I am really impressed with the work that the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) Scientific Collaboration has done to demonstrate the possibilities of open science communication and engagement.
The LIGO Open Science Center includes the following elements:
- data, including usage notes and data releases with accompanying documents
- some data releases have associated DOIs, e.g. event GW150914 data has doi:10.7935/K5MW2F23
- tutorials on how to work with the data, including a variety of cloud and downloadable software options
- some of the tutorials are Jupyter (iPython) notebooks, which combine data and code
- a way to query and extract time-based metadata (timeline) including an offer to host data
- a webservice to query and extract data (MySources)
- software examples and downloadable packages
- examples of data analysis projects including
an online course
- list of publications with links to both final publications and preprints, plus (sometimes) science summaries
- the science summaries are sometimes even available in multiple languages
The one thing that I have been unable to find is a clear license for data use, although they do provide guidance on how to cite data that you use.
Going beyond the Open Science Center, they have many other channels of communication and engagement.
They did a Reddit AMA on the 2nd gravitational wave detection and they have a running crowdsourcing/citizen science project on Zooniverse called Gravity Spy. As well there is a page listing just the papers related to the detection events; the page indicates open access papers clearly, but doesn't link to preprints.
They also have the usual social media, including YouTube with documentaries, public talks, podcasts, panels, and classes.
Taken all together, this provides a really good example of the scope that open science covers - it's not just releasing data, it's releasing accompanying software, tutorials, and analysis examples, as well as providing summaries of the science and reaching out through many different channels to engage the public. (And this is just at the publication stage of the research lifecycle; there are many other stages at which open science applies.)
You can't just release the data, you have to also teach the data. You can't just release the science, you have to also explain the science.
All of these activities require a whole set of skills in software, websites, plain language explanation and public engagement, beyond just the scientific expertise in and of itself.
If we take the observation of gravitational waves from a binary black hole merger (event GW150914) as an example, you can, just from the LIGO site (not counting the multiple news reports available)
- start with a step-by-step explanation of LIGO and gravitational waves
- read a science summary (in English, French, Chinese, German, Japanese and Spanish)
- read the full scientific paper as it is open access with a CC-BY license
- read the preprint that was posted to arXiv (although in this case it appears likely the preprint and full paper are the same, as they're from the same day)
- see what other LIGO documents are related to the full scientific paper
- access the data including being able to cite the data using a DOI, and learn how to work with the data using the Jupyter notebook software tutorials