Open Access – views from around the globe

In advance of the start of the World Library and Information Congress in Wroclaw, the Serials and Other Continuing Resources Section sponsored, in collaboration with the IFLA Acquisition and Collection Development Section and the European Solidarity Center, a satellite meeting on Open Access: Action Required, which was hosted by the Joseph Conrad-Korzeniowski Voivodeship and City Public Library and held at the European Solidarity Center in Gdansk, Poland on 16-17 August, 2017.  The meeting brought together presenters from around the world who could speak to the issues surrounding Open Access in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America.  The presentations there made obvious not merely the strength of support which Open Access has worldwide but the questions Open Access raises and the nuance that can occasionally be forgotten when discussing it.  Open Access encompasses a number of different options, from Green (embargoed) to Gold (author/funding body pays for it to be open) to Diamond (publisher puts online free of cost).  It is easy to talk of Open Access, but this does not mean we are not speaking at cross purposes.  Even when the type of Open Access being discussed is the same, it can have different outcomes and impacts when applied to different types of materials.  The papers presented there, some of which are now in the IFLA Library, are thought provoking examples not only of what Open Access means today, but of where it might lead us in the future.