Creative Commons Licenses

The edoc data policy applies by default to the use of e-dissertations. A Creative Commons license can be used as a transparent method of granting users further rights. Creative Commons is a non-profit organization and CC licenses are free to use.

Creative Commons offers a range of globally valid, standardized licenses to signal the rights of use and reproduction rights for a work. CC licenses help avoid legal uncertainties during use and support the dissemination and subsequent use of research findings. Users can compile a suitable license from the available components.

The “Attribution” (BY) component must be used in all CC licenses.

The following components can then be added to the license as required:

  • NonCommercial (NC)
  • NoDerivatives (ND)
  • ShareAlike (SA)

Example: CC license with the “Attribution” and “NonCommercial” components.

The most common license in open access publishing is CC BY (Creative Commons Attribution), which allows unrestricted reproduction, dissemination, publication, modification and commercial use. BioMed Central, PLoS and an increasing number of other open access journals use it as their standard license.

Restrictions should be made on the basis of risk (potential misuse) and earnings (simple syndication). The License Chooser tool from Creative Commons will help you select the right combination of components.

Note: You can only grant rights to third parties that you have yourself. Make sure that image rights have been clarified or replace images with placeholders. If your doctoral dissertation or sections of it (e.g. cumulative dissertation) is published, or you plan to publish it in the future, the Creative Commons license must not contradict the copyright provisions in the publishing contract.