Breadcrumb Links:

Open Access & Creative commons - Resources

Most of the links listed on this page offer resources with a less restrictive copyright licence under open access or creative commons rules.

What are Open Access Resources?

Open access resources are publications that have "free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, [allow search engines to] crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other then those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself". (Budapest Open Access Initiative)

More about the Open Access Initiative on CQUniversity LibGuide Open Access Initiative 2006

What is Creative Commons?

Creative Commons is an international non-profit organisation that provides free licences and tools that copyright owners can use to allow others to share, reuse and remix their material, legally. See Creative Commons Australia for more information.

Although these databases may allow some use of their work to be used for teaching purposes or for research they havespecificterms and conditions that must be followed.

If you publish your work you would need to seek further permission from the copyright owners.

For assistance about any of the terms and conditions of these resources please contact

There is also a Creative Commons Searching tool which you can add to your Mozilla Firefox browser and… always remember to reference accurately what you copy or communicate!

General links relating to 'open' content or flexible licensed content

This page is not an exhaustive list and is subject to alteration as sites change and develop. No guarantees are made about the quality of resources to be found on these external sites. If you know of a useful open-content site please let Copyright Services know so that it may be added to the list.


CQUniversity Library - LibGuides » Open Access Open access providers, eprints and institutional repositories, publishing.

Creative Commons Australia

60Sox - about this site (flexible licensed content including animation, audio, design, film, interactive media, photography, visual art, writing)

Geoscience Data Repository: Canada (refer to terms)

Creative Commons (USA)

Public Library of Science (PLoS)(refer to their terms of use) is a large rouser of scientific papers licensed under Creative Commons licences.

National Library of Medicine USA (refer to their terms of use)

PubMed Central (refer to terms)

iCommons (UK)

Creative Commons (International)

Open Educational Commons

Public domain dayList of work entering the public domain every first of January

Science Commons

GNU software

Open Sources softwares

Free Software Foundation Europe

The Australian Service for Knowledge of Open Source Software (ASK-OSS) provides a national focal point for advice, management, governance, storage and dissemination of Open Source Software (OSS) for research and higher education

Free educational software that is used in some schools. It is for kids from 2 to 10 years old.

Digital Library for Earth System Education (view terms)

Project Gutenberg Australiaand Project Gutenberg. Both provide access to over 100.000 public domain works.

Open textbooks

SOL*R – some B.C.-based projects and resources funded by BCcampus.

Orange Grove Text – Florida's operational repository project of open source educational materials.

The Assayer – largest catalog of open source textbooks and place to find free books about math, science, and computers.

College Open Textbooks – lists open textbooks by subject, many of which have been peer reviewed.

Connexions – Content Commons of free, open-licensed educational materials in fields such as music, electrical engineering and psychology.

Wikibooks – Wikimedia community for creating and sharing educational textbooks.

Merlot- free and open resource designed primarily for higher education.

OER Commons – worldwide learning network of shared teaching and learning materials.

CCCOER – Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources

Free Technology Academy

FLOSS Manuals – free manuals for free software

Free Book Centre – a collection of free books on the web

Global Text – open content electronic textbooks

The Saylor Foundation – a free and open collection of college-level courses.

CK-12 Flexbooks – K-12 open textbooks and resources

Jorum – Open Educational Repository in Support of Computer Science

Flatworldknowledge (US Open access college textbook publisher)

Open Educational Resources (US repository of open access material including textbooks and articles on open access in education)

Smarthistory (Free and open art history textbook)

Community College Open Textbook Collaborative (US community college open textbook site)

K12 Flexbook (US repository of open access textbooks)

Curriki (US repository of open access educational materials, including textbooks)

Open book project (US based IT open access resources)

The Open Access Atlas of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Operative Surgery(CC-BY-NC)

Open courseware or open resources for education

OpenCoursewareSearch (Search engine for open course content. No longer current but contains list of 10 Universities open content)

The OpenCourseWare Consortiumis a collaboration of higher education institutions and associated organizations from around the world creating a broad and deep body of open educational content using a shared model.

