Copyright and licensing

Open Research

The University of Aberdeen is committed to open research, ensuring there are no barriers to sharing knowledge.

Copyright and licensing

Creative Commons licensing

Creative Commons licences are tools that allow a standardised way to grant copyright permissions for individual creative works. Creative Commons licences are often applied to open access research outputs to guarantee free access in the long term and allow other researchers to reuse and build upon previous research findings more easily.


  • CC BY (Attribution Licence): anyone can reuse the work as long as attribution is made to the original author (i.e. they must cite the original publication). This allows maximum dissemination, and it enables all kinds of academic and creative reuse. CC BY licence is mandate by most funders (e.g. UKRI, Wellcome).
  • CC BY-SA (Share Alike): the work can be reused for all kinds of purposes, but any newly created work must also be shared under the same licence (e.g. you could not create a new work and then issue it under a more open or more restrictive licence).
  • CC BY-ND (No Derivatives): the work can be reused as is, without modification. This might be useful if the integrity of the original work is important.
  • CC BY-NC (Non-Commercial): all kinds of reuse are permitted as long as they are for non-commercial purposes.
  • CC BY-NC-SA (non-commercial, share alike): re-use permitted only for non-commercial purposes; any newly created work must be shared under the same licence.
  • CC BY-NC-ND: the most restrictive CC licence. It only allows others to freely download and redistribute the work for non-commercial purposes, but not modify or build upon it for any purpose.
















Gold and green open access outputs under CC BY NC ND licence are not compliant with UKRI and Wellcome funder policies.
















See a quick guide on copyright and licences by the British Library.
















Data licenses
































Find out more about copyright.