A search tool for open access content

Creative Commons

Creative Commons (CC) has launched CC Search in Beta, a tool searching open access content.

Many of us use images or photos to illustrate reports and presentations. If you do not wish to purchase these images, it is necessary to find documents in open access and check their conditions of use: it is not enough to simply download them from the internet. 

Each Creative Commons licence is issued in three forms: pictograms readable by people, a formalised contract for lawyers and a small piece of html code inserted into web pages that publish the work. 

The latter technical layer is readable by machine. This is what allows search engines to detect CC work and notify users of it. This may be, for example, through Google Images searches on photos filtered according to the type of licences used. 

Creative Commons announced in February the launch of the Beta version of a new search engine, CC Search, allowing internet browsers to search for CC works filtered on "machine readable" licences. 

The new engine is said to be more intuitive and more powerful than its predecessors. The filters make it possible to limit the search according to the type of licence, author, key-words, title or select a collection (Europeana, Wikimedia Commons, Flickr…). 

At the time of its launch, it had "only" indexed 1% of the documents under CC licence, which still represented 10 million images!