How software engineering research aligns with design science: a review

Emelie Engström, Margaret-Anne Storey, Per Runeson, Martin Höst, Maria Teresa Baldassarre

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskriftPeer review


Background: Assessing and communicating software engineering research can be challenging. Design science is recognized as an appropriate research paradigm for applied research, but is rarely explicitly used as a way to present planned or achieved research contributions in software engineering. Applying the design science lens to software engineering research may improve the assessment and communication of research contributions. Aim: The aim of this study is 1) to understand whether the design science lens helps summarize and assess software engineering research contributions, and 2) to characterize different types of design science contributions in the software engineering literature. Method: In previous research, we developed a visual abstract template, summarizing the core constructs of the design science paradigm. In this study, we use this template in a review of a set of 38 award winning software engineering publications to extract, analyze and characterize their design science contributions. Results: We identified five clusters of papers, classifying them according to their different types of design science contributions. Conclusions: The design science lens helps emphasize the theoretical contribution of research output—in terms of technological rules—and reflect on the practical relevance, novelty and rigor of the rules proposed by the research.
TidskriftEmpirical Software Engineering
StatusPublished - 2020 juni 16

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