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Information about respecting Canadian copyright law in your work at Centennial.


Giving credit, or attribution, is an important part of respecting copyright.

This page will explain how to create a standard copyright credit when you are using openly licensed works and images. 


When you use a work that is under a Creative Commons (CC) license, you need to include an attribution, or a credit, for that work.

  • What is an attribution? It is an acknowledgment of the work’s creator.

  • Why attribute? All CC licenses require users to provide an attribution, unless the creator of the work has waived their right to be credited or requested their name be removed.

Best practice is to assume everything is protected by copyright, unless otherwise informed. Do your research before using another person’s work.

Nature” by Ritesh Agarwal is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

How to Create an Attribution

Creative Commons attributions are somewhat flexible in terms of format, but there are specific pieces of information you need to include. For more detailed instructions, visit the Creative Commons Best Practices for Attribution.


Explore the source of the work to answer the following questions:

  • What license type is listed? The license will say what you can do with the work and what the attribution needs to include.
  • Are there any attribution instructions? Some sources want you to phrase your attribution a certain way or include specific information.


Find the following information about the work:

  • The title of the work. If there is no title, you can say “this work” or the type of work used, e.g. “Video”.
  • The creator’s name. Their name may be listed on their profile page, but if that is not available, you can use their username.
  • The URL for the work.
  • The license type and link to the license page. The license page gives details about the license. The link should be found with the original work.


Note: You might need to explore the website where the work is hosted to find some of this information.

Now that you have the information you need, you can write your attribution. A good rule of thumb is to use the TASL Technique:

  • Title – What is the name of the material?
  • Author – Who owns the material? (include the link)
  • Source – Where can I find it? (the URL of the original work)
  • License – What specific license is the work under? (include the link)

A typical attribution would look like this:  “Title” by Author is licensed under CC License Type.

Note: Each element includes links to the relevant page: the title links to the source page, the author’s name links to their profile page, and the license type links to license page.

TASL Attribution Example

Here is an example of how to build an ideal attribution using the TASL technique.

T+A+S+L= attribution: “Nature” by Ritesh Agarwal is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

You can choose to create attributions yourself using this method or you can use the Open Attribution Builder. The Builder will require you to input the same information but will create the final attribution for you.

Additional Information

Creative Commons Explained

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