This paper investigates 'Co-opetitive Learning and Knowledge Exchange Networks' (CoLKENs) deploying open source platforms. The balancing act between cooperation and competition which CoLKENs must execute when engaging in collaboration with eventual competitors is heightened within an open source environment. This requires the designing and implementing of specific management processes to enable economic value maximization for participating individuals and firms. The authors first describe the concept of CoLKENs, their components and their generic structure. Relevant dimensions to examine when investigating CoLKENs are then identified. Specific characteristics of open source CoLKENs are reviewed and two cases, SourceForge and CodeX (Xerox) are analyzed. Findings indicate varying motivations for participation, diverse methods of leadership and governance, several specifically tailored tools for managing collaboration and primarily hidden coordination and control mechanisms for dealing with competition. Finally, the authors identify the need for future research, especially in the area of evaluating and managing the element of competition.