Licensing options for Open Access content

Open Access extends the reach of publications by ensuring worldwide access and retrievability, leading to more citations and advancing the dissemination of knowledge. The OAPEN Library it set up as a branded collection of OA publications to increase the visibility of high-quality academic research in Europe.

Of course, permission is needed from the copyright owner of the publication concerned to include it for third-party use in the OAPEN Library. OAPEN offers several options, most of which are based on Creative Commons licences.

Creative Commons – Attribution licence CC-BY

Creative Commons logoEnd users are allowed to copy, distribute, display and perform the copyrighted work as well as create derivative works based upon it — but only if they give credit the way requested.

Other Creative Commons licences are more restrictive:

Creative Commons – No Derivative Works CC BY-ND

End users are allowed to copy, distribute, display and perform only verbatim copies of a work, not derivative works based upon it, with credit to the author.

Creative Commons – Non-Commercial CC BY-NC

End users are allowed to copy, distribute, display and perform the work — and derivative works based upon it — but for non-commercial purposes only.

Although their their new works must also acknowledge the author and be non-commercial, they do not have to licence their derivative works on the same terms.

Creative Commons

– Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives CC BY-NC-ND

This licence is the most restrictive of the four Creative Commons licences offered by OAPEN, allowing redistribution of verbatim copies of the works only. This licence is often called the “free advertising” licence because it allows others to download the works and share them with others as long as they mention the author and link back to the author, but they cannot change them in any way or use them commercially.

As OAPEN strives to adhere as much as possible to the principles set out in the Berlin Declaration, we recommend the more liberal Creative Commons licences.

• For more detailed information on Creative Commons licences, see:

The last form of licensing accepted by OAPEN – referred to as “all rights reserved” – does not conform to the definition Open Access of the Berlin Declaration and is therefore not to be considered as Open Access publishing. It is nevertheless accepted for inclusion in the OAPEN Library to help publishers make the transition to freely accessible publications, particularly their back list titles, and to build up a collection of freely accessible content.

All rights reserved

End users are allowed to do any of the acts permitted under their national copyright act, including reading the work online, downloading, printing and copying it for personal or educational purposes. Beyond this, all rights are reserved. Unless stated otherwise, all works in the OAPEN Online Library fall under the OAPEN Deposit Licence – all rights reserved.

All titles in the OAPEN Library will have ‘earmarks’ clearly indicating to users which type of licence applies to the work concerned.

OAPEN licensing toolkit

The OAPEN licensing toolkit has been developed to assist publishers in arranging the necessary licensing issues for their publications in the OAPEN Library. This toolkit includes, but is not restricted to, standard agreements between authors and publishers with explanatory documents, standard letters to authors and an overview of users’ rights. More details are available upon request. The licensing toolkit can be found on