How to Adapt an Open Textbook
11 Attribution Statements
All Creative Commons licences contain an attribution (BY) clause. This means that you must include a statement that gives credit to, or attributes, the creator of the work from which you have borrowed, whether it’s text, an image, a video, or other item. If you have made a change, indicate that in your attribution statement.
As far as how and where to place attribution statements for text or media taken from another source or sources, best practices state that you should place them at the bottom of each chapter for which borrowed text or media have been used. Clearly mark all of these with a heading called: “Attributions.” Several attribution statements can be listed under this heading.
Attribution Statement examples for text
Example of an attribution statement for adapted text (changes made to borrowed text)
This chapter is an adaptation of Physical Geography and Natural Disasters by R. Adam Dastrup and is used under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 licence. Changes include rewriting some of the passages and adding original material.
- The statement is clear, simple, and contains all elements required for a complete attribution: title of the work used, author, and licence type. A link is provided to the original work and the licence type.
- 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.
- If the book is to be CC BY licensed, then you will need to address the conditions dictated by the licence for each resource you are using in your adaptation. At the bottom of the Chapter page in Pressbooks, there is an option to set the licence type for that page which will override, for this page only, the overarching licence chosen for the book on the Book Info page.
- 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.
Example of an attribution statement for borrowed text (no changes made)
This chapter is composed 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.
Attribution Statement examples for images
Example of an attribution statement for an adapted image
Dog by David Locke is used under a CC BY 2.0 licence. Modifications to this photo include cropping.
- The statement is clear, simple and contains all elements required for a complete attribution: title of the image, photographer, and licence type, as well as a note of the changes made. A link is provided to the original work, the home page of the photographer (if available), and the licence type.
Example of an attribution statement for a borrowed image (no changes made)
Dog by David Locke is used under a CC BY 2.0 licence.
When copyright is not owned by the author
An attribution statement should give credit to the author of a work. However, there are situations when an author does now own the copyright to the work they have created. One exception to copyright ownership involves employment. In these and other cases where authorship and copyright are different, the attribution statement should include a copyright statement.
Example of an attribution statement for adapted text where copyright is not owned by the author
This chapter is an adaptation of Clinical Procedures for Safer Patient Care by Glynda Rees Doyle and Jodie Anita McCutcheon, © 2015 British Columbia Institute of Technology, and is used under a CC BY 4.0 licence.
and Citation vs. Attribution in the Self-Publishing Guide.