Finding open material

Tips to find open teaching materials such as images, videos, textbooks, articles, and courses.

Open Educational Resources are any material provided with an open license. These materials can vary from images to complete courses. To find them, you’ll need to search several sites.

Teaching material from and for WUR staff

The Library for Learning is a platform especially designed for Wageningen University teachers to find and share content. The portal already includes hundreds of teaching materials such as videos (knowledge clips (WUR-TV), practicumclips, videos from MOOCs), Master theses, e-modules, audioclips and infographics.

Images and videos

Several sites offer open images and/or videos.

The most well-known sites for images are Google Images, where you can search for open licensed material in the advanced search, and Flickr, where you can filter by licenses. Other interesting sites include Freerange Stock, Unsplash and StockSnap. Most of these sites can be freely accessed. But, some sites require that you register before using them.

- We recommend that you do not use pictures in which people are recognizable to avoid issues with privacy and portrait rights.
- Most platforms offering free-to-use images do not check if the images are indeed free-to-use. We advise you to do a quick check with Google reverse image search to ensure that the image is free-to-use.

Wageningen University and Research has two image collections you can use for your publications and course materials:

You can search for videos on YouTube or on Vimeo. To find open licensed videos, filter the search results by CC license. On YouTube you can also find open licensed material by adding creativecommons after your search terms.

The Wikimedia Commons Database is a wiki where you can find images, videos and music.

Search Creative Commons is a portal that provides access to search engines for images. The portal is set to search for CC licensed materials in the selected sources.

Scientific articles

If you use scientific articles in your 'off-campus' courses, your students may not be able to access subscription-based scientific publications. Open Access and Free Access articles provide a legal way to use peer-reviewed papers in your teaching materials and courses. Free Access articles are made freely available by the publisher after one or two years. If you create a hyperlink to the paper in your education material, you may legally use these papers. Open Access articles are freely available from the start. Most of them have a Creative Commons license. Read more on the use of Free and Open Access articles and how to find Open Access versions of a publication in the blog Use of peer reviewed articles in a MOOC.


Open textbooks are study books published with an open license to reuse, revise and remix. They are available online free of charge. These books often have a print or e-book version available at a low price. Search for Open Textbooks on the following sites:

Background information on the use of Open Textbooks in the Netherlands is given in Thema-uitgave open en online onderwijs: Open Textbooks 2016, published by SURF (PDF, in Dutch).


Open courses are a mix of open teaching materials. Complete online open courses you can find at the following sites:

Find more information in the leaflet How to use open education resources in my course (TU Delft Library) and the website OPEN.