How do Practitioners Perceive the Relevance of Requirements Engineering Research?

by   Xavier Franch, et al.

The relevance of Requirements Engineering (RE) research to practitioners is vital for a long-term dissemination of research results to everyday practice. Some authors have speculated about a mismatch between research and practice in the RE discipline. However, there is not much evidence to support or refute this perception. This paper presents the results of a study aimed at gathering evidence from practitioners about their perception of the relevance of RE research and at understanding the factors that influence that perception. We conducted a questionnaire-based survey of industry practitioners with expertise in RE. The participants rated the perceived relevance of 435 scientific papers presented at five top RE-related conferences. The 153 participants provided a total of 2,164 ratings. The practitioners rated RE research as essential or worthwhile in a majority of cases. However, the percentage of non-positive ratings is still higher than we would like. Among the factors that affect the perception of relevance are the research's links to industry, the research method used, and respondents' roles. The reasons for positive perceptions were primarily related to the relevance of the problem and the soundness of the solution, while the causes for negative perceptions were more varied. The respondents also provided suggestions for future research, including topics researchers have studied for decades, like elicitation or requirement quality criteria.


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