Within the Information Systems field, information modeling is a vital instrument to develop information systems. However, the modeling process is often resource-consuming and faulty. As a way to overcome these failures and to improve and to accelerate the development of enterprise-specific models, the concept of reference modeling has been introduced. Reference models are conceptual frameworks and may be used as blueprints for information systems development. They play an increasingly important role in business engineering and utilization of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. An overall concept of reference modeling is the construction of company-specific information models based on prefab models and model components. This concept relies on the idea to reuse general reference models in many different contexts.
The conceptional core of the project consists of so called reference model catalogs. A reference model catalog allows the systematic access to an amount of reference models. Existing methods for the reuse of reference models are based on the presumption, that appropriate reference models have to be constructed. The approach in this project is grounded on the hypothesis, that already many reference models for different applications exist. Appropriate methods have to be deployed which take the available knowledge about the reference models into account. Reference model catalogs have a highly theoretical and practical relevance. In a concrete situation of a modeling project the selection of reference models is a central question. Reference model catalogs allow to realize a high degree of usefulness while they build a link between the construction and use of reference models. Furthermore reference model catalogs allow to classify existing work on reference models in order to prevent extensive double-work due to construction and to identify unattended domains of reference modeling. On the one hand this research project gives a theoretical foundation for the instrument reference model catalog. On the other hand process models for creating and using reference model catalogs will be conceived. In order to validate the deployed methods, concrete reference model catalogs are developed and a software-prototype for managing reference model catalogs will be implemented.