Muhammad Ali Babar, Zhang, He. Systematic literature reviews in software engineering: Preliminary results from interviews with researchers. In ESEM '09: Proceedings of the 2009 3rd International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement. IEEE Computer Society, Washington, DC, USA, 2009.
Systematic Literature Reviews (SLRs) have been gaining significant attention from software engineering researchers since 2004. Several researchers have reported their experiences of and lessons learned from applying systematic reviews to different subject matters in software engineering. However, there has been no attempt at independently exploring experiences and perceptions of the practitioners of systematic reviews in order to gain an in-depth understanding of various aspects of systemic reviews as a new research methodology in software engineering. We assert that there is a need of evidence-based body of knowledge about the application of systematic reviews in software engineering. To address this need, we have started an empirical research program that aims to contribute to the growing body of knowledge about systematic reviews in software engineering. This paper reports the design, logistics, and results of the first phase empirical study carried out in this program. The results provide interesting insights into different aspects of systematic reviews based on the analysis of the data gathered from 17 interviewees with varying levels of knowledge of and experiences in systematic reviews. The findings from this study are expected to contribute to the existing knowledge about using systematic reviews and help further improve the state-of-the-practice of this research methodology in software engineering.