Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts with us. Much appreciated indeed!
I can see how the use of the word "open" in the name "Open Music Library" could be an issue for you. I understand how —at first sight— it could even be associated with some form of greenwashing. However, this fails to consider the OML's true aim to actually serve as a hybrid platform, combining both free and paid resources.
The word open refers to the openness of the "Music Library", and particularly to two aspects:
- that it is open for contributions: anyone can upload content and help shape it;
- the complete index is freely accessible to everyone, making the OML itself an OA resource.
A commitment to only including open access resources would reinforce the existing schism found in scholarly publishing. Rather, we are interested in building the largest network of digital resources for the study of music, and that includes things that are freely accessible, and things that require a fee.
The segregation of open access content provides only a partial view of all the resources relevant to today's scholarly research. We believe that knowing that an article has been published about a specific topic of interest is an important data point for researchers, even if access to that article is not immediately or easily available.
This is inaccurate. Out of 200,000+ scores currently available in the OML, only 25% of them require a subscription; the other 150,000+ scores are indeed freely accessible. If your experience browsing the website did not reflect that, we might need to adjust a few things
A music-specific discovery service, enabling you to search across the digital collections of scores hosted at 6 national libraries around the world, did not exist before the OML. Let alone an open access one. Finding an original manuscript scanned by the Library of Congress alongside a more recent print edition of the same work, on the same website, organised neatly in a single composer page, is the level of experience we are aiming at, and that can only be achieved by combining paid and for-free resources.
If you are interested in understanding the OML in more details, I would like to recommend reading the article recently published by the Library Journal, where we touched on some key points about the initiative. There is also a video recording of a talk I gave earlier this year at the UKSG conference, which might be useful.