2.4 OER attribution

Various blue tiles on a floor
Photo: Blue tile patterns by Atefeh Aghaee, licensed CC0 (Flickr)

Nearly all Creative Commons-licensed resources require attribution, i.e. giving credit to the author/creator of the resource. However, even when you are using OER for which the licence does not require attribution (such as the CC0 Public Domain licence, as in the image above), it is good practice to provide attribution.

CC licences are flexible regarding how an OER can be attributed, but a good rule of thumb is to use the acronym TASL as a reminder of the specific information to include, i.e. Title, Author, Source and Licence.

  • Title — What is the name of the resource? If a title was provided, it is good practice to include this.
  • Author — The most important field to include in the attribution is the author, i.e. who owns the resource? Sometimes, the author/creator may require you to give credit to another entity, like an institution, company or group. This information is generally provided along with the open licence attached to the resource.
  • Source — Where can I find this resource? Provide the source of the OER so that others can access it also.
  • Licence — How can I use this resource? Name and provide a link to the specific Creative Commons (or other) licence under which the resource was made available.

Sometimes an OER will include a statement as to how the creator(s) would like the material to be attributed. If this is provided, you can simply use this statement.

As an example, for the openly-licensed photograph used at the top of this post you can see that the attribution (provided in the caption) includes each of the four TASL elements: Title (Blue tile patterns); Author (Atefeh Aghaee); Source (hyperlink provided for the photograph); and Licence (CC0 licence, with hyperlink to Creative Commons CC0 licence page describing the terms of use). All photographs and images used within this ‘Using OER and OEP for Teaching and Learning’ resource are attributed in a similar way, using TASL as a guideline.

For further information about attribution, you can refer to these useful sources:



2.3 Finding and evaluating OER
2.5 References & Resources for Using OER