About

Digital platforms can be categorised into different types including ‘multi-sided platform’, ‘digital marketplace’, ‘crowdfunding platform’, ‘sharing economy platform’ and ‘on-demand platform’. As there is a lack of knowledge regarding the requirements and design of these digital platform types, we developed a method to design a digital platform reference ontology based on a taxonomy. The taxonomy provides an overview of digital platform properties, with the property values expressing the possible variations between digital platforms depending on their type. For  , we can create a digital platform reference ontology module using the five-step approach proposed by Ruy et al (2017) based on the patterns of the Unified Foundational Ontology (UFO). UFO is a high-level ontology that provides us with basic concepts for objects, events, social elements and their types, relations and properties. These digital platform reference ontology modules can be combined as building blocks to compose our reference ontology for expressing the functionality for digital platforms of all types. We believe this reference ontology can be a step towards a better understanding of digital platform functionality, better communication between stakeholders and eventually may facilitate future research and development of digital platforms.