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Guide to Publishing: Open access licenses

Creatice Commons -licenses

Creative Commons -logo ja linkki sivustolle

The Creative Commons licenses (CC licenses) have become a standard for open publishing and determining the subsequent use of an open access work. Open access publishers publish articles usually with a CC-license, perhaps most commonly with a CC BY-license, but other CC-licenses are used aswell.

In CC licensing (latest version 4.0) the copyright of the work remain with the author. The purpose of the CC license is to tell other users what kind of usage is acceptable, given that the author still holds the copyright of the work. The license includes disclaimer of warranty and limitation of liability. This means that it is not allowed to use the work against those terms that the licensor has been announced, and copyright law tells consequences, what misusing of works might cause.

It is not necessary to have just one license for the whole work, eg. text and photos can be shared by different licenses but this has to be announced clearly.

In the National Policy component for open access to journal and conference articles (2020) it is mentioned that by 2022 a CC licence is applied to all new research publications to provide open access and to protect researcher’s rights.

Main Creative Commons -licenses

Below are the most important Creative Commons licenses. Practical examples of their use can be found here in Creative Commons webpage.

 CC BY (Attribution)

The work can be copied, distributed, performed and modified freely, also for commercial purposes. The name of the author must always be mentioned properly and the name, photo or logo of the author cannot be changed and all changes have to be indicated. CC BY is the most popular license for open publishing and it is extremely effective in reaching a lot of readers or wider public. 

 CC BY-SA (Attribution-ShareAlike)

The work can be copied, distributed, displayed, performed, and modified, as long it is distributed on the same terms. If the work is distributed or modified under other terms, permission for that must be obtained first. This license is common in joint productions, such as Wikipedia. It is recommended for teaching materials.

 CC BY-ND (Attribution-NoDerivatives)

The work can be copied, distributed, displayed and performed, but the work cannot be modified in any way. Modifications of the work require a permission from the author/licensor. This license is often used for sharing works of art.

 CC BY-NC (Attribution-NonCommercial)
The work can be copied, distributed, displayed, performed, and modified, but the work cannot be used commercially unless a permission is obtained from the author. It hasn’t been determined what commercial use is, so, the person using the works has to consider each case separately. For example, a work with this license cannot be shared in a commercial or advertise-funded blog, webpage or repository. CC BY-NC license is recommended only in special cases, such as when the probability of utilizing the work for commercial purposes is high and author wants to prevent this. 

 CC BY-NC-SA (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike)

The work can be copied, distributed, displayed, performed, and modified only for non-commercial purposes, as long it is distributed on the same terms. This license is often used with teaching materials (for example, in MIT Open CourseWare).

 CC BY-NC-ND (Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives)

The work can be copied, distributed, displayed and performed, but the work cannot be modified in any way. In addition, it cannot be used for commercial purposes. This license has often been used for works such as audio books, podcasts and works of art which are hoped to reach the widest possible distribution, but exactly in the same form as the original work. For example, TED Talks are licensed under the CC BY-NC-ND license.

 CC0 Public Domain

The author waives all interests that may exist in his or her work worldwide (good scientific conduct presupposes attribution, however). Flickr image service, for example, uses this license and it is recommended for sharing research data and metadata to promote open science.

More information on the use of CC-licenses

Recommendations on the use of Creative Commons -license

The National Policy component for open access to journal and conference articles (2020) sets as a goal that by 2022 a CC licence is applied to all new research publications to provide open access and to protect researcher’s rights.

International consortium of research funding and performing organisations cOAlition S, in which the Academy of Finland is a member. The Academy requires that projects receiving funding after 1.1.2021 publish peer reviewed articles with a CC BY-license by default, including an option of using CC BY-SA, CC BY-ND or CC0 license.

Horizon Europe -funding program sets CC BY or equivalent as default publishing license. In some cases CC BY NC-ND is acceptable, and metadata should be shared with CC0 license.

Saavutettavuusseloste / Accessibility Statement