6. Repositories should recommend the best OS licences but it should be the uploader who chooses which one

6.1. Uploaders should be offered all possible guidance and explanation with regards the various licences open to them, and the degree to which these are compatible with open access principles.

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6.1.1. This can be done by incorporating some form of ‘Licence Selector’ tool into the upload process. The tools featured here offer examples of how this can be achieved.

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6.2. CC-BY 4.0 may be considered as a default standard licence, except in the case of data and datasets.

However any default licence provided should always be accompanied by a selection of alternative licences and comprehensive explanations about the function of each.

The CC-BY 4.0 licence is often considered the ‘gold standard’ open access licence, since it is the least restrictive and allows people to use the licensed content as they choose, provided attribution is provided, and is fully OA compliant. As a note of caution, however, it should always be the uploader who makes the final licence selection.

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6.3. Where uploaders select a licence which is less compatible with open access/science requirements, this should be made clear to them.

This is particularly relevant where uploaders choose Creative Commons licences with NC (non-commercial) or ND (no derivatives) conditions. These licences have been described by Creative Commons as failing to promote ‘free culture’.

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6.4. In the case of software, application of a GNU GPL or BSD/ Apache style licence is recommended.

These licences are:

  • The most well-established public licences for free software, and
  • The most interoperable licence both in terms of general use and for TDM purposes.
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6.5. In the case of public sector information, application of an Open Government Licence is mandated by the UK Government Licensing Framework (UKGLF) for all public sector information.

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6.6. Ultimately, however, the final decision with regards which licence is applied should rest with the uploader.

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6.7. The resources featured here offer comprehensive discussion regarding the benefits of open access principles, and provide an example of how these might be expressed to uploaders.

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6.8. Account must be taken of any external limitations on the uploader’s choice of licence.

This may be as a result of funding body stipulations or publishers’ requirements.

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6.8.1. The resources featured here, including the European Commission H2020 guidance, provide an example of possible funding body stipulations, with regards making work open access and how this should be done.

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