, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 131-164,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 19 Dec 2008

Guidelines for conducting and reporting case study research in software engineering

Abstract

Case study is a suitable research methodology for software engineering research since it studies contemporary phenomena in its natural context. However, the understanding of what constitutes a case study varies, and hence the quality of the resulting studies. This paper aims at providing an introduction to case study methodology and guidelines for researchers conducting case studies and readers studying reports of such studies. The content is based on the authors’ own experience from conducting and reading case studies. The terminology and guidelines are compiled from different methodology handbooks in other research domains, in particular social science and information systems, and adapted to the needs in software engineering. We present recommended practices for software engineering case studies as well as empirically derived and evaluated checklists for researchers and readers of case study research.

Editor: D. Sjoberg