Using Mapping Studies in Software Engineering

David Budgen; Mark Turner; Pearl Brereton; Barbara Kitchenham

Background: A mapping study provides a systematic and objective procedure for identifying the nature and extent of the empirical study data that is available to answer a particular research question. Such studies can also form a useful preliminary step for PhD study.

Aim: We set out to assess how effective such studies have been when used for software engineering topics, and to identify the specific challenges that they present.
Method: We have conducted an informal review of a number of mapping studies in software engineering, describing their main characteristics and the forms of analysis employed.

Results: We examine the experiences and outcomes from six mapping studies, of which four are published. From these we note a recurring theme about the problems of classification and a preponderance of ‘gaps’ in the set of empirical studies.

Conclusions: We identify our challenges as improving classification guidelines, encouraging better reporting of primary studies, and argue for identifying some ’empirical grand challenges’ for software engineering as a focus for the community

Type of Publication: Paper
Conference: PPIG 2008 - 20th Annual Workshop
Publication Year: 2008
Paper #: 20
TitleUsing Mapping Studies in Software Engineering
Publication TypePaper
AuthorsBudgen, D, Turner, M, Brereton, P, Kitchenham, B
PPIG Workshop: 
2008-09-20th