1st Edition

Evidence-Based Software Engineering and Systematic Reviews

ISBN 9781482228656
Published November 5, 2015 by Chapman and Hall/CRC
399 Pages - 54 B/W Illustrations

USD $90.95

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Book Description

In the decade since the idea of adapting the evidence-based paradigm for software engineering was first proposed, it has become a major tool of empirical software engineering. Evidence-Based Software Engineering and Systematic Reviews provides a clear introduction to the use of an evidence-based model for software engineering research and practice.

The book explains the roles of primary studies (experiments, surveys, case studies) as elements of an over-arching evidence model, rather than as disjointed elements in the empirical spectrum. Supplying readers with a clear understanding of empirical software engineering best practices, it provides up-to-date guidance on how to conduct secondary studies in software engineering—replacing the existing 2004 and 2007 technical reports.

The book is divided into three parts. The first part discusses the nature of evidence and the evidence-based practices centered on a systematic review, both in general and as applying to software engineering. The second part examines the different elements that provide inputs to a systematic review (usually considered as forming a secondary study), especially the main forms of primary empirical study currently used in software engineering.

The final part provides practical guidance on how to conduct systematic reviews (the guidelines), drawing together accumulated experiences to guide researchers and students in planning and conducting their own studies. The book includes an extensive glossary and an appendix that provides a catalogue of reviews that may be useful for practice and teaching.

Table of Contents


The Evidence-Based Paradigm
What do we mean by evidence?
Emergence of the evidence-based movement
The systematic review
Some limitations of an evidence-based view of the world

Evidence-Based Software Engineering (EBSE)
Empirical knowledge before EBSE
From opinion to evidence
Organizing evidence-based software engineering practices
Software engineering characteristics
Limitations of evidence-based practices in software engineering

Using Systematic Reviews in Software Engineering
Systematic reviews
Mapping studies

Planning a Systematic Review
Establishing the need for a review
Managing the review project
Specifying the research questions
Developing the protocol
Validating the protocol

Searching for Primary Studies
Validating the search strategy
Methods of searching
Examples of search strategies

Study Selection
Selection criteria
Selection process
The relationship between papers and studies
Examples of selection criteria and process

Assessing Study Quality
Why assess quality?
Quality assessment criteria
Procedures for assessing quality
Examples of quality assessment criteria and procedures

Extracting Study Data
Overview of data extraction
Examples of extracted data and extraction procedures

Mapping Study Analysis
Analysis of publication details
Classification analysis
Automated content analysis
Clusters, gaps, and models

Qualitative Synthesis
Qualitative synthesis in software engineering research
Qualitative analysis terminology and concepts
Using qualitative synthesis methods in software engineering systematic reviews
Description of qualitative synthesis methods
General problems with qualitative meta-synthesis

With Lech Madeyski
Meta-analysis example
Effect sizes
Conversion between different effect sizes
Meta-analysis methods
Moderator analysis
Additional analyses

Reporting a Systematic Review
Planning reports
Writing reports
Validating reports

Tool Support for Systematic Reviews
With Christopher Marshall
Review tools in other disciplines
Tools for software engineering reviews

Evidence to Practice: Knowledge Translation and Diffusion
What is knowledge translation?
Knowledge translation in the context of software engineering
Examples of knowledge translation in software engineering
Diffusion of software engineering knowledge
Systematic reviews for software engineering education

Further Reading for Part I


Primary Studies and Their Role in EBSE
Some characteristics of primary studies
Forms of primary study used in software engineering
Ethical issues
Reporting primary studies
Replicated studies
Further reading

Controlled Experiments and Quasi-Experiments
Characteristics of controlled experiments and quasi-experiments
Conducting experiments and quasi-experiments
Research questions that can be answered by using experiments and quasi-experiments
Examples from the software engineering literature
Reporting experiments and quasi-experiments
Further reading

Characteristics of surveys
Conducting surveys
Research questions that can be answered by using surveys
Examples of surveys from the software engineering literature
Reporting surveys
Further reading

Case Studies
Characteristics of case studies
Conducting case study research
Research questions that can be answered by using case studies
Example of a case study from the software engineering literature
Reporting case studies
Further reading

Qualitative Studies
Characteristics of a qualitative study
Conducting qualitative research
Research questions that can be answered using qualitative studies
Examples of qualitative studies in software engineering
Reporting qualitative studies
Further reading

Data Mining Studies
Characteristics of data mining studies
Conducting data mining research in software engineering
Research questions that can be answered by data mining
Examples of data mining studies
Problems with data mining studies in software engineering
Reporting data mining studies
Further reading

Replicated and Distributed Studies
What is a replication study?
Replications in software engineering
Including replications in systematic reviews
Distributed studies
Further reading


Systematic Review and Mapping Study Procedures
Review management
Planning a systematic review
The search process
Primary study selection process
Validating the search and selection process
Quality assessment
Data extraction
Data aggregation and synthesis
Reporting the systematic review

A Catalogue of Systematic Reviews Relevant to Education and Practice
With Sarah Drummond and Nikki Williams
Professional Practice (PRF)
Modelling and Analysis (MAA)
Software Design (DES)
Validation and Verification (VAV)
Software Evolution (EVO)
Software Process (PRO)
Software Quality (QUA)
Software Management (MGT)



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