AuthorsJ. S. Molléri, E. Mendes, K. Petersen and M. Felderer
TitleDetermining a core view of research quality in empirical software engineering
AfilliationSoftware Engineering
Project(s)EDOS: Effective Digitalization of Public Sector
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
JournalComputer Standards & Interfaces


Research quality is intended to appraise the design and reporting of studies. It comprises a set of standards such as methodological rigor, practical relevance, and conformance to ethical standards. Depending on the perspective, different views of importance are given to the standards for research quality.


To investigate the suitability of a conceptual model of research quality to Software Engineering (SE), from the perspective of researchers engaged in Empirical Software Engineering (ESE) research, in order to understand the core value of research quality.


We conducted a mixed-methods approach with two distinct group perspectives: (i) a research group; and (ii) the empirical SE research community. Our data collection approach comprised a questionnaire survey and a complementary focus group. We carried out a hierarchical voting prioritization to collect relative values for importance of standards for research quality.


In the context of this research, ‘internally valid’, ‘relevant research idea’, and ‘applicable results’ are perceived as the core standards for research quality in empirical SE. The alignment at the research group level was higher compared to that at the community level.


The conceptual model was seen to express fairly the standards for research quality in the SE context. It presented limitations regarding its structure and components’ description, which resulted in an updated model.

Citation Key43103