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If you intend to make your publication or your research dataset freely accessible in the Research Collection, you should consider beforehand which end user license the work should be published under.

In the following, you will find some information on Creative Commons licenses that is intended to help you in choosing a license.

What are Creative Commons licenses?

Articles and other publications accessible on the internet are generally works protected by copyright. If in doubt, the permission of the author or copyright holder (e.g. the publisher) must be obtained for each type of re-use of a protected work (e.g. copying, redistributing, integrating in another work, translating etc.).

Authors who want to allow and make it easier for users to re-use their works can publish the works under a CC license. This lets them set out what types of re-use are permitted for readers of their works.

Who can grant a CC license?

CC licenses can only be granted by the author or copyright holder of a work.

How can I as the author grant a CC license?

Works can only be published under a CC license if the author still has the right of use to his or her publication.

If the exclusive right of use to a work was transferred to a publisher, it is generally no longer possible to publish again under a CC license.

In addition, all co-authors as well as any holders of image rights must agree to the licensing.

How can a work be published under a CC license?

A work is published under a CC license by referring to the license in the work itself. Consider that the reference should be made in a place that is easy to find. For example, it would be possible to add the reference to the license to the legal notice or the title page. If a work only has some open content components or components with a deviating CC license (e.g. images), the reference to the license should be added to the respective component, e.g. the caption.

The reference to the license should contain the name and stable URL of the license as well as, optionally, the license logo.

Furthermore, in the publication process of the Research Collection, select the desired license from a drop-down menu so that it is also visible on the landing page and in the metadata.

Which CC license should I choose for my open access publication?

The following table provides an overview of the six CC licenses and the respective re-use options.

The main factor in deciding in favour of a specific license should be your individual intention. Consider that each additional license limitation always also leads to increased legal uncertainty. This means that more restrictive licenses are generally linked to disadvantages for licensors and users alike. We therefore recommend carefully weighing up the advantages and disadvantages when choosing a license, taking into account the subjective aim and not simply following your gut feeling.

Name, symbol and URL

Terms

Pros

Cons

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC-BY)

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
The name of the author must be stated.

Allows unrestricted copying, redistribution, publication, adaptation and use of a work.

This is the standard license for many well-known Open Access publishers.

Meets the recommendation of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) and is the only CC license to allow open access to scientific literature in accordance with the definition of the Berlin Declaration

The author completely gives up control of re-use of his work.

Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC-BY-SA)

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

The name of the author must be stated.

The work must be distributed under the same license after any changes.

This license has the character of a “viral license” which means that new works resulting from changes must be distributed under the same license.It may lead to undesired limitations in re-use due to “license incompatibilities”: For example, the material used within a CC-BY-SA article can only be combined and republished with other CC-BY-SA content.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC-BY-NC)

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

The name of the author must be stated.

No commercial use is permitted.

This license is suitable if there is a realistic prospect of commercial users paying for use of the material.

This may also prevent re-use in non-commercial services if they require a more liberal license (e.g. Wikipedia).

This may also prevent use in education and research (e.g. use in fee-paying courses of study or public-private partnerships).

For example, it prevents text and data mining if commercial software is used for this purpose.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC-BY-NC-SA)

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/

The name of the author must be stated.

No commercial use is permitted.

The work must be distributed under the same license after any changes.

See CC-BY-NC and CC-BY-SASee CC-BY-NC and CC-BY-SA

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC-BY-NC-ND)

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

The name of the author must be stated.

No commercial use is permitted.

No editing is permitted.

See CC-BY-NC and CC-BY-NDSee CC-BY-NC and CC-BY-ND

Which CC license should I choose for my research data?

Also when publishing research date, the main factor in deciding in favour of a specific license should be your individual intention.

The Fact Sheet on Creative Commons & Open Science explains why it can make sense to publish your research data under a Public Domain Dedication.

Can I revoke the licensing of my work under Creative Commons?

It is not possible to revoke a CC license. Likewise, “more liberal” CC licenses cannot be converted into “more restrictive” CC licenses subsequently.

Further reading

Amini, S., G. Blechl and J. Losehand (2015). FAQs zu Creative-Commons-Lizenzen unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Wissenschaft. https://phaidra.univie.ac.at/detail_object/o:408042

DCC: How to License Research Data: http://www.dcc.ac.uk/resources/how-guides/license-research-data

Kreutzer, T. (2015). Open Content – Ein Praxisleitfaden zur Nutzung von Creative Commons Lizenzen. https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Open_Content_-_A_Practical_Guide_to_Using_Creative_Commons_Licences/Guide/de

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