Skip to Main Content

Open Educational Resources (OER) by Subject

Citing OER

In the OER world, citations are known as attributions.  They help to maintain the history of an item including who originally developed it and when, and also exactly how the resource can be shared or customized based on the provisions of the Creative Commons (CC) license. Attributions are an essential part of creating and using OER resources. 

When creating attributions, a good rule of thumb is to use the acronym TASL, which stands for Title, Author, Source, License.

  • Title - What is the name of the material?

If a title was provided for the material, include it. Sometimes a title is not provided; in that case, don't worry about it.

  • Author - Who owns the material?

Name the author or authors of the material in question. Sometimes, the licensor may want you to give credit to some other entity, like a company or pseudonym. In rare cases, the licensor may not want to be attributed at all. In all of these cases, just do what they request.

  • Source - Where can I find it?

Provide the source of the material, this is usually a URL or  hyperlink where the material resides.

  • License - How can I use it?

You are using the material for free thanks to the CC license, so make note of it. But it is not enough to say that the material is published under CC license. There are six different CC licenses specifying how the material may be used. Name and provide a link to it, eg. CC BY

The CC license allows for educational use as long as content is properly cited. Check out Best Practices for Attribution Creative Commons Wiki on how to create your own attribution statement for items using Creative Commons licenses.

Creating attributions

Resources for Creating Attributions

For details tips on creating attributions for OpenStax Textbooks and Images please go to Citing Textbooks and Images.

Open Attribution Builder A user-friendly form created by Open Washington to help you build consistent and concise attributions for citing open material you find and use, or to attribute yourself when you create something and want to share. This builder is also embedded in Canvas! It includes both CC licenses and public domain designations.


Basic form for the Open Attribution Builder

Additional Resources for Creating Attributions