Which CC license should I choose?

We recommend you assign a bare CC-by (“Attribution”) license to your work, though you might also opt for an even freer CC-zero (“No Rights Reserved”, equivalent to „Public Domain“).

There are also more restricted variants of a CC-by license (About licenses), including options to ban derivatives and commercial usage. We strongly advice against banning derivatives (“No Derivatives”) because this would forbid any future efforts to make your work more accessible for scientific practice. Disallowing derivatives would, for example, prohibit translations and proper digitization.

In choosing a license, please be aware that there is a difference between scientific recognition and commercial recognition of your work. Whatever license you choose for your work, this does not regulate scientific recognition! Scientific recognition is organized through the (often informal) standards of scientific conduct, like proper citation and acknowledgement of your work in publication by others (cf. the “Rules of Good Scientific Practice” of the Max Planck Society). Failure to comply to these standards can only be litigated within the structure of scientific exchange, i.e. through editorial boards or scientific councils.

To obtain more scientific recognition it is best to make your work as broadly and easily available as possible, so others can find and acknowledge your work without restriction. To enhance the exchange of scientific results, we recommend you to choose a highly permissive license, like a bare CC-by („Attribution“) license.

(For a more in-depth discussion of the licensing of scientific data, see the Protocol for Implementing Open Access Data.)

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