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Open Educational Resources (OER)

This guide--a work in progress--provides information for learning about open educational resources (OER) and curates a collection of OER repositories for use by Western faculty and staff.

Attribution is Always Required

Any time you use the work of another, you should give credit to the creator of the original work or idea. Just like we teach our students to cite their sources, we need to give proper attribution to the creator of a work, image, or resource we use. As instructors, modeling good citation and attribution practices is important. With Creative Commons licenses, attribution is actually a requirement of use.

A commonly accepted attribution format in the open community is the TASL acronym. Every attribution should have the following components and answer each question in italics. Where possible, link to the original components and do include any additional information if it feels relevant or useful.

Title (T) - What is the name of the material?

Author (A) - Who owns the material?

Source (S) - Where can I find it?

License (L) - How can I use it?

Attribution Example

This image of cupcakes on a green table is often used in attribution best practice examples.

Example of Best Practices for Attribution Using TASL:

"Creative Commons 10th Birthday Celebration San Francisco" by tvol is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Title? "Creative Commons 10th Birthday Celebration San Francisco"
Author? "tvol" - linked to his profile page
Source? "Creative Commons 10th Birthday Celebration San Francisco" - linked to original Flickr page
License? "CC BY 2.0" - linked to license deed

This example is from the Best Practices for Attribution page on the Creative Commons wiki. It's used with permission thanks to a CC BY 4.0 international license.

 

It is also possible to use the MLA or APA format to cite content and provide appropriate attribution. Just include the license after the correct MLA or APA citation, as shown in the examples below.

APA Style Example (7th Edition) 

Vollmer, Timothy. (2012, December 8). Creative Commons 10th Birthday Celebration San Francisco [Photograph]. Flickr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/sixteenmilesofstring/8256206923/in/set-72157632200936657. CC BY 2.0 license.

MLA Style Example (8th Edition)

Vollmer, Timothy. "Creative Commons 10th Birthday Celebration San Francisco." Flickr, 8 Dec. 2012, https://www.flickr.com/photos/sixteenmilesofstring/8256206923/in/set-72157632200936657. CC BY 2.0 license.


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