Budgen, D and Brereton, P (2022) Short communication: Evolution of secondary studies in software engineering. Information and Software Technology, 145 (106840). ISSN 0950-5849

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Context: Other disciplines commonly employ secondary studies to address the needs of practitioners and policy-makers. Since being adopted by software engineering in 2004, many have been undertaken by researchers. Objective: To assess how the role of secondary studies in software engineering has evolved. Methods: We examined a sample of 131 secondary studies published in a set of five major software engineering journals for the years 2010, 2015 and 2020. These were categorised by their type (e.g. mapping study), their research focus (quantitative/qualitative and practice/methodological), as well as the experience of the first authors. Results: Secondary studies are now a well-established research tool. They are predominantly qualitative and there is extensive use of mapping studies to profile research in particular areas. A significant number are clearly produced as part of postgraduate study, although experienced researchers also conduct many secondary studies. They are sometimes also used as part of a multi-method study. Conclusion: Existing guidelines largely focus upon quantitative systematic reviews. Based on our findings, we suggest that more guidance is needed on how to conduct, analyse, and report qualitative secondary studies.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The final version of this accepted manuscript and all relevant information related to it, including copyrights, can be found on the publisher website at; https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0950584922000179?via%3Dihub
Uncontrolled Keywords: Systematic review; Mapping study; Qualitative study; Experience of authors
Subjects: T Technology > T Technology (General)
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Computing and Mathematics
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2022 15:40
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2022 13:45
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/10635

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