Creative Commons licences are a straightforward way of making your work available for others to utilise,. There are six licences with different conditions attached. The most permissive licence, CC BY, allows anybody to copy and use your work, including for commercial purposes, so long as they credit you as the owner. The most restrictive licence is CC BY-NC-ND, which only allows others to download and share your work, so long as they credit you.
Copyright is a crucial factor when it comes to making your work open access. Uploading your work to a repository is an act of copying. If you haven’t retained the copyright in the work, for example when you signed a publishing agreement, then you will need permission to do this. Permission can be in the form of written agreement from the copyright owner, or a licence which allows you to make that work available.
In ILS we encourage all researchers to retain the copyright in their work whenever possible to do so – do not be afraid to negotiate your publishing terms!
If you don’t own the copyright to your work and you would like to make it available under licence, then again you will require permission to do this.