AuthorsJ. S. Molléri, K. Petersen and E. Mendes
TitleCERSE - Catalog for empirical research in software engineering: A Systematic mapping study
AfilliationSoftware Engineering
Project(s)Department of IT Management
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
JournalInformation and Software Technology
Pagination117 - 149
Date PublishedJan-01-2019
KeywordsEmpirical methods, Empirical research, Mapping study

Context Empirical research in software engineering contributes towards developing scientific knowledge in this field, which in turn is relevant to inform decision-making in industry. A number of empirical studies have been carried out to date in software engineering, and the need for guidelines for conducting and evaluating such research has been stressed.

Objective: The main goal of this mapping study is to identify and summarize the body of knowledge on research guidelines, assessment instruments and knowledge organization systems on how to conduct and evaluate empirical research in software engineering.

Method: A systematic mapping study employing manual search and snowballing techniques was carried out to identify the suitable papers. To build up the catalog, we extracted and categorized information provided by the identified papers.

Results: The mapping study comprises a list of 341 methodological papers, classified according to research methods, research phases covered, and type of instrument provided. Later, we derived a brief explanatory review of the instruments provided for each of the research methods.

Conclusion: We provide: an aggregated body of knowledge on the state of the art relating to guidelines, assessment instruments and knowledge organization systems for carrying out empirical software engineering research; an exemplary usage scenario that can be used to guide those carrying out such studies is also provided. Finally, we discuss the catalog’s implications for research practice and the needs for further research.

Citation Key27072