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    Towards an Evidence-Based Understanding of Electronic Data Sources

    14th International Conference on Evaluation and Assessment in Software Engineering (EASE)

    Keele University, UK, 12 - 13 April 2010


    Lianipng Chen, Muhammad Ali Babar and He Zhang


    Systematic Literature Reviews and Systematic Mapping Studies are relatively new forms of secondary studies in software engineering. Identifying relevant papers from various Electronic Data Sources (EDS) is one of the key activities of conducting these kinds of studies. Hence, the selection of EDS for searching the potentially relevant papers is an important decision, which can affect a study’s coverage of relevant papers. Researchers usually select EDS mainly based on personal knowledge, experience, and preferences and/or recommendations by other researchers. We believe that building an evidence-based understanding of EDS can enable researchers to make more informed decisions about the selection of EDS. This paper reports our initial effort towards this end. We propose an initial set of metrics for characterizing the EDS from the perspective of the needs of secondary studies. We explain the usage and benefits of the proposed metrics using the data gathered from two secondary studies. We also tried to synthesize the data from the two studies and that from literature to provide initial evidence-based heuristics for EDS selection.


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