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Reporting guidelines for controlled experiments in software engineering

: Jedlitschka, A.; Pfahl, D.


IEEE Computer Society; Association for Computing Machinery -ACM-, Special Interest Group on Software Engineering -SIGSOFT-:
2005 International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering, ISESE 2005. Proceedings : 17 - 18 November 2005, Noosa Heads, Queensland, Australia
Los Alamitos, Calif.: IEEE Computer Society, 2005
ISBN: 0-7803-9507-7
S.95-104 : Ill., Lit.
International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering (ISESE) <4, 2005, Noosa Heads>
Fraunhofer IESE ()
empirical software engineering; controlled experiment; guideline

One major problem for integrating study results into a common body of knowledge is the heterogeneity of reporting styles: (1) It is difficult to locate relevant information and (2) important information is often missing. Reporting guidelines are expected to support a systematic, standardized presentation of empirical research, thus improving reporting in order to support readers in (1) finding the information they are looking for, (2) understanding how an experiment is conducted, and (3) assessing the validity of its results. The objective of this paper is to survey the most prominent published proposals for reporting guidelines, and to derive a unified standard that which can serve as a starting point for further discussion. We provide detailed guidance on the expected content of the sections and subsections for reporting a specific type of empirical studies, i.e., controlled experiments. Before the guidelines can be evaluated, feedback from the research community is required. For this purpose, we propose to adapt guideline development processes from other disciplines.