Moral rights and attributions

Attribution of authorship is a legal requirement of Moral Rights in the Copyright Act and copied or reproduced works require attribution. Other Moral Rights are to not falsely attribute work, and to not use work in a derogatory manner that may harm the authors' reputation.

An attribution is information accompanying a work which acknowledges the author or artist responsible for creating the work. It includes the source or location of the work, and other details depending on use/material type/ or licence.

There are limited circumstances where the right of attribution is waived, for example in a contract or the copyright in the work expiring. When not legally required is it a good idea to include the attribution, as it is a requirement of academic integrity to note the source of content and avoid accusations of plagiarism or misrepresentation.

What style should it be?

No particular style is defined in the Copyright Act. Minimum requirements include details to identify the author/creator, title, URL or location, and can include other details depending on the work. Also ensure you follow any directions by the author for how they would like to be attributed.

Web based informal attribution

T.A.S. L  - Title Author Source Licence
For informal web based attributions the simple format can include hyperlinks to to information which makes the attribution short and suited when used on screens. Creative Commons also request this style for their content.
For an online attribution builder for open material see  OpenWA Attribution Builder.

Academic writing or teaching - Formal citation style

For academic writing use the preferred style of your Federation University school -  APA or Chicago style for example.

See FedCite and navigate to images for further information.

What about literary quotes?

A quote of text is a reproduction of part of a copyright work and requires an attribution. You may not be required to clear copyright permission as in some circumstances reproducing a quote may be covered under use of an insubstantial portion.  A concept or idea in your own words is not a direct copy and requires a reference but not permission.

See Australian Copyright Council  Factsheet on Quotes and Extracts

Yes - for material used in teaching; submitting work to be made publicly available in a thesis for example; and any use of Creative Commons material .

Licence information shows under what licence or permissions the use of the work has been granted. Some content requires licence attribution for all users and uses, for example material made available under Creative Commons.

Students submitting for assessment can omit licence details in some cases if relying on Fair Dealing for research or study which allows limited use without seeking permission or relying on a licence. This exception cannot be used when making material available publicly or to others, and is only for personal use.

Students submitting a thesis or content which will then be made publicly available or open access are required to include the copyright details of the works reproduced and the permission or licence relied upon.

Teaching staff use must rely on a licence, be an insubstantial portion, or use with permission.

All staff and students: Placing material on websites or making publicly available require attribution and licence except where content has been purchased under contract, the copyright has expired, or the author or artist has waived their rights.

How do I include the licence terminology?

Usage available under:Terminology in attribution:

Permission granted

Used with permission

Creative Commons

is licenced under CC 4.0 BY  (or licence type) 

Teaching - licences

Education licence s.113P

Reproduced under s.113P

Database licence allows use

Under licence

Content allowed for educational use noted on content

Used with permission

Copyright expired

Public Domain

Federation owned

© Federation University

Details missing or no copyright owner known

After a diligent search the copyright owner/creator of content cannot been located. Please contact if you have details of copyright owner or creator.

Where to add attribution information?


Attribution might be positioned:

Print content – document

Below or beside work, footnote, list of end

Photograph, image, graph

Next to, below, or beside. Or in ALT TEXT if nothing else practical


Next to work, in footer, as a list of credits as end

Moodle or other electronic

Next to work, or in footer, list of works at end, in ALT text when hovered


At point when item is visible in film, or at end as credits

Academic writing

Use advised style


Mention the name at point used and in notes on site where content is available provide full attribution