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Creative Commons (CC) licenses play an important role in facilitating Gold Open Access publishing. They provide a legal framework for giving users the ability to freely view, download and distribute content.

We offer authors a choice of Creative Commons licenses that they can apply to their work, which differ in terms of the rights they grant end users. All of the licenses require that those redistributing or re-using the work should give appropriate credit and indicate if changes were made. Authors might be required or advised by their funders to choose particular CC licenses, such as CC-BY or CC-BY-ND, when publishing their research as Gold OA.

  • CC-BY (Creative Commons Attribution License): Allows others to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format and remix, transform and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially. This is often the preferred choice for journal articles, particularly in science, technology and medicine, as it allows other researchers to make full use of the findings in their own work. It is also the license that is required for journal articles by some funders, including cOAlition S.
  • CC-BY-SA (Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike License): Allows others to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format and remix, transform and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially, provided it is distributed under the same license as the original original. This license is permitted by some funders as an alternative to CC-BY.
  • CC-BY-ND (Creative Commons No-Derivatives License): Allows others to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format. However, if you remix, transform or build upon the material these modifications cannot be distributed. This license is permitted by some funders as an alternative to CC-BY.
  • CC-BY-NC (Creative Commons Non-Commercial License): Allows others to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format. However, the material may not be used for commercial purposes. It can be an appropriate license for monographs because it protects print copy sales while still providing scope for users to create derivative works of the online version to the benefit of all academia.
  • CC-BY-NC-SA (Creative Commons Non-Commercial Share-alike): Allows others to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format, remix, transform and build upon the material for any non-commercial purpose, but the material may not be used for any commercial purpose. If the material is remixed, transformed or built upon, it must be distributed under the same license as the original. While the Share-alike license might sometimes encourage further uptake of OA by authors wanting to re-use the content, it can also create an unnecessary barrier to the re-use of the OA content.
  • CC-BY-NC-ND (Creative Commons Non-Commercial No-Derivatives License): Allows others to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format. However, the material may not be used for commercial purposes and if you remix, transform or build upon the material these modifications cannot be distributed. The license is particularly appropriate for books and other products where significant revenue is needed from derivative rights sales (for example, translation rights), in order to keep author charges low.