Survey-design-do-a-thon: How to increase resuse / efficiency of open source modeling?



I remember discussions about why people start developing new models instead of using existing ones.

In this do-a-thon I like to collect question for a survey to figure out what are barriers for using existing software, how we can increase efficiency etc.

This is just a brief idea. If somebody is also interested, we could figure out a method on how to approach this do-a-thon…


As somebody who is looking for a propper model right now, I really like the idea. I belive it would be great if existing models could have like an overview on what type of programming languages they use and a list of features.


I thought this do-a-thon rather for a analyses why people start of from the beginning etc.

If you look for model descriptions you might want to check out the openmod wiki models page or this one here:


Hello @jesse There is also some useful information on wikipedia:

In keeping with wikipedia guidelines, these are essentially written summaries supported by references to the literature. Robbie


Hello @simnh. I am a PhD student from India, working in the field of energy modeling. I would be interested in this survey. Could you suggest how you plan to conduct it?


The following blogs and publications could provide some useful background. An issue that Smith (2018) highlights is that academic incentives and open source development practices may not necessarily align. More generally, there seems to be growing interest in empirical studies that examine software development, both open and closed source. Zagalsky et al (2018) look at the R community in this light.


Oram, Andy and Greg Wilson (October 2010). Making software: what really works, and why we believe it. Sebastopol, California, USA: O’Reilly Media. ISBN 978-0-596-80832-7.

Smith, Nathaniel J (25 May 2018). The unreasonable effectiveness of investment in open-source infrastructure. njs blog.

Zagalsky, Alexey, Daniel M German, Margaret-Anne Storey, Carlos Gómez Teshima, and Germán Poo-Caamaño (April 2018). “How the R community creates and curates knowledge: an extended study of stack overflow and mailing lists”. Journal of Empirical Software Engineering. 23 (2): 953–986. doi:10.1007/s10664-017-9536-y.


Dear @priyankaiit, the original idea was to come up with research purpose, research questions, hypotheses in a group discussion. For each of those just brainstorm for possible ways to obtain information on this (questions etc). However we did not do this at the meeting.

Now we could also do this online though. I think the openmod community is a good starting point for discussing a survey draft.


@simnh have you planned how you would do it online? Do you have any other researchers participating in this?