Finding Open Access Resources

This guide will provide tips and hints on locating quality open access resources.

Before using resources

Before using Open Access resources found using search engines, check the permissions for each item.  It is also advisable to check the Creative Commons definitions of commercial / non commercial. In some cases it may be prudent to only use material licensed as CC BY - the most open Creative Commons license.

If in doubt, contact the author / creator and ask for permission to use their material. A standard letter has been prepared to assist you in requesting permission for use at CQUniversity.  

All permissions need to be lodged with the Course Resources Online (CRO) team for recordkeeping.

Using OAIster

OAIster is a web search of various open access digital repositories using Open Archives Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH). The OAIster database contains over 25 million records representing digital resources from more than 1,100 contributors.

OAIster supports phrase searching, Boolean Operators, wildcards and truncation symbols in the same manner as Library Search and Google.

Using Google

It is possible to limit a search in Google to material with specific usage rights.

After performing the search, click on the cog in the top right corner and select Advanced Search

Google advanced search icon

Scroll down the options to the usage rights section.

Google options

Select the most appropriate usage rights for your purpose. Click Advanced Search.

Using Google Scholar

Resources listed in institutional repositories are discoverable via Google Scholar.

If you have set up your preferences to include resources from CQUniversity Library, you can also access resources available via the Library's various subscriptions.

Add your search terms to the search box below.