Systematic Literature Reviews

Dr Sarah Beecham (University of Limerick and LERO)

SAC Room (Room 110), Gound Floor, Cairnes Building / St. Anthony's, NUI Galway 11:00 :: 18th November 2010

A systematic literature review (SLR) is a potentially useful approach to providing the required background material for a PhD thesis. A SLR is a form of secondary study that aims to provide an unbiased approach to identifying, appraising and synthesizing all relevant studies in order to answer a particular question (or set of questions). However, conducting a full SLR requires a great deal of time, amounting to at least one year of consolidated effort. In this seminar we will try to answer the question; “Is it possible to reduce the amount of effort (and time) required without compromising the benefits offered by a full SLR?” We first outline the steps required for a full SLR as based on Kitchenham’s (1) guidelines and then consider an alternative shorter or ‘rapid’ approach.

This seminar is aimed at PhD students who are interested in finding out more about the benefits and disadvantages of conducting a SLR. This is intended to be an interactive session where we can discuss the implications and dangers involved in applying short cuts. It will hopefully act as a guide to those still looking for a gap in the wider research (i.e. in search of a research question), as well as a basis for those students who need to familiarise themselves with their research area and defend their contribution. In other words the session should benefit those who have a set idea of where their research is going as well as those still in the early exploratory stages.

Dr Sarah Beecham:
Sarah has been working as a Research Fellow (RF) in Software Engineering for the past nine years and is currently working at LERO, the Irish Software Engineering Research Institute. Sarah also holds a visiting research post at The Open University, UK and has worked as RF on five different UK based projects including: Investigating code fault proneness using program slicing based at Brunel University and Modelling Motivation in Software Engineering - a collaborative effort between the UH and The Open University (OU). Sarah’s particular research interests are exploring empirical methods in software engineering – both qualitative and quantitative methods, requirements engineering, model building, and the socio-technical issues in computer science such as motivation. She has published widely, with over 50 peer reviewed papers. Related to this seminar she has conducted several systematic literature reviews (SLRs), has given a workshop on SLRs in Oslo (Simula group), and presented a paper on SLR methodology at Profes in 2007.

All Welcome

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