Preliminary Survey on Empirical Research Practices in Requirements Engineering


Condori-Fernández, Nelly and Daneva, Maya and Wieringa, Roel (2012) Preliminary Survey on Empirical Research Practices in Requirements Engineering. [Report]

open access
Abstract:Context and Motivation:
Based on published output in the premium RE conferences and journals, we observe a growing body of research using both quantitative and qualitative research methods to help understand which RE technique, process or tool work better in which context. Also, more and more empirical studies in RE aim at comparing and evaluating alternative techniques that are solutions to common problems. However, until now there have been few meta studies of the current state of knowledge about common practices carried out by researchers and practitioners in empirical RE. Also, surprisingly little has been published on how RE researchers perceive the usefulness of these best practices.

The goal of our study is to improve our understanding of what empirical practices are performed by researchers and practitioners in RE, for the purpose of understanding the extent to which the research methods of empirical software engineering are adopted in the RE community.

We surveyed the practices that participants of the REFSQ conference have been using in their empirical research projects. The survey was part of the REFSQ 2012 Empirical Track.

We found that there are 15 commonly used practices out of a set of 27. The study has two implications: first it presents a list of practices that are commonly used in the RE community, and a list of practices that still remain to be practiced. Researchers may now make an informed decision on how to extend the practices they use in producing and executing their research designs, so that their designs get better. Second, we found that senior researchers and PhD students do not always converge in their perceptions about the usefulness of research practices. Whether this is all right and whether something needs to be done in the face of this finding remains an open question.
Item Type:Report
Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS)
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