Official Publications

Official publications cover a wide range of materials produced by regional, national, and international governmental bodies.

UK Crown Copyright

Materials produced by officers and servants of the Crown and government departments and agencies are protected by Crown Copyright. This includes legislation, government reports, Ordnance Survey mapping, official press releases, government forms and codes of practice and other public records.

Crown copyright for published works lasts for 50 years from the end of the year in which it was first published. Unpublished works are generally protected for 125 years from the year of creation.

Her Majesty's Stationary Office (HMSO), at The National Archives, administers Crown copyright. They are responsible for licensing a wide range of Crown copyright materials through the Open Government Licence.  

Open Government Licence

Many Crown copyright materials can be copied and reused under the Open Government Licence (OGL). See the Open Government Licence for full terms of use. You must always acknowledge the source and where possible provide a link to the licence.

The National Archives website provides further information on Crown Copyright and a guide for users of the Open Licence.

UK Parliamentary Papers

Publications created under the direction of the Houses of Parliament are protected by Parliamentary copyright.

This includes materials like:

  • Hansard - the debates of the Houses of Commons and House of Lords
  • Parliamentary Bills and Parliamentary Papers - such as Command Papers, Select Committee Reports etc.
  • Weekly Information Bulletin, the Commons Public Bill List and SI list. 

Open Parliament Licence

Parliament encourages the reuse of materials through their Open Parliament Licence, which is similar to the Open Government Licence. It applies to material made available in hard copy or electronically. It also applies to material owned by the Houses of Parliament, and published before 1 August 1989, in which Crown copyright subsists.

Please see the Open Parliament Licence for full terms of use. You must always acknowledge the source and where possible provide a link to the licence.

The UK Parliament website provides further information about Parliamentary Copyright including details of what the Open Parliament Licence does not cover.

Non-UK Official Publications

For material published by other governments or international organisations you should check the copyright statement or websites of the relevant source for guidance on reproducing copyright materials. 

Some governmental bodies waive copyright or provide open licences similar to the UK Government, but this approach cannot be taken for granted. 


University of Nottingham Libraries

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Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

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