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Creative Commons

Creative commons (CC) is a widely used and well-known licensing system that makes it possible to publish open access in a way that is easy to interpret as well as machine readable. This page contain information about the licensing system and about the different varieties of CC licenses.

The licensing system Creative Commons (CC) is currently the most unambiguous way of communicating and identifying the degree of open access of a publication. CC licenses describe what others can do with a publication or a body of work.

More information on how CC licenses work in relation to copyright law:

Copyright and open access

Creative commons licenses

There are several CC licenses, which all build on one another. The licenses are internationally viable and relate to the copyright law in each country. 

CC BY: Recognition

The CC BY license allow for the widest range of use and adaptation of a work. It is still mandatory for anybody who use the piece of work to name and credit the creator of the work.

As long as the creator is properly attributed, the CC BY license allow others to copy, distribute, perform and remix the work. There are funders of research who expect an output to be licensed under a CC BY license when published open access against an article processing charge (APC).

CC BY is the basic format of Creative Commons licenses. Regulated additions to the license can be made to limit the allowed areas of use. Addons are, for example, structured as such:

  • CC BY-SA
  • CC BY-SA-NC

The following addons can be used in combination with CC BY:

-SA: Share alike

Others can distribute the work using a license identical to the one chosen by the creator of the work.

-NC: Non-commercial

Others can copy, use, distribute, show, perform or remix the work, but for non-commercial purposes only.

-ND: No derivative works

Others are allowed to copy, distribute, show or perform what corresponds to a copy of the work, but they cannot remix or change it in any way.

More reading:

CC0: Common property

CC0 is the most substantial step away from individual copyright. CC0 is not a license, it is a mark to show that the creator refrains from making the restrictions normally included in claiming copyright. With a CC0 mark, the rights to that work is transferred to the public domain as far as it is legally possible. Any remaining limitations are due to restrictions of law that cannot be negotiated. Legislation may differ across the globe.

CC0 on the Creative Commons homepage

Different ways to publish open access

Open access journal

Open access journal or platform - open access from the start.

Parallel publishing

Parallel publishing - to make a copy of a published work accessible through an open archive.

Hybrid publishing

Hybrid publishing - open access as an option.

This information is factual only and not to be considered legal advice. Contact the university legal advisors at the Vice-Chancellor's office if legal advice is needed.

Vice-Chancellor's Office