25 Basics

Cloned Book

A cloned version is considered a book on our Pressbooks network that has very minor surface changes (for example book cover), but the content itself is essentially the same.

Example: The book Organizational Communication. Ryan McPherson cloned this book. His changes to the content were minimal, so he kept the authors’ original names on the book.

According to the Queen’s Open Textbook Authoring Guide:

There is no need to name the adapting author in this statement. This information should either be included on the Book Info page as a main author OR if you want to indicate which author wrote/adapted which chapter, you can use the Chapter Author option at the bottom of each chapter/web page in Pressbooks.

Adaptation/Derivative Book

“Adaptation” means a work based upon the Work, or upon the Work and other pre-existing works, such as a translation, adaptation, derivative work, arrangement of music or other alterations of a literary or artistic work, or phonogram or performance and includes cinematographic adaptations or any other form in which the Work may be recast, transformed, or adapted including in any form recognizably derived from the original…

Giving credit to the original creator of the work (fulfills the BY license component). Attribution is the minimum requirement of all CC-licenses.

What are the basic components of an attribution?

Title Title of the Work

Author: Author of the Work. List all authors.

Source: The URL for the work

License: The license for the work

Examples: Attributing Different CC-licensed works



Level (Book or Chapter)

Cloned Book

This book is a cloned version of The OER Starter Kit by Abbey Elder, published using Pressbooks by Iowa State University Digital Press under a CC BY (Attribution) license. It may differ from the original.

Book (Web Book View)

Pressbooks Admin: Book Info > Copyright Notice

Adapted Book

This edition of Pressbooks Guidelines for the University of Minnesota was adapted from the UC Berkeley Pressbooks Guidelines, written by the Office of Scholarly Communication Services, UC Berkeley Library, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Book (Web Book View)

Pressbooks Admin: Book Info > Copyright Notice

Book: Derivative of Multiple Works

The OER Starter Kit was adapted from the following resources:

The ABOER Starter Kit by Technologies in Education at the Faculty of Education, the University of Alberta, CC BY 4.0.

Considerations for Using or Creating OER

Creative Commons

Accessibility and Usability

SUNY OER Community Course by SUNY OER Services, CC BY 4.0.

Introduction to Open Educational Resources, “Benefits for Instructors”

Including All Students by SUNY OER Services, CC BY 4.0.

Diversity & Inclusion

UH OER Training by Billy Meinke and University of Hawai’i Outreach College, CC BY 4.0.

Copyright & Open Licensing, “Licensing” and “Public Domain”

Planning & Completing Your OER Project

Accessibility & Usability

SPARC Open Education Primer by the SPARC Open Education Leadership Program, CC BY 4.0.

Tools & Techniques for Creating OER

Selecting Textbooks and Accessibility by Affordable Learning Georgia, permission received for adaptation.

Accessibility & Usability

Evaluating OER

Book (Front Matter due to length)

Chapter Level Derivative of One Work

Planning & Completing your OER Project was adapted from Scoping an OER Project by Billy Meinke, licensed CC BY 4.0.


Chapter: Footnotes

Chapter Level: Derivative of Multiple Works

(Multiple examples)

Attribution: This chapter was adapted from the SPARC Open Education Primer created by the SPARC Open Education Leadership Program, licensed CC BY 4.0.

Mays, Elizabeth, et al. A Guide to Making Open Textbooks with Students. Rebus Community, 2017. https://press.rebus.community/makingopentextbookswithstudents/

Chapter (Footnotes)


“Earth” by Kevin M. Gill is licensed under CC BY 2.0


Excellent Example: Book with Attribution Provided:

Book Title: Queen’s Open Textbook Authoring Guide

Do I need to note in my attribution if the book is a derivative of another book?

If you are creating a manual attribution, you do not need to add this as part of your attribution statement. You only need to list Title, Author, Source, and License. But you can note this if you would like.

If you use the Open Attribution Builder, it will ask if the book is a derivative of another book. If it is, you can select that, and then provide the URL for the original book. The Open Attribution builder will add this to your attribution statement.

When you clone a book in Pressbooks, it will pull in all of the attribution information for the original. Under Book Info > Copyright > Source Book URL

Example: Book Info Section of a UTSA Cloned version of the OER Starter Kit:


Do I need to put quotes around the book title?

No, this is not necessary. The attribution statement is cleaner without them. Definitely use quotes for images, though.

How do I attribute multiple authors?

List all authors.


Counter Unmanned Aircraft Systems Technologies and Operations.

