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Copyright for Teaching

Creative Commons

Creative Commons
Creative Commons is a global nonprofit organization that enables sharing and reuse of creativity and knowledge through the provision of free legal tools. See this short video. 
These legal tools are a range of standardized licenses designed to make it easy to share your own work and to use and build upon the work of others. The licenses enable content creators to specify what they will permit others to do with their work, while preserving their own copyright. Creative Commons licenses do not affect freedoms that the law grants to users of creative works otherwise protected by copyright, such as exceptions and limitations to copyright law like fair dealing.

The licenses
The licenses are made by combining four elements:

BY  Attribution You must credit the author/s a requirement of all CC licences.
SA  Share alike The work can be modified and the resulting version can be published but only with the same licence.
NC  Non-commercial Commercial use is excluded.
ND  No derivatives Users can copy, distribute, perform and display the work, but they need permission from the creator(s) to make any changes

These are combined to make six different licenses, which can be viewed here.  Creative Commons also offers two public domain licenses. (See side box.) If you wish to share your work using a CC license there is a tool here to help you find the appropriate licence with a link to the chosen licence.

When a work is published in a standard author contract, you transfer/assign copyright to the journal publisher. Or you could, instead, grant an exclusive licence to publisher rather than assigning copyright. Taylor and Francis provide useful guidance.

For information on REF and Creative Commons see our Open Access Guide


CC and REF

Creative Commons and REF

The 2021 REF had an Open Access mandate that required that:
  “…outputs licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Non-Derivative (CC BY-NC-ND) licence would meet the minimum  requirement. From REF OA summary

But, if you have signed your rights over to the publisher the control rests with them. Copyright holders control the right to allow open access publication. You as an author are encouraged to seek a licence of copyright with a journal publisher rather than fully assigning copyright to a publisher. You can amend your agreement with the publisher before signing, by either; a) Adding an Author Addendum using a template such as that provided by SPARC or b) using a sample licence or inserting your own clauses such as those provided in the JISC Journals Contracts guidanceOtherwise an Article Processing Charge (APC) would have to be paid to the publisher to achieve Open Access status (using a CC-BY licence.)

CC and UK Research Councils

UK Research Councils and Creative Commons

It is usual for research funding to require the research outputs be Open Access - using the CC-BY licence:

“Where Research Council funds are used to pay the APC for an Open Access paper, we require that the publisher makes the paper freely available under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence. This is the standard licence used by open access journals, and supports the maximum dissemination and reuse of published papers, whilst protecting the moral rights of authors.  It allows others to distribute, remix, manipulate, and build upon a paper, including commercially, as long as they credit the authors for the original paper and do not infringe any copyrights to thirdparty material included in the paper.  The use of CC BY where an APC is paid is also the policy of the Wellcome Trust.”

About Open Access.