Alexander Street Press’s new Open Music Library has launched in beta. I gave it a 30 minute test. The OML uses a very odd definition of “Open”, once one gets to the actual fulltext link on a purportedly OA item. To the OML “Open” seems to mean either “erm, actually it’s behind a paywall” or “hey, it might be on Google Scholar, go look there…”. I’m guessing that this may be due to the curators building the OML from within an academic campus office. So perhaps they see items as open, whereas the outside world only sees a paywall?


The OML icons also contribute immediately to the sense that something is awry with the OML. People going to a public site called Open Music Library will expect to see friendly orange Open Access symbols, not forbidding black padlock-key signs (which are on the majority of the journals listed) indicating paywalls…


Of the 94 journals listed on OML, 28 lack the padlock-key symbol. JURN indexes all of the latter, and a few hundred more on aspects of music and musicology.