Searching Software Engineering Papers

I don’t think anyone would argue that Systematic literature review (SLR) has emerged as one of the most popular method of reviewing software engineering literature since 2004. At the same time, it is also true that it is one of the most laborious research method, which needs extensive amount of effort and time. One critical activity of this method is to design and execute appropriate and effective search strategy. This is a time-consuming and error-prone step, which needs to be carefully planned and implemented. In order to support this activity, we have developed a systematic approach whose full details have recently been published in the Journal of Information and Software Technology.

Our approach incorporates the concept of ‘quasi-gold standard’ (QGS), which consists of collection of known studies, and corresponding ‘quasi-sensitivity’ into the search process for evaluating search performance. Our initial evaluation of this approaches through two case studies have shown that the approach is able to improve the rigor of search process in an SLR, as well as it can serve as a supplement to the guidelines for SLRs in EBSE. Interested readers are encouraged to consult our recently published paper in Journal of Information and Software Technology.

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