4.3 Identifying OER content on other sites to reuse
There is so much openly licensed content on the internet, covering most subject areas on a vast array of websites that the choice may be bewildering. Using a search tool to narrow down the choice to material which has been licensed for reuse can help save time re-creating something required in the course. Some sites or search tools offer a search which looks across several sites for material, such as. OpenLearn and OpenLearn Create use a Google custom search to help you find material which is published on each site, in future OpenLearn Create will also offer a Google custom search similar to that on the Opening Educational Practices in Scotland hub, a website about open educational practice, which searches other sites for reusable material.
Some search engines, for example Google, provide tools to help you narrow down the results to only public domain or creative commons licensed materials, rather than ‘all rights reserved’ (which would require permission to use and possibly a fee). In the Google search you select ‘search tools’ and ‘usage rights’ then select the appropriate licence option from the list to narrow your search to materials you can reuse.
Some repository sites collect licence information from users when material is uploaded. This metadata is used to inform the filter on the search. For example, on Flickr (the photographic repository), information appears the dropdown filter about what the licence allows you to do, for example ‘modifications allowed’ or ‘no known copyright restrictions’, rather than using the licence name. This helps you select an option quickly. Once an image is selected, the licence information (for example ‘some rights reserved’) is displayed with the other metadata about the image and the site links to the licence type and legal description.