Developing Research Questions in Conversation With the Literature: Operationalization & Tool Support





Publicado en

Actas de las XXVII Jornadas de Ingeniería del Software y Bases de Datos (JISBD 2023)

Licencia Creative Commons


Empirical Software Engineering rests on the understanding of practical problems and their solution counterparts. Frequently, solutions are not absolute but relative to the context where the problem is observed. This tends to imply that the solution and the problem unveil gradually together, and hence, researchers are not always in the position to state the research question (RQ) at the onset. Like software engineers when facing blurred requirements, researchers might not be familiar enough with the problem in the early phases of a research to properly scope their RQs (hereafter referred to as RQ Scoping). Here, the literature may play the role of the stakeholders in Agile methods: keeping the focus on the aspects that are essential (vs. accidental) of the RQ. Informed by Inductive Top-Down Theorizing, this article acknowledges RQ Scoping as iterative and incremental, entailing a conversation between the experimental work and literature reviewing. Yet, for literature reviewing to become "Agile" it is not only required to be driven by the RQ but also to have tool support. Tools might bring transparency and traceability, both factors especially welcome in a scenario characterized by testing (is my RQ relevant?) and adjustment (how can I make my RQ relevant?). Specifically, the advent of the RQ in close relationship with the literature advises for "Agile" literature reviewing to be conducted at the place where the literature is naturally kept: the Reference Management System (e.g., Mendeley). This article introduces the theoretical underpinnings, design principles, proof of concept and evaluation for FRAMEndeley, a Mendeley-integrated utility for RQ Scoping.


Acerca de Diaz, Oscar

Palabras clave

Research Question, Literature Review, Inductive Top-Down Theorizing, Reference Management Systems
Página completa del ítem
Notificar un error en este resumen
Mostrar cita
Mostrar cita en BibTeX
Descargar cita en BibTeX