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Faculty Guide: OER & Open Textbooks

A faculty guide for accessing and adopting open educational resources and textbooks

What is Creative Commons?

In order for a textbook or resource to be open, it should be in the public domain or have a Creative Commons license.

The Creative Commons is a source for shared media of all types.  The concept is simple: Copyright holders decide which types of uses they allow for their works.  Then they release their works into "the commons" with licenses indicating permissible types of uses.


"What are Creative Commons Licenses?" by U of G Library is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0


Types of Creative Commons Licenses

Creative Commons licenses combine these terms:

CC Creative Commons
BY Requires attribution to the author
ND No derivatives
NC No commercial use
SA Share alike 
Opening up the data – an update to BioMed Central's Copyright and License  Agreement - Research in progress blog 0 Public domain

How can I use Creative Commons licensed resources?


"Creative Commons Licenses" by JoKalliauer is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

How do I cite resources with Creative Commons licenses?

The most complete, and therefore ideal, attribution is as follows:

"<Title of work>" by <creator name> is licensed under <license type>

Each element should be linked to the source if possible. The CC license information is linked to the license deed.  For example:

"La Jolla Sea Lions" by Shutter Runner is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Find more details at Best Practice for Attribution from the Creative Commons Wiki.