You may have been asked to put a creative commons license on your work. What is this and what does it do?
Creative Commons is a global non profit organization that enables sharing through the use of free legal tools. The licenses work with copyright law and give permissions to share, alter, etc. without anyone needing to contact you.
The licenses are:
CC-BY – lets others use, tweak and distribute your work as long as they give you credit. This is the most liberal license and the one favoured by RCUK who insist on it if they pay for your open access article.
CC-BY-SA – share alike – this lets others use, change and distribute your work as long as they credit you and also share anything they create from your work under the same license.
CC-BY-ND – no derivatives -people are free to use and share but cannot change anything.
CC-BY-NC-SA – non commercial share alike – allows people to use and alter your work as long as it is not commercial and they share it under the same licence.
CC-BY-NC-ND – allows others to download and share your work but they cannot change or share it commercially.
The creative commons site has a tool to help you choose the best for you https://creativecommons.org/choose/
Ideally creative commons would like to encourage people to share with as few restrictions as possible.
If you use their license tool it will give you a symbol to use on your work but also some code. If you are able to use this in your work it will mean that Google, YouTube etc. can identify it as having a licence and it will appear more in search results.