Open Reference Models - Community-driven Collaboration to Promote Development and Dissemination of Reference Models

  • Ulrich Frank University of Duisburg-Essen
  • Stefan Strecker University of Duisburg-Essen


Reference models constitute a reification of a promising vision: Higher quality of information systems at less cost through reuse of confirmed domain knowledge and systems design. Paradoxically, however, development and, in particular, reuse of reference models has been rather limited both in practice and academia. In this paper, we develop the notion of open reference models based on analogies to free and open source software development. We show how “openness” of reference models affects their development and use, and outline strategic options for a first open reference modelling initiative. Our findings suggest that community-driven collaborative modelling projects resolve the current paradox of reference model research and practice.

Earlier versions appeared as [FrSK07a] and [FrSK07b]. Preliminary considerations are provided in [KoSF06].

Research Articles