Publishing your own material | The PIL Unit

Publishing your own material

Here are some things to consider before you publish your material – and a few tips on platforms for publishing.

If you have decided that you want to share the material you have created, you need to make certain considerations before publishing. You need to ensure that you have the right to share the material, and then you need to choose which license you want to use. Then you need to choose which platform you want to share your material on.

Before publishing your work, it is important to ensure that you have the right to do so. For example, there may be other agreements that regulate what you can and can't do. A common example: when you have published a scientific article in a journal, there is often an agreement that regulates whether you are allowed to publish elsewhere or not.

However, when it comes to educational material, the main question is usually if other people are involved or if you have used content by another creator. If that is the case, you need to ensure that you have the right to publish the material. When other people are involved, it is always a good idea to write a specific agreement on this.

If you have used someone else's material, you need to be aware that the Bonus Copyright Access agreement does not apply when you publish on public platforms or in non-teaching situations, which means that you cannot use material in the same way you do in teaching situations. One solution to this is to use material with a Creative Commons license. Read more about where to find such material here:

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Choosing a Creative Commons license

When you are about to distribute your material, it is important to choose a license based on how you want the material to be used. If you have used material licensed under a Creative Commons license, you may need to select the same license.

It is also necessary to make sure that you don't use materials with licenses that "crashes” into each other. For example, you cannot use images with the BY-SA and BY-SA-NC license in the same presentation, because each of the two licenses requires that you share your own material under the same license. It is usually difficult to combine material with the SA license (share equally) with other material.

More information about the various licenses can be found at the Creative Commons website, which also contains a guide on how to choose a license for your work. Remember to clearly specify which license you have chosen, both at the publishing platform and inside your material.

Read more at the Creative Commons website

Platforms for publishing

After choosing a license (see above), you need to choose a platform to share your work on. When choosing a platform, you should consider how accessible you want your work to be.

Although the basic principle of open educational resources is to make the material openly accessible, a first step may be to publish on a platform with some limitations, such as Canvas Commons.

Here are three major platforms for sharing material:

Canvas Commons

Canvas Commons is a feature in the Canvas learning management system where you can share materials to other Canvas users. This can be regarded as a semi-open platform as the material is not fully accessible, but for those who feel some uncertainty about sharing material, this can be a good first step. However, you need to be aware that marking material with a Creative Commons license still opens for distribution outside the platform as the license allows.

A great advantage of Canvas Commons is that it is very easy to share material, since the platform is fully integrated in Canvas and you can choose to share everything from individual material such as pages to entire courses. You can find Canvas Commons in the left menu when you log in to Canvas.

Read more about Canvas Commons at the Canvas website

OER Commons

OER Commons is a platform solely for open educational resources. Publishing material here is free of charge, but you need to create an account to do so. The platform also offers opportunities to build material using tools on the site.

Read more about OER Commons


YouTube is the world's largest video sharing platform and is used by individuals as well as companies, universities and schools. Publishing material on YouTube is free of charge. If you choose to publish your material here, please note that you have to mark it with a Creative Commons license so that others can use your material, for example display it in teaching situations.