Helping Give Away Psychological Science/Standard Operating Procedures/ Creative Commons

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HGAPS New for Fall 2022: HGAPS and Psychology Conferences
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HGAPS is finding new ways to make psychological science conferences more accessible!

Here are examples from APA 2022 and the JCCAP Future Directions Forum. Coming soon... ABCT!
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Creative Commons Licenses[edit | edit source]

HGAPS works to share information and encourage others to share their information. Using creative commons licenses allows others to easily use, remix, and distribute information. Only the creator or owner of the work can set attach licenses to the work.

Important: READ the article before continuing; and here is a slide set presented at the American Psychological Association convention (with a CC BY 4.0 license, so you are free to remix and reuse with attribution).

Types of Licenses[edit | edit source]

The spectrum of different creative commons licenses which provide different functionality and sharing privileges.

When new intellectual property is created, it is presumed to be under an exclusive license (C), in which the creator reserves all their rights. This is regardless of whether the copyright is registered with the U.S. Copyright Office.[1] Exclusive licenses cannot be used without permission, outside of certain limited circumstances.

A creator might choose to make their work available to be used by anyone, with certain limitations. This is called a Creative Commons (CC) license. The Creative Commons framework, version 4.0, recognizes four categories of limitations:

  • Attribution (BY) - allows for the sharing of work that is copied or adapted to be shared in any context as long as it is attributed to the original author
  • Share Alike (SA) - only allows adapted versions of the work to be shared under an identical license
  • Non-Commercial (NC) - the work or an remix of the work can be used only in non-commercial contexts
  • No Derivative Works (ND) - no remixes of the work can be shared, only the original work

These limitations can be used together or alone to determine the limitations of a Creative Commons license.[2]

The Public Domain[edit | edit source]

This allows your work to be used without any attribution and in any way. This is sometimes denoted with a CC0 designation. You do not own this work, even if it is original, and cannot claim this work as intellectual property. However, you may claim derivative works you create as intellectual property (e.g. translations, adaptations, substantive revisions) and assign a license to the derived work.[3]

Creative Commons collections[edit | edit source]

When looking for Creative Commons licensed material to use in your works, stick to recognized databases and collections of correctly licensed work. Avoid relying on Google searches for "free to use" images, as using copyright-restricted works that have the wrong license designation can still constitute unlawful infringement.

Recognized Creative Commons databases include, but are not limited to:

Things to keep in mind[edit | edit source]

Copyright is only one of several types of intellectual property protected by law. Images and phrases may be both trademarked (TM or R) and copyrighted simultaneously. Creative Commons works will almost never be trademarked, but keep an eye out for trademark designations.

Works used by HGAPS will often use many independently copyrighted works, such as images, charts, and graphs. This creates overlapping copyright considerations. The copyright status of the larger work does not change the licenses of the constituent works, so pay attention to the licenses, if any, of the individual pieces of the work. For example, if you wish to use an CC BY 4.0 image that itself contains a CC BY-NC 4.0 image, you cannot use that piece commercially, even though the larger work allows commercial uses. Speak to your faculty advisor is you have any questions about overlapping licenses.

Be cautious about using Share-Alike (SA) licenses. You may think, “I want to make sure my work is kept free and open access, warranting a share alike license”. However, the share alike license will actually prevent people from using your resources. Although HGAPS’s goal is to keep everything free, we also want to make sure our resources are disseminated as widely as possible, this includes reaching researchers publishing in paid journals. Share-alike (SA) licenses prevent use of the information for commercial use if the information was originally shared for non-commercial use (researchers in publishing in paid journals would be unable to use our resources in their work). We want as many people as possible to be able to access the best psychological information. It is important to stress in your work that you wish it to remain free, if possible.

For HGAPS[edit | edit source]

HGAPS work should have an Attribution License (CC BY 4.0). While the text "CC BY 4.0" and the the Author’s name are enough from a legal perspective, it is helpful to include additional details (Username, or other identifying information) and a location for an "official" original version. This could be a personal or lab web page; HGAPS often uses the Open Science Framework (OSF) to host the "original" version. OSF is more work, but offers advantages in terms of version control, being able to control access to files if needed, and potentially even giving the product it's own DOI.

CC BY 4.0

See for more information.

Google doc form available here

  1. "Copyright in General (FAQ) | U.S. Copyright Office". Retrieved 2022-06-26.
  2. "Creative Commons license". Wikipedia. 2020-07-30. 
  3. "Copyright in Derivative Works and Compilations",, Retrieved 2022-06-26.