Answered By: Martin Wolf
Last Updated: Jul 29, 2015     Views: 61

A Creative Commons licence is a licence that can be added to research outputs such as journal articles, book chapters, etc. It allows the author to specify how other people can use his or her outputs. Creative Commons is linked to the idea of Open Access publishing. The author places looser restrictions than full copyright onto works, so the research outputs are more 'open' in the sense that users have more freedom in using the outputs. This does not mean that the licences are without restriction - for example, you can place a "no commerical use" restriction on your work.

Practically all Creative Commons licences require that those who re-use the work must acknowledge the original creator. More information can be found on the Creative Commons website, including the full range of Creative Commons licences available, and a helpful tool for choosing a licence.

Please note that certain research funders require that Open Access outputs arising from their work have a specific licence associated with them. Most notably, RCUK bodies and the Charity Open Access Fund (COAF) bodies require Open Access outputs they have funded to have a Creative Commons - Attribution licence. It is important to note that central funds cannot be used to pay Open Access fees for RCUK or COAF-funded articles if any licence other than a Creative Commons - Attribution licence is used. Further information is available on our guide on Open Access and funder policies, while you can find a list of RCUK and COAF bodies on our page on how to make your work openly accessible.

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