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Merlot was founded in 1997 at California State University System and has since partnered with 23 systems and institutions of higher education to support a staff of faculty to coordinate activities. Merlot has an open peer review system for vetting resources, and is especially strong in the areas of business, education, music, political science, science and technology, and sociology. As stated on the Merlot Collection help page, "all the materials in MERLOT are reviewed for suitability for retention in the collection.  Many undergo the more extensive "peer review" for which MERLOT is famous."