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Survey on research synthesis in software engineering

: Guzman, Liliana; Lampasona, Constanza; Seaman, Carolyn B.; Rombach, H. Dieter


Shepperd, M. ; Association for Computing Machinery -ACM-:
EASE 2014, 18th International Conference on Evaluation and Assessment in Software Engineering. Proccedings : 13-14 May 2014, London, UK
New York: ACM, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-4503-2476-2
Art.2, 10 pp.
International Conference on Evaluation and Assessment in Software Engineering (EASE) <18, 2014, London>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IESE ()
qualitative research; research synthesis; systemic review

Building trustworthy knowledge in software engineering depends on the systematic synthesis of empirical evidence. In recent years the number of published syntheses has increased, but only a few showed high quality and scientific rigor. We performed an online survey of software engineering researchers to identify difficulties experienced when synthesizing evidence. The results confirm that the state of primary research and the low quality of reports are perceived as the most important difficulties. Respondents who were experienced in quantitative and qualitative synthesis methods claim a lack of support for selecting and applying synthesis methods. This indicates the need for identifying criteria for selecting synthesis methods, deriving recommendations, and developing more rigorous guidelines for applying them.