Creative Commons and Open Access publishing

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

The choice for a CC licence 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-licence 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 licence (CC-BY) is preferred.

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 licence, except CC0.

ND (No Derivatives)

Others can only copy and distribute the original copy of your work, not modifications of your work. This licence 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 licence can do so only for purposes other than commercial ones. This licence 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 can only distribute your work when they do so on the same terms. This licence forbids others for instance to:

  • Combine your work with another work which has a more restrictive licence.


More information