We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Research & business

View Profile

Publication details

Kitchenham, Barbara, Brereton, O. Pearl, Budgen, David, Turner, Mark, Bailey, John & Linkman, Stephen (2009). Systematic Literature Reviews in Software Engineering: A Systematic Literature Review. Information & Software Technology 51(1): 7-15.

Author(s) from Durham


Background: In 2004 the concept of evidence-based software engineering (EBSE) was introduced at the ICSE04 conference.
Aims: This study assesses the impact of systematic literature reviews (SLRs), which are the recommended EBSE method for aggregating evidence.
Method: We used the standard systematic literature review method employing a manual search of 10 journals and 4 conference proceedings.
Results: Of 20 relevant studies, eight addressed research trends rather than technique evaluation. Seven SLRs addressed cost estimation. The quality of SLRs was fair with only three scoring less than 2 out of 4.
Conclusions: Currently, the topic areas covered by SLRs are limited. European researchers, particularly those at the Simula Laboratory appear to be the leading exponents of systematic literature reviews. The series of cost estimation SLRs demonstrate the potential value of EBSE for synthesising evidence and making it available to practitioners.


Funded by the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) EBSE project.