Optical properties and electronic transitions of four oxides, namely zinc oxide, ferric oxide, cerium oxide, and samarium oxide, are determined in the ultraviolet and extreme ultraviolet by reflection electron energy loss spectroscopy using primary electron energies in the range 0.3-2.0 keV. This technique allows the evaluation of the optical response in these ultraviolet spectral regions of a thin layer of material, and the analysis is straightforward. It is performed within the dielectric response theory by means of the QUEELS-ε(k, ω)-REELS software developed by Tougaard and Yubero [Surf. Interface Anal.36, 824 (2004)SIANDQ0142-242110.1002/(ISSN)1096-9918]. The method consists basically in the fitting of experimentally determined single-scattering electron energy loss cross sections with a parametric energy loss function of the corresponding material, to the one calculated within a dielectric response formalism. The obtained refractive index and extinction coefficients, as well as the identified electronic transitions are compared, when available, with previously published results.