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Open Research


What is Creative Commons?

Creative Commons provides a way to licence the use of material you create and share. Using a simple formula it allows creators to build a license which suits their needs and authorise the appropriate use of their work. For example if you produce an artwork and upload it online you might want to specify that people can use it in their own work as long as they give you credit. You can also specify that you don’t want others to make a profit from your work.

A simple explanation of how Creative Commons licences work can be found in this video:

Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand

Why should I use Creative Commons licences?

Using an open licence such as Creative Commons allows researchers to get more exposure for their work whilst maintaining control over its use. This helps the spread of information and the creation of new knowledge. Using a licence also means that other people know how to use your work in an appropriate way without infringing copyright.

Creative Commons licenses


Attribution - Distribute, remix, tweak and build upon your work as long as they credit you for the original creation

by-sa CC BY-SA

Attribution ShareAlike  Remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms

by-nc CC BY-NC Attribution-Non-Commercial - Remix, tweak, and build upon a work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms
by-nc-sa CC BY-NC-SA Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike - Remix, tweak, and build upon a work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms
by-nd CC BY-ND Attribution NoDerivates - Redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you


Attribution NonCommercial NoDerivatives - Only allowing others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially

Know Your Rights: Understanding CC Licences - via Creative Commons Australia


Information about how to mark your work (such as an article or discussion paper) with a Creative Commons licence can be found here.

Creative Commons logos can be downloaded here.

Creative Commons UK, 2017. Fact Sheet on Creative Commons & Open Science, of August 9, 2017 (

Creative Commons UK, 2017. Frequently Asked Questions on Creative Commons & Open Access, August 9, 2017 (

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