Cartaxo, Bruno, Gustavo Pinto, Baldoino Fonseca, Márcio Ribeiro, Pedro Pinheiro, Sergio Soares, & Maria Teresa Baldassarre (2019, September 19-20). Software engineering research community viewpoints on rapid reviews. 13th ACM/IEEE International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement (ESEM), Porto de Galinhas, Brazil. (Link: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1906.11351.pdf)

Abstract: Background: One of the most important current challenges of Software Engineering (SE) research is to provide relevant evidence to practice. In health related fields, Rapid Reviews (RRs) have shown to be an effective method to achieve that goal. However, little is known about how the SE research community perceives the potential applicability of RRs. Aims: The goal of this study is to understand the SE research community viewpoints towards the use of RRs as a means to provide evidence to practitioners. Method: To understand their viewpoints, we invited 37 researchers to analyze 50 opinion statements about RRs, and rate them according to what extent they agree with each statement. Q-Methodology was employed to identify the most salient viewpoints, represented by the so called factors. Results: Four factors were identified: Factor A groups undecided researchers that need more evidence before using RRs; Researchers grouped in Factor B are generally positive about RRs, but highlight the need to define minimum standards; Factor C researchers are more skeptical and reinforce the importance of high quality evidence; Researchers aligned to Factor D have a pragmatic point of view, considering RRs can be applied based on the context and constraints faced by practitioners. Conclusions: In conclusion, although there are opposing viewpoints, there are also some common grounds. For example, all viewpoints agree that both RRs and Systematic Reviews can be poorly or well conducted.

Bruno Cartaxo <email@brunocartaxo.com> is with the Federal Institute of Pernambuco (IFPE) Paulista, Pernambuco, Brazil.

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