WHO supports open access to the published output of its activities as a fundamental part of its mission and a public benefit to be encouraged wherever possible.
WHO’s open access applies to:
While most of the content in WHO publications is owned by WHO, there may be materials that are credited to another published source. Permission will normally be required from the originating publisher to reproduce such materials. Please refer to the copyright notice in the publication concerned for complete information.
Permission from WHO is not required for the use of WHO materials issued under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Intergovernmental Organization (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO) licence.
It is important to note that:
• WHO publications cannot be used to promote or endorse products, services or any specific organization.
• WHO logo cannot be used without written authorization from WHO.
• WHO provides no warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. In no event shall WHO be liable for damages arising from the use of WHO publications.
The CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO licence allows users to freely copy, reproduce, reprint, distribute, translate and adapt the work for non-commercial purposes, provided WHO is acknowledged as the source using the following suggested citation:
[Title]. [Place of publication]: World Health Organization; [Year]. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
The use of WHO materials that are not available under the CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO licence is subject to permission being granted by WHO. Some of the uses of such materials are:
• reproduction and translation of figures, tables, maps, photos, etc.
• reprint and translation of complete works.
• licensing of materials or other technical information in electronic database products and services.
To request permission to use such materials, please complete the following permissions form.
If you create an adaptation or a translation of a WHO publication available under the CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO licence, the following disclaimer should be included, as applicable:
For translations: “This translation was not created by the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO is not responsible for the content or accuracy of this translation. The original English edition “[Title]. Geneva: World Health Organization; [Year]. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO” shall be the binding and authentic edition”.
For adaptations: “This is an adaptation of an original work “[Title]. Geneva: World Health Organization (WHO); [Year]. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO”. This adaptation was not created by WHO. WHO is not responsible for the content or accuracy of this adaptation. The original edition shall be the binding and authentic edition”.
The adaptation or translation must be licensed under the same or similar licence terms. Note that the CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO licence can only be used by organizations established by a treaty or other instrument governed by international law and possessing its own international legal personality, and that are not subject to national laws, such as United Nations agencies, Intergovernmental organizations and International Organizations.
Similar licences that could be used are the CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 licence or the CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 licence.
Permission is required for commercial uses and licensing of WHO materials, such as using the material in the context of a commercial activity. Requests can be made by completing the following permissions form.
• ICD-10: International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th Revision
• ICD-O: International Classification of Diseases for Oncology
• ICF: International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health
• ICF-CY: International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health for Children and Youth
WHO encourages the development of software tools and applications using WHO classifications for use by the wider medical community and researchers, as long as those products provide a range of functions, including search and retrieval of classification terms.
WHO is able to issue commercial and non-commercial licences to companies and organizations wishing to incorporate and distribute WHO classifications in their software products e.g sale to customers in certain countries, or to incorporate WHO classifications into their internal information systems for use by employees for use for administrative purposes eg. health records management, or for academic and research purposes.
Companies and organizations wishing to obtain a licence are asked to complete the following application form so that the proposed use of the classifications is evaluated and eventually a licence proposed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Links to the WHO web site
Licensing request form for WHO Classifications
For companies and organizations wishing to obtain a licence
Permissions request form
For requesting permission to reproduce, reprint or translate WHO copyrighted material