Creative Commons

What are Creative Commons licences?

Creative Commons licences are a way of giving others permission to use your work, within the boundaries of copyright law. The work must be subject to copyright before you can add a Creative Commons licence so you need to consider who is the copyright holder for the work.

The licenses provide different levels of permitted sharing of copyright works and are increasingly being used globally. Take a look at this infographic showing the rise in use of Creative Commons licenced works. Work can be copied, distributed, edited and remixed depending on the Creative Commons licence and copyright restrictions.

How do I choose the right Creative Commons licence for my work?

There are several different licences available. The Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license is the most common for open access academic journals.

There are points to consider and questions to ask yourself before you decide which Creative Commons licence is right for you. There’s a handy Licence Chooser tool on the Creative Commons website to help you select a licence for your work. Many open access journals require you to use a specific license.

Want some more information?

Go to the Copyright User website for a user-friendly way to learn more about how copyright and Creative Commons affects you and your work. For a more in-depth view of Creative Commons licences, there’s a UNESCO document ‘Open Content: a Practical Guide to Using Creative Commons Licences’ by Dr Till Kreutzer.



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