This is the question that we (Richard Paige and myself) try to answer in this a new “Expert Voice” article published in the Software and Systems Modeling Journal. Read the published manuscript, our personal open access version or keep reading for the summary and highlights.

In the column, we argue that the modeling field is rapidly evolving. As such, what constituted a good modeling research contribution ten years ago may not be the same today. We try to distill some insights of what we (and the community we aim to represent) consider today as key elements of a good research paper in the field of software and systems modeling. Such insights – which will need to evolve and adapt with time – will be useful not just for authors of new papers, but also for reviewers and editors.

You could argue whether we should try to pin down a definition of what constitutes a good contribution at all. As clearly articulated by Terence Tao in his reflection on “What is good mathematics?” by doing so we run the risk of arrogance and may fail to recognize exotic examples of good modeling. But there is also a risk in the opposite direction— to considering that all contributions to modeling are equally important, an idealist view that could confuse the members of our community, especially the more junior ones

So, we went ahead and identified six main types of modeling contributions:

  • The contribution is a model
  • The contribution is a language
  • The contribution is a core modeling technique
  • The contribution is a modeling application
  • The contribution is a new modeling domain
  • The contribution is a modeling tool <- “New” one! (stay tuned for upcoming news on this!)

and for each one, we try to give some hints on how a modeling contribution of that type should provide added value to the community (and therefore, how it should be evaluated). No surprise, we also state that many interesting papers could contribute to more than one category. And that there always good papers outside these categories (hopefully this reflection would quality as one of those!).

We do not forget either that all of the above is not enough if we want to increase the quality and diversity of modeling contributions. Given that modeling is an independent scientific discipline, we need to get out of our comfort zone and reach other communities that, we believe, could also be the source of great modeling contributions

Looking forward to your feedback 🦻🎙️🦻 as we hope to trigger a #community discussion 👫👫👫

Want to build better software faster?

Want to build better software faster?

Read about the latest trends on software modeling and low-code development

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This