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I'm writing a paper where I use some data that's available under a creative commons licence (CC-BY). I'm not only citing a finding, but I'm plotting this data, doing analysis with it and thus adapting and sharing it. Obviously, this means that I have to give credit to the source, which is standard practice in academic writing anyways. e.g.

As shown in Fig. 1, comparing our observations with
daily sunshine duration \citep{meteodata2022}, it is
shown that...

with

@Misc{meteodata2022,
  author   = {{Meteo Service}},
  title    = {Meteo Data},
  year     = {2022},
  url      = {https://data.meteoservice.tld/records/sun},
} 

However, creative commons stipulates that I must not only attribute the source, but also give the licence. The website even says that I must "provide a link to the license", which is the point I'm struggling with. Looking at the first official seeming guide I found it appears that it must not neccesarily be a hyperlink, when working with print, so it seems like something like CC-BY or the badge or symbol for the licence ought to be enough.

But how to I add this information to my bibtex entry and how do I make it show up in my references? Is there a standard way for it, or would I need to explain this to the copy editor at the last stage?

Of course I could do something like

As shown in Fig. 1, comparing our observations with
daily sunshine duration \citep[data under Creative 
Commons Attribution licence]{meteodata2022}, it is 
shown that...

But that clutters up the text and thus seems off.

4
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    I never ever saw work licenses in the references. A simple cite does not violate even the most strict copyright, otherwise about 100% of scientific journal they would be outside the law! The reference itself already meets the "by" and it is a link to the source and usuallly the license stated in the article. Said that, I guess that there no any problem to supply in some field an \href where the text argument is \ccby, \ccbysa, etc. (need the package ccicons`).
    – Fran
    Jun 14, 2022 at 8:09
  • I'm not citing a (CC licenced) paper, I'm using CC licenced data, using it, e.g. for plots and analysis. So it's more than just a citation.
    – JC_CL
    Jun 14, 2022 at 9:27
  • 1
    In this case I would add the license when the origin of the data is declared in text and/or in captions of plot and tables based in these data. In the references is unexpected and could be easily overlooked.
    – Fran
    Jun 14, 2022 at 10:38
  • I guess it's a matter of what you're used to. For me, any license information at all is unexpected (since, as you already said, that is really uncommon in a scientific journal) in the body of the text, so I'd rather place it in the references, out of sight, yet clearly attributed to the source material.
    – JC_CL
    Jun 15, 2022 at 11:12

1 Answer 1

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The simplest way would be to use the note field of bibliographic entry. It can hold arbitrary data and it's printed automatically in the standard style.

\documentclass{article}

\usepackage{biblatex}

\begin{filecontents}[overwrite]{biblio.bib}
@Misc{meteodata2022,
    author   = {{Meteo Service}},
    title    = {Meteo Data},
    year     = {2022},
    url      = {https://data.meteoservice.tld/records/sun},
    note     = {This work is licensed under the Creative Commons 
                Attribution 4.0 International License. 
                To view a copy of this license, visit
                \url{http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/}.}
}   
\end{filecontents}
\addbibresource{biblio.bib}

\begin{document}
\nocite{meteodata2022}
\printbibliography
\end{document}

enter image description here

If you want to refer to it inside the document (e.g. in a footnote) you can use the \citefield command (\citefield{meteodata2022}{note}).

Note that according to the attributing guide you linked "for offline works it is a good idea to spell out the licence type and any URLs in full." (page 6), so "something like CC-BY or the badge or symbol" is not really enough if you intend to print it.

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  • Thanks, the note field works! However adding the licence url puts it too close to the data url and might confuse a prospective reader. "It is a good idea" doesn't seem mandatory for me, but I can totally see how that makes sense for other setups.
    – JC_CL
    Jun 15, 2022 at 11:10
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    The actual license text says that you must "indicate the Licensed Material is licensed under this Public License, and include the text of, or the URI or hyperlink to, this Public License". I'm not a lawyer but to me it reads as if the URI or full license text is mandatory if the material is to be distributed in printed form.
    – nim
    Jun 15, 2022 at 14:49

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