OER at Georgian

Attribution, Citation & Referencing

Graphical representation of the components of CC attribution - Title (with link to original work), by author/username (with link to author's website, channel, photostream or otherwise), license (with link)The 5Rs of OER present slightly different challenges for effective attribution when compared to the standard academic writing procedures (quote, paraphrase, summarize & cite).

When working with OER sources, we need to credit the original creators/authors of the materials, while also making sure that we mark our own work effectively.

Chart from "How to Attribute Creative CommonsPhotos" by fotor is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

As OERs are reused and adapted, it can become difficult to keep track of the original sources. Just as you would cite and reference as you work on a paper, add attribution and citations as you work on your OER.

This page will provide some suggestions on best practices, as well as examples and further resources.

Creating Attribution statements & References

When REUSING Creative Commons licensed information, you are required to provide attribution to the original source.

Best practices: Sample attribution for a source you REUSED


                a copyright symbol is viewed through a magnifying

Using the TASL (Title, Author, Source, License) rule, try to provide the following info:

  1. The title of the work: "Copyright symbol under magnifying glass"  (with link to original webpage/source)
  2. Original creator: by Marco Verch Professional Photographer  (with link to the creator's profile or page)
  3. CC license: is licensed under CC BY 2.0 (with link to the licensing information - see a list of the most current licenses on Creative Commons website)

This work, "REUSING CC Sources", is a derivative of "Best practices for attribution" by Creative Commons used under CC BY 4.0.

When ADAPTING Creative Commons licensed information, you are required to provide attribution to the original source. Remember:

  • The main goal is to provide clear and complete information giving credit to the original source
  • If your source has attributions or citations within it, remember to maintain those in your copy
  • Review the info under "Mixing OER & Selecting your license" to ensure your adapted/new OER meets the CC guidelines

Best practices: Sample attribution for a source you ADAPTED (from Creative Commons guidelines)

This work, "ADAPTING CC Sources", is a derivative of "Best practices for attribution" by Creative Commons used under CC BY 4.0. "ADAPTING CC sources" is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 by Jen Booth - Georgian College Library.

Provide the following info:

  1. The name of the new content you created - eg: "ADAPTING CC Sources"
  2. A statement about the adaptation - is a derivative of
  3. The original title - "Best practices for attribution" (link to the original source)
  4. The original creator - by Creative Commons (link to the original creator profile or website)
  5. CC license info - used under CC BY 4.0 (link to the CC license info on web)
  6. Then finish with your new CC license - "ADAPTING CC sources" is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 by Jen Booth - Georgian College Library

Possible variations:
If your own CC license selection is listed elsewhere on the page, you can omit the the author as it's listed/provided elsewhere.

This work, "ADAPTING CC Sources", is a derivative of "Best practices for attribution" by Creative Commons used under CC BY 4.0.

Include your own info first and a statement about the work you adapted:


This work, "Adapting CC Sources", is a derivative of "Best practices for attribution" by Creative Commons used under CC BY 4.0.

Sources that are in the Public Domain or licensed under CC0 are available to reuse, revise, remix, redistribute and retain.

Best practices for use in your OER:

When citing:

  • Add the statement Licensed under CC0 at end of your attribution or  Public Domain instead of the CC BY-NC license statement
  • Using APA 7, create the reference according to APA 7th guidelines and include CC0 at the end of the reference

Sample CC Attribution statement:

Sample APA reference:

Forsythe, G. (2017, November 1). OER is sharing [Infographic]. Flickr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/gforsythe/38088290601 . CC0.

Sample APA in-text citation (place in-text):

From 'OER is sharing' [Infographic] by Giulia Forsythe, 2017, Flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/gforsythe/38088290601) . CC0.


Source: Wintec Library. (2021, September 22). How do I reference a creative commons image? In APA 7th Edition Referencing Guide1. Retrieved September 22, 2021 from https://libguides.wintec.ac.nz/APA7/creative-commons-images#s-lg-box-wrapper-25341075

If you are REPRODUCING Copyrighted content in your OER (eg: an article, image or infographic for which you don't own the Copyright), you will want to ensure copyright compliance.

Best practices for adding a REPRODUCTION of copyright material to your OER:

  • Check with the Library to ensure copyright compliance before including
  • Review the info on using multiple images from the same copyrighted source
  • Explore alternatives if your selected content does not meet copyright guidelines
  • Be prepared to cite and reference the original source

Citing & Referencing copyrighted material:

  • Use APA or your preferred citation style
  • Decide how you will collect & display references (eg: footnotes, endnotes, at point of use)
  • Consider adding an acknowledgement of materials that are used under the Fair Dealing exception
    • At the front of the book (indirect)
    • At the point of use / citation (direct)

Consider sources & Select a license for your OER:

If you are ADAPTING or CREATING a larger OER project, such as a textbook or set of modules, you will likely need to mix different sources which may have different copyright/CC licenses applied to them.

Best practices when mixing/re-mixing multiple sources with multiple licenses

  • Include a statement about adaptation in the introductory materials of your OER (Sample adaptation)
  • Include a statement (in front matter, directly where used, or both) that specifies what material (if any) is used under Fair Dealing

Where & When to provide Attribution

There are a number of ways to provide attribution and referencing in Pressbooks. Here are some of the most common choices:

  1. Acknowledgements or front matter: Starting with a specific OER that you will adapt? Include a note in the acknowledgements or front matter of your book.
  2. Bottom of the page / References: Combining multiple sources? Include an attribution statement (or as many as needed) at the bottom of each page/section/chapter, just like you would with your regular references. This really helps for reuse of content - if another OER creator reuses your material from a particular chapter, attribution is clear.
  3. Captions on images, videos, H5P: Embedding images, videos & H5P? Include an attribution statement (or an APA reference) below the item (or at least at bottom of the page) so that you clearly indicate where the source material originated. When your OER materials are reused, the person importing will be able to clearly identify both YOUR work and that of the source(s) you used.
  4. Including copyrighted content? Including something that is copyrighted under the Fair Dealing exception? If so, include a note about the use of Fair dealing in the front matter of your book, as well as a note around the material in your text. [Please check with the OER Librarian for wording and copyright compliance!]. If people reusing your OER are not located in Canada, they may need to adjust or remove these sections in their own version to maintain copyright compliance.

Practical tips for getting started with Pressbooks

Interactive activities created through eCampus Ontario's H5P studio are automatically assigned a CC license when published. However, the information about your item is not automatically displayed with your activity when published. This is not a problem if you are posting your H5P items within Blackboard.

If you use your H5P items in Pressbooks or on another website, enable the Rights of Use information so that proper attribution can be given to your work!

To enable "Rights of Use" on your H5P activity:

Click the "Metadata" flag/button right beside the title of your item

the metadata button in H5P appears directly to the right of the title* heading on the edit screen
Screenshot source: eCampus Ontario H5P studio - edit screen.

Fill out the information on the popup and be sure to indicate any sources. Additionally, if you are adding images into your H5P activity, you will now be asked for licensing information, which will also appear in the Rights of Usage link.


This guide was designed solely for informational purposes for Georgian College students, faculty & staff.

All other users are encouraged to check and confirm the information with their institution.

This site is prepared by library staff and is not reviewed by legal counsel.

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