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Each month, this space will highlight the unique career path and insights of an SSP member. We hope that these brief profiles provide guidance to our early career members and those site visitors interested in the broad spectrum of scholarly communications opportunities. Please contact Phil Wallas with any questions or suggestions for future profiles.

PROFESSIONAL PROFILES:

Mary Rose Muccie

Director, Project MUSE

Mary Rose Muccie began her career in publishing in January 1986, when she first took a job as a Production Assistant for the Philadelphia Bar Association. Her responsibilities included editing, proofreading, and a bit of writing for the Association’s two publications. She remembers that “the Director of Publications was very attuned to the value of electronic manuscript processing; we edited and coded electronic files that I transmitted to the compositor over a special modem.” Quite progressive at the time, Mary Rose felt “very cutting edge, and this started my interest in electronic publishing.”

Mary Rose joined the Society for Scholarly Publishing in 1995, while serving as the Editorial Director at the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. “We were beginning to investigate putting our journals online, and a colleague suggested that the people in SSP could be a great resource as we struggled to answer the many questions we had.” In a natural progression, her work with the SSP has come to include serving as a member of the Publications and Research Committee, and the Committee’s liaison to the Marketing Committee.

Fast-forward to 2008, and she is now the Director of Project MUSE, a well-know online collection of 350 journals in the humanities and social sciences from 80 not-for-profit publishers. A wildly popular Collection in its 15th year, “over 1500 institutions worldwide subscribe, and are working with the MUSE publishers, some of whom are very small independents with limited resources.” In an era where visibility of content is vital to a Publishers success, Mary Rose notes that “to increase exposure for their great content is extremely rewarding.”

The all-important question—what is your favorite part of working in scholarly publishing—is met with a response you would expect from a professional engrossed in the evolution of digital scholarship. “Our industry attracts top-notch people. They believe passionately in what they’re doing and can pull off near miracles with their diligence and effort. And they’re generous with their knowledge and just all-around friendly and interesting. I count myself fortunate in that I’ve worked for and with some of the smartest, most dedicated people around.”

When not engaged in work or volunteer activities, Mary Rose enjoys spending time with her family. She is an “avid reader, particularly of mysteries and cookbooks, which I read for fun and inspiration. Sometimes I even find the time to cook something!” And for a self-proclaimed “big pro football and hockey fan”, it’s a wonderful time of the year.

You can learn more about Project Muse at http://muse.jhu.edu/.

Profiled December 2008