Open Access and Creative Commons - For Everyone

What are open access and Creative Commons resources?

Open access resources are publications that are freely available on the internet, permitting any users, without financial, legal, or technical barriers to:

  • read
  • download
  • copy
  • distribute
  • print
  • search
  • link to the full texts
  • crawl them for indexing
  • 'pass' them as data to software
  • use them for any other lawful purpose.

    Budapest Open Access Initiative (2017). BOAI15. Retrieved from:
Creative Commons (CC) resources are works that are open access and have been published with a CC license.
All CC licenses allow users to at least: copy the work, distribute it, display or perform it in public, and make digital public performances of it. 

The What is Creative Commons? information guide, jointly developed by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation through Creative Commons Australia and the Copyright Advisory Group of the Ministerial Council of Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs provides information for teachers and students.  

An extensive presentation on CC is available at CC FAQs hosted by CC wiki.

How to determine if a work is published under a CC license?

Follow these steps to assess if the work you wish to reuse is open access under a CC license:

1. Determine if the copyright status of the work to be shared is open access, also known as Open Educational Resources (OER)

2. Apply instructions related to the identified copyright status of the work to be shared (see below).

  • The copyright holder will often give instructions via an open licence such as Creative Commons. [Types of Creative Commons licenses]
  • If there is no Creative Commons license search for the terms and conditions and compare them to the ones in the copyright status link above.

Also in this guide... will learn more on:

Open Access and Creative Commons may be referred as OA and CC all through this guide.

For further information, visit the Library FAQs or contact TaSAC

Disclaimer: This information is provided for general guidance only and does not constitute legal advice. You should always seek advice for your individual situation.