How to use OERs: Attribution and licence restrictions
In order to use a Creative Commons licensed open educational resource you must provide attribution to the creator. Good attribution includes the following information:
Title: The title of the resource.
Creator: The name of the creator or copyright holder of the resource.
Licence: The licence of the resource.
Source: A link to the original source of the resource.
Additional information you may want to include are the date the resource was created, and a link to the Creative Commons licence. Creative Commons provides information on Best Practices for Attribution.
Here is an example of good attribution:
CC heart cupcakes by David Kindler,
Creative Commons licence restrictions
Some restrictions to be aware of:
You must always Attribute the creator of a resource.
NonCommercial licences restrict the use of a work to non-commercial use only. When using NC licensed content you should consider how the work will be used, not the nature of the organisation using it. For example, commercial organisations can legitimately use NC licensed content for not for profit purposes. Further information about using NonCommercial licensed content is available from Creative Commons here: NonCommercial Interpretation.
You must not make any changes to works licensed No Derivatives, this includes adding subtitles, making translations and cropping images.
You must share derivatives of ShareAlike licensed works under the same licence.
Combining Creative Commons licensed resources
Different licences dictate how you can use and combine resources. If you plan to incorporate an existing Creative Commons licensed resource into a new resource you are creating, you must ensure that you observe the licence restrictions. This chart illustrates which licences can be combined. Further information is available from Creative Commons: CC Licence Compatibility.
Using Public Domain resources
If you are using a public domain resource, you do not need to provide attribution, however it is useful to mark it as a public domain resource and include a link to the original source so other users will know that they can also re-use it.
Digital Skills Support
The OER Service runs a range of digital skills sessions focused on understanding copyright and open licensing and finding and using open licensed content. These include:
- Copyright, Licensing, and Open Materials for Hybrid Teaching
- Creative Commons Quick Start: A short introduction to using CC licences
- OER and Open Education
For further information and to book a place, please visit the OER Service Events page.
Creative Commons About the Licences
Creative Commons CC Licence Compatibility
Creative Commons NonCommercial Interpretation
Creative Commons Best Practices for Attribution
Creative Commons FAQ