Towards an Open Repository for Design Science Research: A Meta-Model and its Instantiation for the Representation of Design Science Research Processes


  • Michael Gau Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany | University of Liechtenstein, Liechtenstein | ERCIS – European Research Center for Information Systems
  • Alexander Maedche Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany
  • Jan vom Brocke University of Liechtenstein, Liechtenstein | University of Münster, Germany | ERCIS – European Research Center for Information Systems



Research Methods, Process Modeling, Research Process Management, Design Science Research, Meta-Model


Design Science Research (DSR) is a well-established paradigm in the Information Systems field generating knowledge on the design of innovative solutions to real-world problems. The maturity of DSR has increased due to many methodological contributions, including conceptualization of the design process, templates on how to plan and document, as well as guidelines on how to conduct DSR projects. At the same time, given the dynamic nature of design in the digital era, DSR methods are also constantly further developed by the community. Both access to existing DSR methods and its further development are hindered today by the way we represent DSR methods. Most of the DSR methods are scattered in different papers or books. In order to foster accessibility and further development, we propose a harmonized representation of DSR process knowledge (as a core component of DSR methods) in an open repository. Applying DSR ourselves, we 1) identify meta-requirements for a DSR process modeling system 2) derive initial design principles 3) propose a meta-model 4) provide an instantiation of the meta-model in the form of an open repository, and 5) evaluate our design based on interviews with DSR researchers using the repository. We report from two DSR cycles, then discuss our findings and outline avenues for future research.






Research Note