CommonLit's original reading materials and resources (including articles and questions) are shared under a Creative Commons license called CC BY-NC-SA 4.0. This means that you can freely use, share, remix, and repurpose CommonLit materials as long as the following conditions are met:
- Attribution – You must cite CommonLit as the original source of the materials, indicate if you’ve made changes, and keep the CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license on the resources.
- NonCommercial – You cannot use the materials for any commercial purposes.
- ShareAlike – If you change, remix, or repurpose the resources, the resulting materials must also be shared under the same CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license.
Is all of the CommonLit library licensed under a Creative Commons license?
No. The CommonLit Library includes some texts that are not openly licensed. For any content that is licensed to CommonLit from third-party copyright holders, we ask that you respect the restrictions in the permissions line at the bottom of the text. For these materials, you must ask permission from the original copyright holder to change or share the text anywhere other than the CommonLit website. Unfortunately, this restriction applies to saving or reposting PDF copies of our third-party licensed content on internal school websites and databases.
What can I do with CommonLit assessment questions?
We often get asked about reusing CommonLit assessment questions in tests and exams. Educators are permitted to reuse CommonLit questions, provided they respect the CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 guidelines outlined above. However, be mindful of questions that pair with a third-party licensed text that CommonLit does not own. To ensure test security, we also do not allow uploading of our assessments to third-party assessment systems (for example, Quizlet).
Can I use CommonLit with an LMS or LOR?
Linking from a Learning Management System (LMS) or your school’s internal file system to CommonLit is permitted. CommonLit's LMS integrations enable this link sharing.
We do not allow aggregation of our lesson materials or metadata in a Learning Object Repository (LOR).
However, PDF copies of lessons using any public domain or Creative Commons-licensed reading passages may be uploaded to school file-sharing systems. Whenever possible, we encourage you to link to CommonLit to ensure that your students are using the most up-to-date version of our lesson materials.
If you are unsure if your school file-sharing system is considered a learning object repository, please reach out to us.
How should I cite back to CommonLit?
We welcome teachers editing or creating derivatives of our lessons. However, if you share out CommonLit lessons or derivatives outside of our platform or automatically generated PDFs, please be sure to cite back to CommonLit.
When citing CommonLit, we ask that you share the title, author, source, and license of the original work.
Here is an example of how you might cite the CommonLit Reading Lesson for The Danger of a Single Story, with and without edits:
With edits: CommonLit Reading Lesson: [CommonLit text title hyperlinked to text URL on CommonLit]. CommonLit. CC BY-NC-SA 4.0. [Add a description of how materials were changed in the derivative and hyperlink to the derivative if necessary] by: [Name of Author who derived the work].