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Finding and Using Creative Commons Works

Learn how to incorporate Creative Commons licensed materials into your research and other projects.

Citing Creative Commons Licensed Works

Citing the work of others is always an important practice, regardless of whether you are using a Creative Commons licensed material or a material that uses standard copyright permissions.

Authors who use Creative Commons licenses are signaling to users their intent for how the work will be used in the future. When citing these materials, it is a good practice to also acknowledge the intent of the creator for their work to be shared and reused within our citations.

Luckily, there is an easy method for citing Creative Commons licenses called the TASL method.

The TASL Method of Attribution

The TASL Method was developed by the creators of the Creative Commons licenses as an easy way to provide attribution for Creative Commons licensed materials. This method ensures that all aspects of the license are being properly met.

TASL stands for Title, Author, Source, and License:

  • Title - If a title was provided for the material, include it. Sometimes a title is not provided; in that case, you can ignore this part.
  • Author - Include the name the author. It is also a best practice to link to the author's profile on the website you are using, if available.
  • Source - Provide the source of the material so others can find it. This is usually a URL or hyperlink where the material resides. The hyperlink can be included in the title to make the citation more visually appealing.
  • License - Remember that there are six different CC licenses; which one is the material under? Name and provide a link to it, eg. for CC BY.

The above text was borrowed from the Creative Commons wiki page on this method, which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.

Here is how the citation for this page looks:

"Recommended Practices for Attribution." Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.