Finding the right learning materials to include in your course is critical for achieving your learning objectives. But it’s also important to be aware of how copyright might impact or limit your choices. Seeking Creative Commons (CC) licensed content, such as articles, books, images, or video, can eliminate uncertainty of whether you can include or adapt the work for your course, and reduce costs for your students as well. 


This video will give you a brief overview of Creative Commons Licenses:

Strategies for Finding Open Content

Since CC licenses follow a standard format, they are indexed by search engines such as Google or Bing, and can be used to limit your results when searching. 

For example, you can limit the results of your Google Image search by Creative Commons licenses:

Creative Commons licenses image search

Additionally, there are several specialized search portals or databases you can go to in order to find CC licensed materials. Here are a few examples:


Since all CC licenses require attribution, using a tool such as the Open Attribution Builder can help you create a consistent citation that you can copy and paste into your course.

Additional Resources

As the amount of CC licensed content grows, there is an increasing wealth of resources available. For more ideas and places to look, go to:

Copyright and Finding Open Content

Open Access Resources

Open Educational Resources 

Explore publicly accessible materials

And remember to Ask a Librarian if you need help!

Anali Maughan Perry is the Head of Learning Services and Scholarly Communication Librarian at ASU Library. She specializes in scholarly publishing and copyright, with particular emphasis on fair use, open access to scholarly information, and open education.