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Open Educational Resources

A guide to Open Educational Resources (OER) and services.

Creative Commons

What is Creative Commons?

 A nonprofit founded in 2001, Creative Commons maintains a suite of open copyright licenses that creators can apply to their work to provide advance permission for broad sharing and reuse. By granting these permissions, creators can empower a global audience to freely share and reuse their work for noble purposes like education and research.

Although there are many kinds of open licenses, the CC licenses are the most established and broadly applicable.

Creative Commons (CC) licensing is an integral part of Open Access.  A CC license allows others to reuse, copy, distribute and share material.


What are all the different licenses?

There are six different licenses that allow creators to apply four different conditions: attribution, noncommercial, share-alike, and no derivatives. This infographic does a good job of mapping out the different options:


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In addition to the six licenses, there is also the CC0 public domain dedication, which allows unrestricted reuse without any conditions. 



How do I provide attribution?

Unlike formal citation styles, there are no complicated standards for providing attribution, so you have the freedom to format your attributions however you wish. The main thing is to make sure that you identify (1) the creator, (2) the title of the work, and (3) that applicable license. If you can, also provide hyperlinks to both the original work and the CC license summary (e.g., CC BY-SA 4.0). Check out CC’s new beta search tool, which provides perfectly formatted attributions for all of the content you discover with it.

What license should I choose for my own work?

Many open education advocates strongly endorse either CC BY or CC0, and for good reason: these options provide the broadest possible permissions and therefore the greatest benefit to open content community. That said, some creators want to retain a bit more control over how their work can be used, and it is for this reason that CC provides licenses with additional conditions.

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