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The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the largest scientific instrument ever built, and the highest-energy particle accelerator in the world. It's also an epicenter of scientific collaboration: over 10,000 scientists and engineers from over 80 countries worked together to build the $9 billion vault. Over time, the LHC is expected to answer some of the biggest physics questions ever, making the world easier to understand for everyone. That's where open access comes in: CERN, the European research center that houses the LHC, in partnership with leading publishers, has adopted Creative Commons licenses for the publication of the LHC results. "CC licenses are the perfect tool for us to make this information available," says Dr. Salvatore Mele, Head of Open Access at CERN. "In the future we are going to hear much more about data openness and re-use in this discipline."

CERN is already a big advocate of openness: The scientific community of over 10,000 scientists worldwide working at the LHC, and a total of some 50,000 researchers in the field altogether have been sharing information and collaborating to tackle otherwise irresolvable technical and scientific challenges since its founding in 1953. It also spearheaded SCOAP3, a consortium of research institutes, libraries and funding agencies aiming to convert to open access all journals in high-energy physics, in partnership with leading publishers.. Once the LHC is in full operation, the results derived from it will be available for remix and reuse, bringing us infinitely closer to solving big questions around things like the Higgs boson and Dark Matter. "We see a great match between CC and the high-energy physics community," Mele says. And through the kind of sharing advocated by CC, "we aim to unravel the mysteries of the universe."

CERN's superhero wish

We're a mix of all the superhero teams you can think of, from the Avengers to the X-Men, ordinary people who work together across the world and around the clock for the shared purpose of solving unprecedented scientific and technological challenges.


CERN supports Creative Commons to acknowledge the contribution that its licenses make to accelerating scientific communication and simplifying the way researchers share their work. The Creative Commons Attribution license is an important tool for the publication of CERN’s experimental results.

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