/ R. K. Nichols; J.J.C.H. Ryan; H.C. Mumm; C. Carter; W.D. Lonstein; and J.P. Hood. CC-BY-NC- SA

Is it ok to abbreviate the license?

Yes, because you will link to the full license. It’s not wrong to spell out the full license, but it’s also not necessary. However, Pressbooks displays the full license by default on the web book view once you select the license in the copyright section of Book Info. Both the abbreviated and the extended version are fine but the abbreviated version looks cleaner.

Examples: Both are acceptable, as they link out to the license with more information:


Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International

Do we need to include “unless where otherwise noted?”

The Creative Commons recommended format for attributing does not include this as an essential component of the attribution statement. However, Pressbooks will do this automatically for all books in the case that a chapter of a book has a different license than the overall book. We need to go further down this rabbit hole of how this is possible: My inclination is that it has to do with fair use , and Creative Commons works are not excepted from fair use.

“Licensed Under” or “Licensed?”

The Open Attribution Builder adds Licensed Under as the default whenever you create an attribution statement using that tool. However, you do not have to preface your copyright statement or your attribution statement with “Licensed Under.” You can also just put “Licensed.”


Attribution & Copyright: Book Level

In Pressbooks, you can use the Copyright and Source fields under Book Info.

Attribution & Copyright: Chapter Level:

In Pressbooks, you can use chapter footnotes and the license at the chapter level.

If the chapter contains some original material AND some material from another source, then rather than saying “This chapter is an adaptation of….”, say “This chapter contains material taken from….”.

If the chapter only contains material from another source and the material has not been changed (i.e., not adapted), then use an attribution statement like the below example.

Attribution statement for borrowed text (no changes made)

This chapter is comprised of text taken from Chapter 2.2 of Physical Geography and Natural Disasters by R. Adam Dastrup and is used under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 licence. No changes have been made nor original material added.

Chapters with a different license

Chapters that have a different license in Pressbooks from the overall book license

“If the book is to be CC-BY licensed, but you have included material with more restrictive CC licences in your adaptation, you will need to address the conditions dictated by each of these licenses. At the bottom of the Chapter page in Pressbooks, there is an option to set the license type for that page which will override, for this page only, the overarching license chosen for the book on the Book Info page.”

If I am using another CC-licensed work, who do I put as the author? The original author or myself?

It depends. How much has the book been changed from its original version? If minimal surface changes were made, it’s recommended to retain the original author as the author. If more work went into putting the book into Pressbooks from another format, including creating a custom cover image with plans for additional tailoring, it makes sense to list the adapter as the author. This is where the attribution statement saves us: because you are linking out to the original book, users will be able to see the original.

The copyright year and the copyright holder for the source book were added automatically by Pressbooks when I created my book. Is that supposed to stay there?

It depends. How much work has gone into the book? In the case of Janet Vote, we listed her and Izzy, her student, as the authors because they moved the content into Pressbooks and plan to make additional changes to the content by adding in chapters on national parks not represented in the original text. In the case of Ryan McPherson, he only made surface changes to the book, so we retained the original author and explained in the Book Info section in Pressbooks. The book that the Writing Core Program is working on would also be a case where the instructors can list themselves as authors because they are pulling from many different sources, making changes, and even authoring portions of the book. In the case of the year, I would say to update the year to the date the book goes live.

Do I need to keep track of changes I make throughout the book?

According to the Creative Commons FAQ, you must indicate if you have modified the work in your attribution statement. It is a good idea to keep track of changes that were made to the original text through track changes. It is not necessary to note trivial alterations, such as correcting a typo or changing a font size. Finally, you must retain an indication of previous modifications to the work..


Is the license in Pressbooks the same as the attribution statement?

No. Use the Book Source field for the attribution statement at the book level and the footnotes for attribution at the chapter level. Use the copyright to select your license and to provide your copyright statement: how you wish others to attribute your work if used. Identify the Title (linked), Author (linked if the author has an author page), Source (This is the URL for the work and is linked from the Title), and License (Linked to Creative Commons license).


Do I need to specify which version of the license I am using?

No. When you are creating your copyright statement manually you do not need to list the license version. But you don’t have to state which version of the license it is if you are creating a manual attribution. You just have to link to the license. The link will provide the level of license for the user if they need it.Pressbooks will provide the license version once you select the license, however.

How do I generate a machine-readable license and copy the code into Pressbooks?


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

OER Toolkit Copyright © 2023 by DeeAnn Ivie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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