Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Creative Commons Basics for Scholars and Students: Why use CC?

A guide for learning more about Creative Commons use, licensing, and resources for authors/creators.

Further Reading

Why apply a CC license to your work?

Supplementing your existing copyright with a Creative Commons license can help you manage your copyrights and share your works without losing your rights.  What, though, are some of the specific benefits to you as a creator of artistic or scholarly works?

Embedding CC licenses into web content means it will be discoverable by CC searches, providing more exposure for you as a creator and for your work.  For scholarly works, this can lead to more citations.

By mixing and matching the different CC license attributes (i.e. NC, ND, SA), you can encourage those uses you want without the hassle of permissions.  For example, if you want other users to be able to reinterpret your work as long as they don't use it for any commercial endeavors, you could use a CC BY-NC license.  There is even a CC-license creator that allows you to pick which attributes you'd like to include using plain language.

You can allow others to either build upon, remix, or reinterpret your work and research while retaining credit for your contributions.  This helps to foster a community of shared culture and scholarly research.

Finally, if you're involved in instruction, CC licenses can be especially helpful when developing or sharing course materials.  You can find and share learning tools, lesson plans, and more with other educators through CC licensing and searching.

Remember that adding a Creative Commons license to your work doesn't take the place of the copyright that you already hold.  For more information on Creative Commons licenses and copyright, please see the Copyright @ CUNY page.

Science Commons

A project related to the Creative Commons, the Science Commons instead focuses on research findings and data and may be of interest to researchers in the Sciences.

Creative Commons License

Science Commons by Jesse Dylan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA) license. For more information, see the Creative Commons page for this video.

Creative Commons and OER (@One)

Jane Park, Creative Commons - 2010 March; - a brief overview of the licenses and examples of educational projects and organizations using CC licenses.

Advantages of Creative Commons

There are many advantages associated with using Creative Commons licenses. Below are a few highlighted advantages via For additional benefits, see benefits of CC.

  • CC provides global recognition
    • An increasing amount of digital content sites, such as FlickrYoutube, and Vimeo, allow contributors to apply CC licenses during the upload process. These generic licenses and jurisdiction-tailored licenses are applicable internationally. See more at, CC Affiliate Network.
  • CC licenses are easy to understand
    • Creative Commons makes it easy to maintain copyright, while allowing others to reuse content. Creators can select the CC licenses that best fits their need through thelicense generator.
  • CC offers flexibility
    • Creative Commons offers a variety of licensing options and allows creators to select an appropriate license, instead of a one-size-fits-all terms of use agreement.
  • CC supports a culture of sharing
    • Using CC licenses can be an effective way of encouraging norms of sharing and reuse within an online community.

[Source: Molls, Emma. Iowa State University Library:]

About this LibGuide

Creative Commons License
LaGuardia Community College Library Guides are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

This LibGuide was based on one created by Michigan Publishing. University of Michigan, 07 Dec. 2015. Web. 10 Dec. 2015. <>

MLA Citation: "Creative Commons for Scholars and Students." LaGuardia Community College Library Research Guides. LaGuardia Community College, CUNY. Last Date Updated. Web. Date Accessed.

For any questions: contact Ann Matsuuchi, LaGuardia Community College Library

Library Media Resources Center
LaGuardia Community College
31-10 Thomson Avenue, room E101
Long Island City, NY 11101
Email the Library