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Open Educational Resources: Citing OER

Find open educational resources (OER) available to lower or eliminate the cost of textbook content for any course at Indian River State College. Find open access materials including alternative textbooks, public domain resources, and creative commons lice

Best Practices for Creative Commons Attribution

How to Cite Images

For citation purposes consistency is key. Find an example you can live with and follow it, but generally the rule of thumb in citing:

“Whenever a public domain work is used, the author(s) (if known) should be cited.  Citation may be made in accordance with any relevant scientific, scholarly, disciplinary or community practice.  Additionally, if a public domain work has been curated or made available by a person other than the author, that provider should also be appropriately credited.”

What do you need to cite? All CC attributions should have the same basic information:

 *   Title of image

 *   Creator name

 *   Source of the image (usually in the form of a URL to image source page)

 *   Any copyright information included with image (such as a watermark)

 *   CC license information (including link back to CC documentation page if possible)

In the shortest caption allowed by the above, you would put:

caption: Title [hyperlinked to source] (c)Creator, License information [hyperlinked]


How to Cite an OpenStax Textbook

First, look for information provided by the authors on how they want their information cited. Below are examples from the Biology OpenStax textbook. 

All images taken from the OpenStax textbook should be cited as follows: Download for free at

You can see the authors of the OpenStax textbook give you this information when you click on Attribution on the bottom of the screen when you are looking at the text online. It states:

Under this license, any user of this textbook or the textbook contents herein must provide proper attribution as follows:

The OpenStax College name, OpenStax College logo, OpenStax College book covers, OpenStax CNX name, and OpenStax CNX logo are not subject to the creative commons license and may not be reproduced without the prior and express written consent of Rice University. For questions regarding this license, please<>.

 *   If you use this textbook as a bibliographic reference, then you should cite it as follows:

OpenStax, Biology. OpenStax CNX. Oct 21, 2016

 *   If you redistribute this textbook in a print format, then you must include on every physical page the following attribution:

"Download for free at"

 *   If you redistribute part of this textbook, then you must retain in every digital format page view (including but not limited to EPUB, PDF, and HTML) and on every physical printed page the following attribution:

"Download for free at"