MIT Open Courseware

Open Learning Initiative (Carnegie Mellon)

Open Courseware Consortium (Course materials from universities and institutes, mostly US)

Connexions (educational or instructional content by Rice University US)

Learning Space (UK Open University) (refer to terms)

p2pu (open education project, learner driven content)

iUniv (audiovisual open courseware content)

TVET Australia (aka 'AEShareNet' : educational or instructional content)

UNSW: Teaching Resources - Medicine on the Internet (refer to terms of use)

WikiEducator: Exemplary Collection of Open eLearning Content Repositories (collection of links to various open content or flexible content repositories: subject to change as per usual wikipedida practices)

Teaching and educational resources - most of them are cost free. They are categorised by year groups and discipline


Requires fees or special equipment

Links to broadcast content covered by Screenrights licence

  • ABC TV documentaries for download Under the Screenrights licence documentaries from the ABC can be downloaded and used for educational purposes (eg made available in MUSO, on a DVD disk for inclusion in the library or sent directly to students). Just ensure the Part VA Screenrights warning noticeis appropriately displayed! Site offers a choice of MP4 or WMV file type.
  • Podcasts for download from SBS Includes foreign language news broadcasts, some documentaries, some current affairs (Insight) etc.
  • Podcasts from Nine News Audio and video podcast versions of the Nine network news service; direct to iPod or Mp3 player using iTunes or web browser to download - follow the instructions on the page in the above link.
  • BBC podcast directory for BBC radio programs These can be used providing you do not have to agree to any terms and conditions that you will only access material from the UK.



Open Clip Art Library (free content)

Wikimedia Commons

Flickr Commons

Library of Congress, American Memory

New York Public Library Digital Gallery

Prodraw program graphics free for use unless otherwise stated

Monash University Image library(terms of use applicable)

Picture Australia

'How to attribute a Creative Commons photo', Bobbi L. Newman, - Very useful on how to correctly cite from Creative commons

Africa and Asia

In and Out of Focus: Images from Central Africa 1885-1960

Asia Network

Image Database to Enhance Asian Studies (IDEAS)

Japanese Old Photographs of the Bakumatsu-Meiji Period

Kamat's Potpourri

Art history, architecture and photography

Art Images for College Teaching


Asian Historical Architecture

Digital Imaging Project

Google Art Project - Images not cleared for downloading but suitable for viewing in lectures or for directing students to view. NOTE: Requires creation of Google account.

For tours of galleries and artworks on YouTube see

Himalayan Art

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

National Portrait Gallery UK

Smarthistory (Free and open art history textbook, full of images)

Society of Architectural Historians' Image Exchange: World Architectural History

Walters Art Museum

Web Gallery of Art

Yale Centre for Digital Art

Online collections (different licence conditions apply, check each item)

Digital Commons (content free for educational use, remember to cite source)

Astronomy and Physical Sciences


Hubble Site


National Virtual Observatory NVO

Sloan Digital Sky Survey image gallery

Contemporary Laboratory Experiences in Astronomy (CLEA)

Biology and Life Sciences

The Open Access Atlas of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Operative Surgery (CC-BY-NC)


Botany Database

Botanical Society of America Online Image Collection

Flybrain: Online Atlas and Database of the Drosophila Nervous System

Invasive Species

Microbe Library

National Biological Information Infrastructure's Digital Image Library

National Center for Biotechnology Information - only US government information on this site is free for use. For other material check licence conditions.


Analytical Sciences Digital Library

Chem Collective: Online Resources for Teaching and Learning Chemistry

Crystal Lattice Structures


Maecenas: Images of Ancient Greece and Rome

Earth Sciences

American Geological institute: Earth Science World Image Bank

Jet Propulsion Laboratory: Planetary Photojournal

NASA's Visible Earth

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration Image Collections

PASDA Pennsylvania Spatial Data Access: The Pennsylvania Geospatial Data Clearinghouse


Picture Australia

Perry-Castaneda Map Collection at U Texas, Austin


REALIA (Rich Electronic Archive for Language Instruction Anywhere)


Schoenberg Center for Electronic Text and Images (SCETI)


ccMixter (Creative Commons Music, check licence terms)

Wikimedia Commons (some audio files, check individual licence terms)

Free Sound Project (collaborative database of Creative Commons licensed sounds)

Josh Woodward creative commons music (some music also available for purchase)

National Jukebox (US Library of Congress streamed historical recordings, made available for listening only)

Research Resources

World map of Open Access Repositories and Open Access Journals

Library - Open Access Resources

Budapest Open Access Initiatives

AuseAccess is a wiki devoted to open access repositories in the Australasian region

Oak Law Project Open access Knowledge provides an easy way to find, access and reuse public datasets from the Australian Government and state and territory governments. Easy access to other government data catalogues offering open data is provided through their catalogues page.