Skip to main content

Open Access

A guide for students, faculty, & researchers at Saint Mary's University

Creative Commons

What is Creative Commons?

Creative Commons is a non-profit organization that promotes the sharing of knowledge and resources. The organization offers free licensing tools for works in an effort to increase the sharing & re-using of materials with a "some rights reserved" approach to licensing. Through their affiliate organizations Creative Commons works to promote their mission of sharing. This allows further distribution and sharing of the materials, while creators are still able to maintain copyright of their work.

Please note: These resources often include a terms of use statement, listing conditions for using the material.

Check out the Creative Commons FAQ for more information.

Creative Commons copyright licenses and tools strike a balance within the traditional “all rights reserved” landscape that copyright law often creates. These tools provide everyone from individuals, institutions, or even large companies with a legal and easy to use way to grant copyright permissions to their creative works.

Also provided are tools that license works for the public domain. These allow licensors to waive all rights to their works if desired.

For more information please visit

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License


Copyright and properly acknowledging your sources is still important, even in Open Access. You can look at our Copyright Guide for Faculty and Staff to help answer any other questions you may have.

Copyright Guide for Faculty and Staff