Answered By: Victoria Peters
Last Updated: Nov 30, 2022     Views: 5

Google is a familiar resource for many of us, and it is also useful for finding openly licensed content. The Advanced Search feature in Google allows you to filter results by Usage rights. Filtering by usage rights will limit your results to works with certain licenses listed on the webpage, usually Creative Commons licenses. There are a few options to choose from in the Usage Rights list, but we recommend starting with “free to use or share” to retrieve the broadest set of results.[1]

Screenshot of Google Advanced Search interface with "usage rights" highlighted.

Google Advanced Search interface screenshot


Remember when using this method that Google trusts what users tell it about an item’s copyright status. Although a resource may be labeled CC BY or even CC 0, you should trust your instincts if you aren’t sure whether the item you are reviewing is actually under copyright. Contact a librarian or a university lawyer if you have questions.

  1. Adding "OER" to your search terms can help you locate materials created for sharing if your Google search is retrieving too many results.