Skip to Main Content

Creative Writing and Research

Designed for students in The W's MFA in Creative Writing

Creative Commons license

Creative Commons

Some publishers have adopted Creative Commons licenses for their journals.  Click on the links below to learn more about what each license entails. 


You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your copyrighted work — and derivative works based upon it — but only if they give credit the way you request.

Share Alike

You allow others to distribute derivative works only under a license identical to the license that governs your work.


You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your work — and derivative works based upon it — but for non-commercial purposes only.

No Derivative Works

You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform only verbatim copies of your work, not derivative works based upon it.

Creative Commons Generator

If you are publishing in a journal which applies Creative Commons licenses, use the Creative Commons Generator to find the appropriate license to fit your needs.

Page Credit

We appreciate the Arnold Library for allowing us to use this page. Some content has been edited or removed to meet the needs of Fant Library and The W. 

Understand & Protect Your Copyright

Copyright SymbolWhat Is Copyright?
Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (title 17, U. S. Code) to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. This protection is available to both published and unpublished works. Section 106 of the 1976 Copyright Act generally gives the owner of copyright the exclusive right to do and to authorize others to do the following:

  • To reproduce the work in copies or phonorecords;
  • To prepare derivative works based upon the work;
  • To distribute copies or phonorecords of the work to the public by sale or
  • other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;
  • To perform the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and
  • choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual
  • works;
  • To display the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and
  • choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural
  • works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual
  • work; and
  • In the case of sound recordings,* to perform the work publicly by means of
  • a digital audio transmission.  From: US Copyright Office - Copyright Basics

University of Texas Copyright Crash Course - Training modules which walk you through the basics of copyright, fair use, open access and creative commons licenses.

Stanford University Libraries Fair Use & Copyright Charts and Tools - A collection of tools and informational sites to teach you more about copyright and your abilities to reuse your own or others' work.

Association of Research Libraries "Know Your Copy Rights" Brochure - Helps you determine your reuse rights for copyrighted works.

Fair Use & Reuse of Other's Published Materials

What is "Fair Use" of materials?

As specified by the US Copyright Code, in determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include — 

  1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
  3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

Digital Copyright Slider

Use the Digital Copyright Slider to determine if a work is protected by US copyright.

The Fair Use Evaluator provides authors with an interactive method for evaluating their reuse of materials and whether it falls within the realm of fair use.  Each evaluation results in printable summary that can be taken to your Library or General Counsel for further assessment, (also created by Michael Brewer & ALA Office of Information Technology Policy).

The Fair Use Checklist

This checklist helps you evaluate whether your use of a material constitutes 'fair use'. (from the Columbia University Libraries).