Publication Title

CBE Life Sciences Education

Document Type


Department or Program

Digital and Computational Studies

Publication Date



Open educational resources, or OER, are teaching materials that reside in the public do-main and are available under an open license. While the creation of high-quality materials and cyberinfrastructure to share these resources is important, OER are much more than static resource repositories. Vibrant OER communities function as collaboration hubs and often include librarians, instructional technologists, instructors, education researchers, funders, open-source software developers, and college administrators. Together, these in-dividuals work as a community to respond to changes in the education landscape, support student learning impacts both in terms of cost savings and student retention, and solve issues related to broadly sharing open resources on the web. This essay provides general information about OER, describes communities developing OER for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education, and presents insights about sustainability chal-lenges. The sustainability challenges are organized according to multiple dimensions: cultural and social, economic and financial, and technological and environmental. In addition, OER provide important opportunities to address and promote social justice and open and accessible education philosophies. Knowing more about the OER landscape, sustainability challenges, and educational justice opportunities can help instructors use and contribute to this growing movement to reshape the landscape of undergraduate education.

Copyright Note

This is the publisher's version of the work. This publication appears in Bates College's institutional repository by permission of the copyright owner for personal use, not for redistribution.

Required Publisher's Statement

© 2022 C. Diaz Eaton et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2022 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 4.0 Unported Creative Commons License (