Book Collections on MUSE - Frequently Asked Questions

Purchase and Access

Terms of License


Tools & Resources

Purchase and Access

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

For institutional purchasers of MUSE Book Collections, access for your authorized users is supported via the following methods: IP (Internet Protocol) address authentication, referring URL, and Shibboleth. Institutions are asked to provide the IP range(s) associated with their institutional network at the time a purchase order is placed. A library can request access by referring URL or Shibboleth when placing an order for a MUSE book collection or single title, or at any time by sending a request to MUSE Customer Support. MUSE does not support institutional access via ID and password.

At this time, MUSE Book Collections and book single titles on Project MUSE are only available for purchase by institutions; books are not offered for sale to individual users.

MUSE also offers books for purchase as single titles that are not included in any of the collections.   This is a new program whereby publishers contribute additional titles to the MUSE platform and the books are sold only as single title purchases (never part of a collection).  To determine titles held in the book collections and those that are not in collections, please see Book Holdings on the MUSE Holdings Tool.  

Q. What is the format of digital books on MUSE?

MUSE electronic books are in enhanced web-ready PDF format, searchable and retrievable at the chapter level. A table of contents on each individual book page allows for access to each chapter-level PDF, and for searching within the individual book for the chapters containing the search term(s). Book front matter and back matter is represented in separate, clearly-labeled PDF files on each book page. All content from the print edition of the book is included in the digital edition.

Q. Can I access MUSE books on my mobile device?

MUSE books are accessible on any mobile device with a web browser and the capability to open PDF files, such as the iPhone or iPad. We are currently in the process of developing a new interface for mobile devices that will improve a user's experience when searching and retrieving MUSE content on mobile devices.

Q. Are the paper and digital books the same?

Initially, all of the books in the MUSE collections are also expected to be published in print. All content from the print edition is included in the online edition. Occasionally, an image may be redacted due to issues with permission to use the image in electronic form.

Q. Are the paper and digital editions available simultaneously?

There are no embargoes on the release of digital editions of books in Project MUSE. Our goal is to release the electronic book simultaneously with its print edition. Because MUSE relies on the print edition publishers to supply files to us in timely manner to facilitate electronic publication, the digital editions may appear up to two weeks later than the print edition release date.

Q. Can we search MUSE book and journal content simultaneously? Search just book content?

MUSE’s new integrated search engine defaults to searching just the content to which your institution subscribes or has purchased. Search results clearly indicate which full-text content is accessible to users via their library. Users have the option to view only book results or only journal results, and to expand the results to all book and all journal content currently on the MUSE platform.

Q. How are the books in MUSE collections discoverable outside your platform?

Just as we have done for many years with MUSE journal content, MUSE makes available metadata files for our digital books to numerous abstracting, indexing, and discovery services. A complete list of our current third-party discovery partnerships is available. We welcome your suggestions for additional services with which we may cooperate to make our books more discoverable to users.

Q. May I purchase a single digital book on MUSE instead of a collection?

Yes, single-title purchasing of selected digital books is available through MUSE's partnership with GOBI Library Solutions from EBSCO. Titles in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences may be discovered and ordered via the GOBI acquisition and collection management interface. Using GOBI Library Solutions from EBSCO, library customers may discover all the MUSE titles offered for individual purchase, and may elect to receive new title notification or have MUSE titles automatically delivered through the GOBI Library Solutions from EBSCO approval program.

Q. Are the URLs for the books and book chapters in Project MUSE stable? Can we link directly to the book or book chapter?

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

MUSE encourages linking directly to MUSE books and book chapters from electronic reserves, courseware systems, and web-based syllabi. No special permission is required to link. Be sure to verify the link from the MUSE site.

Q. Can I access MUSE books 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 book chapters is not available, researchers can perform many research functions:

  • Search for authors, titles, topics
  • Run targeted searches on topics of your choosing and email the citations to yourself. Check with your local public library to find out if it is possible to obtain a copy of a book through the library's Inter-library Loan service (ILL)
  • Read the Table of Contents of journals and books
  • Sign up for and receive email alerts when new books go online in MUSE

 The MUSE platform is available to all for searching. Book 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.

 Terms of License

Q. Do MUSE digital books have DRM (Digital Rights Management) attached?

There is no DRM on the MUSE electronic book files.

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Q. Is interlibrary loan allowed?

A purchasing library may supply to an authorized user of another library (whether by post, fax or secure electronic transmission, using Ariel or its equivalent, whereby the electronic file is deleted immediately after printing) a single copy of an electronic original of an individual book chapter.

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Q. Are the MUSE books peer-reviewed? How is content selected?

Books included in the MUSE collections are published by distinguished university presses and scholarly publishers. Each participating publisher selects the books it submits for inclusion in the collections. These books are peer-reviewed prior to publication by leading scholars in the field, and subject to a vigorous editing process by the print publishers. Participation in the book initiative is limited to not-for-profit publishers with rigorous peer review procedures.

Q. Does my library own the books we purchase in MUSE collections or as single titles?

MUSE book collections and single titles are sold on a purchase basis, and libraries own the books they purchase. Libraries have perpetual access rights to the books purchased on MUSE.

Q. May we download files for books we have purchased? What about printing?

Unlimited downloading and printing of book chapter PDF files is included in your purchase of MUSE book collections. There are no restrictions on downloads or printing.

Q. Why must I download a book chapter by chapter?  

MUSE collaborated with the participating publishers to bring thousands of university press books to the MUSE platform.  In consideration of publisher concerns about their intellectual property, MUSE agreed to offer books in chapter-level PDFs. MUSE also wanted to accommodate institutions in areas with low bandwidth where the smaller chapter file would be easier to download.

Q. How will MUSE Book Collections on Project MUSE be archived and preserved?

Books on Project MUSE are archived and preserved in Portico. Portico and Project MUSE have partnered to secure the long-term preservation of ebooks published online in MUSE. The archiving and preservation is all inclusive meaning that all books from all publishers are included in Portico's digital preservation program and will remain available for future scholars, researchers, and students.

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

MUSE does not currently provide DOIs for any of the MUSE books. MUSE anticipates doing so in the future.

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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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Tool & Resources

Q. Does MUSE provide usage statistics?

Project MUSE provides usage statistics for purchasing libraries that are compliant with Release 4 of the COUNTER Code of Practice for e-Resources. Statistics are available for individual libraries and for consortium administrators.

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 book collections at no cost to libraries.  You may download the records from the MUSE MARC Records Request page.  Libraries that purchase books as single titles may obtain the MARC records for those titles from GOBI Library Solutions from EBSCO.

Q. Does Project MUSE load MARC records for books into OCLC WorldCat?

At the present time, Project MUSE does not load book MARC records into WorldCat. We do understand that libraries may want to report their holdings using WorldCat. The MUSE MARC records are freely available and our policy is that libraries are free to load our records into WorldCat if they want to.

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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!