Copyright and Licensing

If you are creating a new, or adapting an existing, open textbook please use Creative Commons licensed material. You can use copyrighted material in a textbook you adapt or create, but you must first obtain written permission from the copyright holder to use the copyrighted material in the textbook. You must also clearly note in the textbook that the material used is copyrighted.

The implication of using copyrighted material means that anyone who wishes to use the textbook in the future must either remove the copyrighted material and replace with something they find, or obtain copyright permission from the original copyright owner. Using copyrighted material is a barrier to future reuse and limits the usage of the resource in the future. Therefore, it is recommended to use Creative Commons material that can legally be shared and reused.

This section only applies to content that is not an academic citation (see Citation Guides and Tips). Note that charts, tables, figures, etc used in academic journals are often copyrighted by those journals and should not be used unless the journal uses an open access license. In that case, open access journal content can be used and cited under the terms of the CC license of that journal or book.

License types used for an open textbook project

Both modifications of an existing work and newly created textbooks will be released with a CC-BY license.

Ideally, resources added to an existing textbook as part of a modification or newly created textbook should use a CC-BY license. However, other CC licenses are acceptable EXCEPT for the CC-BY-ND and CC-BY-NC-ND licenses as these do not allow faculty to revise the textbook.

Description of open licenses

For a description of the various types of Creative Commons licenses, go to Creative Commons Licenses.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

USask Open Textbook Authoring Guide - Ver.1.0 Copyright © 2016 by Distance Education Unit, University of Saskatchewan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book