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Durham University

Research & business

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Publication details

Budgen, David, Bailey, John, Turner, Mark, Kitchenham, Barbara, Brereton, Pearl & Charters, Stuart (2009). Cross-domain investigation of empirical practices. IET Software 3(5): 410-421.

Author(s) from Durham


The authors are seeking the best ways to employ evidence-based practices in software engineering research and practice so that the outcomes can inform practice and policy-making. The objective of this study is to investigate how other academic disciplines use evidence-based practices in order to help assess the guidelines that the authors have developed for conducting systematic literature reviews in software engineering. They undertook two studies to investigate how other domains used evidence-based practices. One use a questionnaire that was administered to a set of experts, and this was then followed up with a study that used semi-structured interviews to gain a deeper understanding. As a result, the authors have identified how a number of disciplines that experience similar empirical constraints to those that apply to software engineering employ and rank different forms of empirical data. In conclusion, the authors describe the resulting changes that they made to their systematic review guidelines and also identify some issues that this study raises for empirical software engineering.