Tips and Tutorials

How to implement the 5Rs, address technical barriers through video or step-by-step instructions

Copyright Info

Use this website to find material that you can freely use, share or modify beyond what the Fair Use Doctrine (and other exceptions) usually allows.

“Open Educational Resources” refers to works that are either out-of-copyright and in the public domain or are licensed for use with a Creative Commons license.

Just a refresher about how copyright works…Copyright law gives authors/creators the exclusive right to do (and to authorize others to do) the following:

  • To reproduce the work
  • To prepare derivative works
  • To distribute copies of the work
  • To perform the work publicly
  • To display the work publicly

If your use of someone else’s work falls into these categories, you can rely on certain exceptions (such as Fair Use), but if the exceptions don’t apply, you usually need to get permission. There are works–especially on the web–that are either out-of-copyright (i.e. in the public domain and don’t require permission) or are already licensed for re-use.
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How to Search an Open Text Site

How to Search the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), an open text site

  • Provides an index of quality open access journals
  • Also indexes open access articles
  • Go to


Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

  1. Go to This site provides an index of quality open access journals. It also indexes open access articles. The site’s book icon represents a journal and the paper icon represents an article.
  2. On the main DOAJ page, enter the journal title of interest. Uncheck ‘article’ if you would prefer to not also search for articles.
  3. To browse journals by subject, select ‘Advanced’
  4. Click on Journal vs. Articles and select ‘Journals.’ The search filter will appear in the top portion of the page to indicate that it is active. You can remove the filter by clicking on the ‘x.’
  5. Click on Subject. Ten (very broad) subject fields are provided. You can show more by click on the number ‘10’ and inputting how many subjects you’d like to see. Select a subject and the search filter will appear in the top portion of the page to indicate that it is active. (This will also show sub-topics within the broader subject.) You can remove the filter by clicking on the ‘x.’
  6. Other filter options are available from the left-side menu such as Language, Publication Charges, and Journal License.
  7. Basic information about the journal is included on the browse page.

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How to Find Open Images
There are a couple of ways to find Creative Commons Licensed images online. These images could be used to enhance OER material. There are a few different ways to locate openly licensed images.

  1. Go to Google Images (
  2. Run a search. The images found here will be a mix of protected images and open images.
    un screened image search
  3. Click “Search Tools.” From the newly available options click “Usage Rights.”
    ilead search tools selected copy
  4. Select the level of restriction you would like (“Labeled for reuse with modification” is the most open). This will limit your search down to images that are available for reuse for either commercial or noncommercial purposes as well as modification.
    ilead usage rights open copy
  5. Select an image
  6. Click “View page”
  7. Double check the license. On Wikimedia commons this will be under the image and under the Summary. If it requires Attribution, be sure to use the “Author” as supplied in the “Summary box.”
    attribution instructions copy
  8. On non-wikimedia items the license will be displayed. Look for the Creative Commons icons or language. If you can’t find the license it is likely that it is a copyrighted image that is unsafe to use without permission. This example image is from Flickr, but was placed in the public domain and is safe to use.
    flikr public domain copy

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How to Find an Open Image using the Creative Commons Search
Creative Commons Search:
You can use the Creative Commons Website to locate items that are under a Creative Commons License

  1. Go to
  2. Click Licenses
  3. From the drop down select “Find Licensed Content”cc drop down ilead copy
  4. From here you have a few different options. If you are interested in images you can select to search Flickr, Google Images, Open Clip Art Library, Pixabay, or Wikimedia Commons. When you search in these locations without going to Creative Commons first there may be fully protected images and items available. Searching here helps filter results to be only open items.
  5. You also have two check boxes under the search bar to limit how open the source needs to be to fit your needs. Both boxes checked will grant you the most open results.
    cc search specifics ilead
  6. Type your search
  7. Run your search
  8. Select an image
  9. Double check the licensing information on use and availability.
    smaller results double check copy

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