The UC libraries have acquired a collection of ebooks from Project Muse, an aggregator of books and journals from university presses and other scholarly publishers. The acquisition gives UC libraries perpetual access to more than 10,000 ebooks from the publishers. The collection includes titles from the 2020 front list, and the recent back file from the years 2017-2019. The titles are accessible now on the Project Muse platform.
CDL was able to license the collection, with no costs borne by the campuses, with allocation of FY19/20 year-end funds by the University Provost as well as drawing upon a pooled fund established to support the needs of the UC collective and to improve system-wide access to important scholarly work. The final selection of the Project Muse ebook collection as a top choice for the UC Libraries was a collaborative effort from all the campuses, as well as two system-wide groups: the Shared Content Leadership Group (SCLG) and the ebook Strategies Team. Earlier in 2020, library staff from the campuses were surveyed and asked which scholarly resources they would like to acquire. Their responses were ranked and CDL began soliciting proposals from several vendors. The proposals were evaluated by CDL staff and the ebook Strategies Team, and their recommendations were presented to SCLG for approval.
An added benefit of acquiring the Project Muse ebooks is that it allows UC to simplify its Demand-Driven Acquisitions (DDA) program which currently operates through JSTOR. UC has been running dual system-wide ‘pools’ of DDA titles, which are sets of ebooks that are visible to library users but not owned by UC libraries. The libraries purchase individual titles only when a user interacts with the book in a certain number of defined ways (page views, session time, and so on). The Project Muse ebooks were in the DDA pool but any titles triggered for purchase had a higher cost especially when administrative costs were considered. Now that the UC system owns these ebooks, UC is paying a lower per title cost for them and the second pool of DDA titles, which was devised to prevent duplication with ebooks purchased by individual UC campuses, has been closed down. UC is continuing the DDA program with a single pool of ebook titles that are not available via Project Muse but are available on the JSTOR platform.
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