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The ABC of software engineering research

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dc.contributor.author Stol, Klaas-Jan
dc.contributor.author Fitzgerald, Brian
dc.date.accessioned 2018-10-09T15:24:03Z
dc.date.available 2018-10-09T15:24:03Z
dc.date.issued 2018
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10344/7209
dc.description peer-reviewed en_US
dc.description The final published version of this article can be found at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/3241743
dc.description.abstract A variety of research methods and techniques are available to SE researchers, and while several overviews exist, there is neither consistency in the research methods covered nor in the terminology used. Furthermore, research is sometimes critically reviewed for characteristics inherent to the methods. We adopt a taxonomy from the social sciences, termed here the ABC framework for SE research, which offers a holistic view of eight archetypal research strategies. ABC refers to the research goal which strives for generalizability over Actors (A), precise measurement of their Behavior (B), in a realistic Context (C). The ABC framework uses two dimensions widely considered to be key in research design: the level of obtrusiveness of the research, and generalizability of research findings. We discuss metaphors for each strategy and their inherent limitations and potential strengths. We illustrate these research strategies in two key SE domains: global software engineering and requirements engineering, and apply the framework on a sample of 75 articles. Finally, we discuss six ways in which the framework can advance SE research. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Association for Computing Machinery en_US
dc.relation 15SIRG3293 en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology (TOSEM);27 (3), article 11
dc.relation.uri http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/3241743
dc.rights © ACM, 2018. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of ACM for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology (TOSEM) http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/3241743 en_US
dc.subject surveys and overviews en_US
dc.subject general literature en_US
dc.subject empirical studies en_US
dc.title The ABC of software engineering research en_US
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/article en_US
dc.type.supercollection all_ul_research en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_published_reviewed en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.1145/3241743
dc.contributor.sponsor SFI en_US
dc.relation.projectid 15/SIRG/3293 en_US
dc.relation.projectid 13/RC/2094 en_US
dc.rights.accessrights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess en_US


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