Licencing your work

Sharing research or creative works is an important part of University life, and sharing with others helps build upon the knowledge and creativity of society.

Steps before licencing

Check ownership

Before thinking about licencing, make sure you are the copyright owner. Copyright ownership may differ depending on whether you are a student, staff member, research student or researcher. Check the ownership of copyright page for more details.

Check policy

Federation University encourages use of the Creative Commons licences applied to your data or work you would like to make available others. Federation staff wishing to make content available which was made under their employ are required to seek approval of their Dean/Director to make ©Federation University material available under an open licence.

Check any funding agreements

Read and understand any conditions in funding agreements. If in doubt seek advice.

Understand licence options

Options for licencing include purpose built Open Licences, traditional academic publishing, or 'express licences' which are direct written permission to others for specific use.

Open Licences such as Creative Commons are internationally recognised, and allow a range of copying, reuse, distribution, and in some cases modification of material rights, without needing to seek permission from the creator.

Some traditional academic publishing requires transfer of copyright which will restrict options for future use of that material by you. Read the terms of any contract before you sign.

What is a copyright agreement or licence?

An agreement or licence is a permission or authorisation from the copyright owner to use their material in ways which fall within the copyright owner's exclusive rights. An agreement can be:

  • exclusive (the licencee is the only person who can use the material in the ways covered by the licence) or
  • non-exclusive (grants the right to exercise one or more of the copyright owner's rights in the material, but not to the exclusion of the copyright owner or other licencees).

Agreements may exist between:

  • you and copyright owners whose work you wish to use
  • you and a publisher who wishes to publish your material (for example in a book or journal)
  • you and an online repository.

Considerations of all licence types

Considerations include:

  • Third party content
    Does the content only contain your work, or include the work of others? How will this affect licencing?
  • No control over onward use
  • Interoperability
  • Attribution stacking
    Reusing multiples datasets with many attributions can result in large lists
  • Irrevocability
    Licencing content under Creative Commons for instance, is unable to be revoked or altered.

Licence choice decisions need to also include considerations of third party content, ethical (privacy, research ethics) and practical considerations.