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Incorporating resources in Monash Short Courses: Open-access resources

A guide for academic staff.

Using open-access resources

There are many open-access resources available for education. These give you more flexibility in reusing course content and simplify copyright and permissions issues. To search for open-access resources appropriate for your course, see:

  • The Open Access Button will search across the web for a freely accessible full-text version of an article and
  • Unpaywall is a browser extension for Firefox and Chrome, which adds a green tab beside research articles that you can read for free.
  • DOAJ is a community-curated online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals.
  • For a list of Open Access Journals with an Australian publisher view here 
  • The OAPEN Library is a central repository for hosting and disseminating OA books, and the Directory of Open Access Books is a discovery service for OA books. 
  • OpenDOAR is an authoritative directory of academic open access repositories. 

Links to copyright free or free for education material are also available through the Copyright free and creative commons guide.

Contact your subject librarian for more information on Open Access resources appropriate for your subject area.

Using Creative Commons materials

Creative Commons (CC) licensed material can be a useful source of images, music or text for your MOOC.

You can find this by searching online under 'Creative Commons' or checking whether there is a link or Creative Commons licence button on the material you want to use.

There are six main licence types :

Creative Commons licence types

You cannot use material that is marked as 'non-commercial use' or CC-BY-NC in MOOCs because MOOCs do have a commercial component.

All Creative Commons licences require attribution. Best practice attribution is:

"Name of material" by name of creator is licensed under CC BY 4.0 (or which licence chosen).

If you have any questions about using Creative Commons material please contact the copyright adviser .

Searching for creative commons material

For tips on searching see where to find Creative Commons licensed material and searching for Creative Commons material .

To search Creative Commons own image search (over 9 million images) see Creative Commons search .

You can modify the Google and other search engines to look for creative commons material only. If you go to advanced search (https://www.google.com.au/advanced_search) you can set a filter for reuse. Go to the bottom of the page to 'usage rights' and change it to the type of use you want. For example ''Free to use, share or modify" would be appropriate if you are changing the work, 'free to use, even commercially' would be appropriate if you want to use the material for promotion or short courses.

You can limit a Google image search to Creative Commons images only by selecting "Tools" then "Usage Rights" and choosing one of four options:

  • 'Labeled for reuse', 'Labeled for reuse with modification', 'Labeled for non-commercial reuse' and 'Labeled for non-commercial reuse with modification' 
  • 'Non-commercial reuse' would apply to classes at Monash and 'with modification' if you plan on altering the image.

Screenshot of Google image search results page with usage rights filter drop-down open