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Guideline and Checklist for Open Dissemination

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  Openness is an important dimension in dissemination. Openness assures that disseminated materials can be reused by others in order to maximise distribution and impact. For assessing openness of dis-seminated content and data, we used the Open Definition (http://opendefinition.org):

Open means anyone can freely access, use, modify, and share for any purpose (subject, at most, to requirements that preserve provenance and openness).

Content & Data

For content other than data or software, we recommend choosing a license from the list of recommend-ed licenses that are conformant with the Open Definition: http://opendefinition.org/licenses/
For content, we recommend using the Creative Commons Attribution license (CC BY). CC BY means that anyone is free to share and adapt the content, under the condition that appropriate credit is given (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). This assures reusability, while at the same time mak-ing sure that you are credited for your work.
In case you are using copyrighted work with permission, you can use the following clause, provided you clearly mark the copyrighted content:
“Unless otherwise noted, this work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 In-ternational License. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
For data, we recommend using Creative Commons CCZero (CC0). This means that you waive all rights and dedicate the data to the public domain. The reason for this is that data usually represent facts, which cannot be copyrighted in most legal systems. Furthermore, data is often aggregated from multi-ple sources; the requirement for attribution can therefore quickly become impractical. Note that the license does not preclude users from the social obligation to cite your dataset when they use it in their research.


For software, we recommend to use a license that complies with the Open Source Definition (https://opensource.org/osd). It essentially boils down to allowing software to be freely used, modified, and shared. You can find the list here: https://opensource.org/licenses/
We recommend using the MIT or the BSD license, which both originated at universities. Both allow for anyone to use, modify and share the software, provided that the copyright notice is included in the de-rivative work.
• MIT license: https://opensource.org/licenses/MIT
• BSD license: https://opensource.org/licenses/BSD-2-Clause

Additional Info

  • I am a: Young scholar, Researcher, Project manager, Funder, Policy maker, Open Science advocate, Publisher
  • Domain: Scholarly Dissemination, Open Science
  • Type of resource: Guidelines
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