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University and District Library

Creative Commons Licences

Open Access journals or funding agencies often require the use of an Open Content licence for a publication in order to ensure the widest possible reusability. Open content licenses are also used for educational materials and data publishing.

The most widely used open content licenses for scientific publications are Creative Commons licenses (CC licenses). Creative Commons is a non-profit organization that has released its licensed texts for use by the public free of charge. By selecting a CC license for your publication, you specify certain usage rights.

When choosing a license, a combination of four elements can be selected:

  • BY - Attribution requires that others who use your work in any way must give you credit
  • NC - non-commericial prohibits commercial use by others
  • ND - no derivatives prohibits modification by others
  • SA - share alike which explicitly allows others the modification of the original text (e.g. translation, or transformation another format) as long as they distribute any modified work on the same terms

Due to the Open Access concept, which provides for the widest possible dissemination of the scientific text, the licenses CC-BY and CC-BY-SA are mostly used.

Click here to choose a CC license:

Frequently asked questions about CC licenses

Regardless of whether you publish yourself or want to use academic texts and educational materials from others - there are many questions about copyright and licensing. The answers to many questions about CC licenses can be found on the Creative Commons web pages: