Top tips

To re-use material safely look for Creative Commons licences

Use Creative Commons to licence your work in the way that you want

Look out for public domain licences

Creative Commons remix: when we share everyone wins

With growing internet use, and copyright becoming more complex, there is a growing movement to encourage producers of materials to use licences which clearly show end users what they can and cannot do with materials. This practice encourages sharing and collaboration, and provides clarity.  

Creative Commons symbols

When you are searching for materials on the internet you may see symbols like the one below.

Creative Commons logos

Have you ever seen one or wondered what they are?

These are Creative Commons licences. They make clear to end users of this information what they can and cannot do with the materials.

This particular licence indicates that you can re-use the information as long as you give correct attribution and do not use it for commercial purposes.

These are becoming more and more prominent on the internet. You will also start to notice them on some journal articles as you do more research.


A Creative Commons licence gives creators control over how they licence their work, while still allowing other people to use it. This has a number of benefits. For example, a creator who has used an open license can see their work go viral while retaining their original rights.


For information users, a Creative Commons licence provides clarity on what you can and cannot do with materials. You must abide by the licence conditions, but, very often, you will find the creators of CC-licensed materials are approachable and will extend permissions on request.

Understanding a Creative Commons licence

There are 4 elements to a Creative Commons licence. They can be combined in any way the creator chooses. For an explanation and what this means for you, take a look at this video: Creative Commons Kiwi

Finding material that has been licensed with Creative Commons

There are several ways to find Creative Commons licensed material but we recommend using the Creative Commons search.

Remember: It may have been openly licensed but don’t forget your academic integrity. Make sure you attribute the material, citing and referencing appropriately.