A new emerging area of research and technological development, set forward by the requirements of today's progressive industries is the paradigm of virtual organizations. A virtual organization, is primarily an interoperabte network of pre-existing enterprises with a common goal, where the enterprises can together function as a single real organization. This paradigm has the potential of representing the basic architecture needed in many multifaceted application domains. Early analysis of virtual organizations and their potential member organizations (nodes), identify a large number of main characteristics, and certain functional and information management requirements in this environment. Although the advanced Information Technology provides the necessary basic tools to support virtual organizations, there are many unresolved issues involved in the development of such cooperative architecture and system. This paper addresses many difficult issues in virtual organizations domain, but it mainly focuses on the management of information in this paradigm. Both the reference model tbr virtual organization's requirement specification, and the federated information management architecture that we claim to be essential for design of a system to support this paradigm, are the novel features presented in this paper.