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How do I cite an OER on my course outline or syllabi?

How to Build Open Attributions

Giving proper attribution to open works is easy if you remember a few simple rules and take the following steps:

Step 1: All CC licenses require attribution.

Not only do you want to properly give credit for work, but you want people to be able to find the original resource easily.

Step 2: Remember TASL:

  • T = Title
  • A = Author (tell re-users who to give credit to)
  • S = Source (give re-users a link to the resource)
  • L = License (link to the CC license deed)

When providing attribution, the goal is to mark the work with full TASL information. When you don’t have some of the TASL information about a work, do the best you can and include as much detail as possible.

Here is a picture that has been properly attributed with TASL:

CC symbol on cupcakes

"Creative Commons 10th Birthday Celebration San Francisco (Links to an external site.)" by tvol (Links to an external site.) is licensed under CC BY 2.0 (Links to an external site.)

Step 3: Use a tool:

  • (Links to an external Open Attribution Builder: A web tool to assist users of CC material to properly attribute.  It allows you to enter the title, URL for work, author and website, organization, and CC license type and will provide attribution information which can be copied and pasted into your own work containing the CC material.
  • Open Attribute(Links to an external site.):  A suite of tools that makes it simple for anyone to copy and paste the correct attribution for any CC licensed work. These tools will query the metadata around a CC-licensed object and produce a properly formatted attribution that users can copy and paste wherever they need to.

Step 4: Indicate a derivative or adaptation:

You should always attribute the original work in any derivative work and identify that changes have been made. Often the simplest way to do this is to use the phrase “Adapted from …” or “This work is a derivative of…” and attribute the original work as you would normally. If your work incorporates a number of derivative works, you might say, “Adapted from the following sources…” and list each original work sequentially. Keep in mind that materials that have the Non-Derivatives license term (Links to an external site.) (CC-BY-ND, CC-BY-NC-ND)  are only allowed to be copied or redistributed as-is but NOT remixed.

Step 5: Where to place your attribution:

For text resources (e.g. books, worksheets, PowerPoint slides, etc.), include the attribution details where it naturally makes sense, such as immediately preceding or following the work, or as the footer along the bottom of the page on which the CC work appears. For videos, include the attribution information near the work as it appears on screen during the video. For sound recordings (e.g. podcasts), mention the name of the artist during the recording (like a radio announcement) and provide full attribution details in text near the podcast where it is being stored (e.g. blog, school intranet, learning management system, etc.).


Question Inspiration & Attribution

CC License

These questions and answers were written by Andi Adkins Pogue and are licensed under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license.