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Open Educational Resources (OER)

Information about Open Educational Resources which can be used by Franklin University faculty, staff and students.

What is Creative Commons?

A Creative Commons license (CC) is not required for OER. However, often a creator of OER will apply a CC license to their work because the CC licenses give them "a simple, standardized way to give [their] permission to share and use [their] creative work— on conditions of [their] choice."

The benefit of the Creative Commons license is that "[t]hrough the use of CC licenses, millions of people around the world have made their photos, videos, writing, music, and other creative content available for any member of the public to use."

Creative Commons for Creators

If you have created a work, and want to decide what Creative Commons license to apply to the work, see the Publishing / Creative Commons page of our Copyright research guide.

​What Can You Do with a CC Licensed Work?

What can you do with a work that has a Creative Commons license? That depends on what license the creator has applied to the work. You need to check the terms of the license, and comply with any conditions to legally use the work. You can look at the different types of license on the Creative Commons website to understand the conditions. Creative Commons also has a chart to let you know what combinations you can make of different Creative Commons material.


To properly use material made available under a Creative Commons license, you should properly attribute the materials. Here's some information on proper attribution:

Attribution: Examples


Here's a sample attribution for when you are using an article made available through a Creative Commons license:

Sample Attribution

Note: If you are referencing an article in a paper and citing it in APA style, you do not need to provide the attribution in your reference list. The attribution is for situations where you are making use of the article.


Here's a sample attribution for an image. If you are using an image (or other graphic) in a paper, you would provide the attribution under the graphic, and then provide the APA citation in your reference list.

Sample Image Attribution

Video: Creative Commons for Coursework

This short video both explains what a Creative Commons license is, and how to properly attribute material available under a Creative Commons License:

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