I just completed a research project in computer science for a college professor and I wanted to upload it to github so that people can use it and possibly benefit from it for free. What do I have to write at the top of my code so that no one can steal it and claim that they created it?

I am not sure how licensing works or if I need to license my code?

  • 3
    This might help choosing licenses: opensource.org/licenses However, you need to get permission from both the university and the professor. It is worth emphasizing that getting permission from the university is the most important of all, if the research project is made possible with any kind of university resource and funding (which means, it is nearly 100% applicable to your situation). This is not legal advice. Posts seeking legal aid are off-topic on this site.
    – rwong
    Commented Mar 10, 2018 at 17:33
  • Note that a claim of authorship probably falls under moral rights, which is sometimes treated differently than copyright. In some localities, moral rights are inherent and cannot be licensed to someone else, whereas copyrights can. IANAL YMMV.
    – Erik Eidt
    Commented Mar 10, 2018 at 20:27
  • 1
    You may want to try this on legal.se Licensing is a complicated topic, copyright more so.
    – coteyr
    Commented Mar 11, 2018 at 3:48
  • Both the title and the tags mention "copyright", but the question itself seems to be about licensing. Which is it? Commented Nov 30, 2023 at 0:24

1 Answer 1


You don't need to write anything. When creating a github project, github lets you select the type of license from a drop-down listbox. It will then display that license type on your project's page, for all to see.

And if you are not sure what license to choose, it points you to https://choosealicense.com/ which explains everything and helps you make your choice.

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