE Support KBART Recommended Practices?

Yes, Project MUSE does support and is compliant with KBART Phase II Recommended Practice.

Refer to NISO KBART pages for more detailed information about how KBART Phase II focuses on the provision of higher quality data and better linking opportunities between members of the knowledge base supply chain.

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Q. Does Project MUSE provide a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for journals?

Project MUSE provides article level DOIs only for journals whose publishers opt to include DOIs for their journals.  For publishers that do opt to include DOIs, the DOIs are created when the journal launches on MUSE, not before.  Project MUSE deposits article-level DOIs with CrossRef. DOIs do not appear in the citations MUSE provides for journal articles because at this time the DOI is not required by the citation structures MUSE offers (MLA, APA, Chicago).

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Q. Do I need an id and password for the MUSE search engine when setting up federated searching?

No, there are no access restrictions on the Project MUSE search engine. It is therefore freely available to search to anyone with or without a subscription. The only area of the MUSE site that requires a subscription is viewing the full-text of articles. No id and password is needed, therefore, to set up federated searching. MUSE also supports any product compliant with the Z39.50 protocol for Information Retrieval.

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Q. What is a referring URL?

A referring URL is sent in the header of an HTTP request. When referring URL is used as a method of authentication, authenticated users connect from a referring page, to which only they have access, to a licensed resource. The provider of the licensed resource recognizes the referring URL from the HTTP request and allows the user access to the resource.

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Q. How can my library gain online access to Project MUSE through EZproxy?

Many subscribers have successfully implemented the protocol by using a configuration similar to the following:

T Project MUSE

If you are having problems configuring EZproxy, we suggest using the support materials from the Useful Utilities ( ) web site.

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Q. Is Project MUSE compliant with the Z39.50 protocol for Information Retrieval?

Yes. The Z39.50 protocol for Information Retrieval provides another way for users to search and locate articles in MUSE using a Z39.50 compatible client. An institution must maintain a Project MUSE subscription in order to access the full text articles.

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Q. How do I set up the connection to the MUSE Z39.50 gateway?

An ID and password are not required to set up the connection to the MUSE Z39.50 gateway. The following configuration details will allow for the connection:

Host: or
Port: 210
Database: MUSE
Functions: Init, Search, Present, Fetch, Scan
Record Formats: USMARC, SUTRS
Search Attributes:
any - 1016
author - 1003
year - 31
title - 4
issn - 8
subject - 21
The 1016 search attribute includes the article full text.

MUSE offers the following functionalities:
Boolean operators (and/or/not)
Right truncation ("wildcarding")

The Z39.50 searches are not limited to the collection subscribed to by the institution; searches will search the entire MUSE database. Access to the full text articles will be based on the Project MUSE subscription maintained by the institution. Please use our online form to Request Technical Help. We welcome your questions and comments.

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Q. Can my library use a WAYFless URL to access Project MUSE?

Yes, a library may set up a WAYFless URL to access MUSE.  A WAYFless URL is a link that can be used by a subscribing institution to go directly to MUSE while at the same time identifying the subscribing institution to MUSE.  It simplifies access to MUSE for library users.

An institution needs to link to  passing their EntityID as the variable named "eid" in the query string.

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Q. How do I use the MUSE RSS feed when authenticating through a proxy server?

You do not have to authenticate through a proxy server in order to subscribe to the RSS feeds. To subscribe to the MUSE feeds, simply copy and paste the URL for the feed into your RSS aggregator and subscribe.

However, to view the full text articles from the links in the Table of Contents displayed in the MUSE RSS feed, you will have to authenticate via the proxy server. Subscribers using a proxy server have been successful accessing the full text by doing the following:

  1. Subscribe to the feed
  2. Log into the institution's proxy server
  3. Find out the domain name of the institution's proxy server (i.e.
  4. Copy and paste the Project MUSE URL linked to from the Project MUSE feed (beginning with '/journal/...') to the end of the proxy server address.
  5. Copy and paste this new URL into the location bar of the web browser and press Enter. Example: if trying to access the full text in, then the new copied and pasted URL would be:
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Q. Does MUSE support OAI (Open Archives Initiative)?

Yes. The OAI protocol is another way for institutions to facilitate access to articles in MUSE. An institution may request metadata from MUSE using an OAI command. MUSE will respond to the request by generating and serving XML documents. Based on the type of command sent from an institution, MUSE will supply data such as version of OAI supported (2.0), metadata formats supported (Dublin Core), listing of all journals in MUSE, and articles pertinent to the request.

The OAI base URL for Project MUSE is:

As OAI in MUSE is still in beta, we welcome your comments and questions. Please use our online form to Request Technical Help.

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Q. What is Custom Print?

Custom Print is a service provided by Sheridan Press that allows a user to click on a link from MUSE and purchase an article or groups of articles for the purpose of creating a custom publication. The user may choose either print or electronic format for the purchased articles.

Articles contained in The American Indian Quarterly published by the University of Nebraska Press are currently the only articles in MUSE to which this option is available. On the article page, look for the link 'Custom Print' to initiate the transaction. Clicking on the 'Custom Print' link takes the user to the web site of Sheridan Press where options for printing the selected articles are available.

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Q. Does MUSE offer a search plugin for web browsers?

Yes, MUSE offers a search plugin that allows you to search Project MUSE directly from your browser. The Project MUSE search plugin adds MUSE to the list of search engines available in the search box in the upper right corner of your browser. The MUSE search plugin can be added to any browser that supports Sherlock and OpenSearch Search Engine Plugins. When using the search plugin, the search results will default to searching the entire MUSE collection of journals. To read about and install the search plugin, go to the Project MUSE Search Plugin page.

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Comments or Questions

Please contact Project MUSE Customer Support with any comments or questions concerning Project MUSE. We want to hear from you!


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