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Open Educational Resources/Affordable Textbooks

Guide to Open Educational Resources (OER)

Creative Commons

Creative Commons licensing is a recent development which has evolved to facilitate information use and sharing in a digital environment.  When using this license, an author continues to maintain ownership over his copyrights, while allowing others to use his work without seeking prior permission.  With this license he is able to clearly express his expectations about potential uses, reducing any uncertainty about what others can do with the material.

How does it work? There are a variety of licensing options available which allow authors to stipulate the terms and limitations of the license. Some licenses simply require that the author be attributed when the work is used.  Another requires that the same licensing terms be applied to any new work created using the original work.  The Creative Commons website provides a guide that helps an author choose the license type that is most appropriate for the author based on his needs.

Locating Creative Commons Material

Machine readable code is provided which can be included when a license is added to a work.  This allows search engines such as Google, to limit searches to Creative Commons material.  The license type is clearly identified on the work and abbreviations are used to indicate the terms of the license.  The license also includes a link to the text of the license which provides a clear explanation of the terms

Examples of typical Creative Commons Licenses

When Creative Commons licenses are used, you will typically find an icon, along with a statement identifying the license.  Often the icon and the statement will be linked to details about the license. 

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

This particular license allows you to copy, remix, and distribute a work as long as you credit the author.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

This particular license allows you to copy, remix, and distribute a work as long as you credit the author and make your work available on the same terms.

Creative Commons Search

Search for Creative Commons licensed content here!

Learn more about Creative Commons here.