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Behind the scenes: creative commons publishing

Some 20,000 sites republish TC content under creative commons licence. CC BY-ND

We believe in the free flow of information and proudly publish under creative commons. That means that anyone, anywhere in the world, can republish our articles and infographics either online, or in print. And it’s free.

Why? We want our authors to have the largest possible audience to disseminate their knowledge. And we want media to publish content that’s trusted and of high ethical standards. By allowing open source republication of our content, we speak to the heart of our mission to improve the access to quality information in the public domain.

To date, some 20,000 sites have republished our articles. This republication network delivers us a massive readership of 35 million each and every month, and that’s on top of the 3.7 million readers (users / unique visitors, for those techie-inclined) who read our content directly on theconversation.com .

Our authors love being picked up and republished by other media outlets. So too do their universities. We share republication information with authors on their author dashboard, which also includes metrics such as social media shares, geographic reach etc. (More to follow on dashboards in an upcoming blog post). Authors tell us watching their dashboards is addictive, and yes, it can be for us too.

Behind the scenes, we work hard to distribute content via our growing republication network. A team of audience-development managers in each TC edition establish relationships with media to notify them we publish under creative commons and to encourage them to republish our content.

For example, here in Australia, we’ve recently started working more closely on republication with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). Senior ABC journalist Adam Connors is embedded in our newsroom, and works with the team to pick up ideas and content and feed them through the ABC. We were thrilled to recently report 1 million+ reads on the ABC to content originally published on TC. It’s win-win for all: authors get an audience on the ABC, it gives the ABC a trusted source of (free) content, and ultimately it gives you, the public, a greater volume of evidence-based information from diverse range of voices.

In the past 7 days, here are some of the sites who have republished our content: the ABC, The Guardian, Fairfax, The Independent, CNN, Washinton Post, IFL Science, Time, Scientific American, Scroll, Quartz, Mashable, Salon, The Daily Mail, Mail + Guardian (South Africa), Times Live (Zambia) and, well, quite a few hundred more.

Every article page carries a “republish” button, and you can read more about our republication guidelines here, or our approach to working with media here.

We’re proud to be part of the open access movement, doing our bit for scholarly dissemination, and putting quality information into the public debate. In doing so, we hope this builds a better public conversation.

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