Open access and open licenses

In Open Access publishing, contrary to traditional publishing, the author retains copyright in most cases. You will have to choose a Creative Commons (CC) license which states the conditions under which your publication can be used by others.

The choice for a CC license is often limited by the publisher, for instance to CC-BY, CC-BY-NC, CC-BY-NC-ND. Here we will explain the different elements of the CC license and how this affects the distribution and reuse of your work.
To facilitate sharing and (re)use of knowledge as widely and quickly as possible, the use of the least restrictive license (CC-BY) is preferred.

Creative Commons licenses

BY (Attribution)

Others who use your work in any way must give you credit and indicate if changes have been made. This is part of any license, except CC-0 (CC-zero; public domain).

ND (No Derivatives)

Others may only copy and distribute the original version of your work, not modifications of your work.
This license forbids others for instance to:

  • Share the data resulting from text and data mining on your publication
  • Share a translation of your work

NC (Non-Commercial)

Others who use your work as stated in your license may do so only for purposes other than commercial.
This license forbids others for instance to:

  • Add your publication to a collection of selected readings on a specific subject, for sale on Amazon
  • Add data from your publication to a commercial database

SA (Share Alike)

Others may only distribute your work when they do so on the same terms.
This license forbids others for instance to:

  • Combine your work with another work which has a more restrictive license

More information

Choose the CC license that meets your requirements.

CC-licenses explained at

Guide to Creative Commons for Scholarly Publications and Educational Resources

Read why the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association encourages the use of a CC-BY license.


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