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Copyright and Creative Commons licences

In open access publishing, it is common to use a Creative Commons license. This means that you, the author, retain copyright to the work, but gives users rights to copy, share, and further make the work available.

As the author, you are the exclusive copyright holder of creative works, such as academic publications. The Copyright is granted at the time of the work’s creation. You do not have to apply for or file a copyright.

Copyright grants to the author the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, make derivatives of, reuse, sell, perform or display publicly the work, post the work on the web, and to authorize others to exercise any of these right.

The Policy for the management of intellectual property rights at Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, addresses when copyright belongs to the University.

When publishing in academic journals without open access, it is common for the author to transfer commercial rights to the publisher, and for the author to retain non-profit rights to the work. This creates significant barriers for authors who want to reuse their work, or allow others to use it.

Creative commons licences in academic publishing

If you publish in a journal or book with open access, it is common to use a Creative Commons license. This means that you, the author, retain copyright to the work, but gives users rights to copy, share, and further make the work available.

The most common license is CC BY, which is the license that gives the most rights to the user, but there are different variants of Creative Commons licenses. Visit the Creative Commons page to choose the correct licence, or read more about the different licences defined by the organization:

These are the six different license types, listed from most to least permissive here:

  • CC-BY: This license allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format, so long as attribution is given to the creator. The license allows for commercial use.
  • CC-BY-SA: This license allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format, so long as attribution is given to the creator. The license allows for commercial use. If you remix, adapt, or build upon the material, you must license the modified material under identical terms.
  • CC-BY-NC: This license allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format for noncommercial purposes only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator.
  • CC-BY-NC-SA: This license allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format for noncommercial purposes only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator. If you remix, adapt, or build upon the material, you must license the modified material under identical terms.
  • CC-BY-ND: This license allows reusers to copy and distribute the material in any medium or format in unadapted form only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator. The license allows for commercial use.
  • CC-BY-NC-ND: This license allows reusers to copy and distribute the material in any medium or format in unadapted form only, for noncommercial purposes only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator. 

Requirements for licenses in Plan S

Some research funders, such as the Research council of Norway other research funders participating in Plan S, require full and immediate open access to all research articles created with their funds.

Articles from projects funded by the Research Council of Norway must have a Creative Commons licence CC BY 4.0 or a CC-BY-SA. If special grounds so indicate, a CC BY-ND licence can be used.

Plan S requirements for Open Access

Questions about Creative commons licenses?

Send an email to academic librarian Per S. Refseth per.refseth@inn.no or senior academic librarian Mahmood Khosrowjerdi mahmood.khosrowjerdi@inn.no