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SERP-test: a taxonomy for supporting industry–academia communication


This paper presents the construction and evaluation of SERP-test, a taxonomy aimed to improve communication between researchers and practitioners in the area of software testing. SERP-test can be utilized for direct communication in industry academia collaborations. It may also facilitate indirect communication between practitioners adopting software engineering research and researchers who are striving for industry relevance. SERP-test was constructed through a systematic and goal-oriented approach which included literature reviews and interviews with practitioners and researchers. SERP-test was evaluated through an online survey and by utilizing it in an industry–academia collaboration project. SERP-test comprises four facets along which both research contributions and practical challenges may be classified: Intervention, Scope, Effect target and Context constraints. This paper explains the available categories for each of these facets (i.e., their definitions and rationales) and presents examples of categorized entities. Several tasks may benefit from SERP-test, such as formulating research goals from a problem perspective, describing practical challenges in a researchable fashion, analyzing primary studies in a literature review, or identifying relevant points of comparison and generalization of research.

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This work has been supported by ELLIIT, the Strategic Area for ICT research, funded by the Swedish Government. Support has also been received from the Gyllenstierna Krapperup’s Foundation and EASE, the Industrial Excellence Centre for Embedded Applications Software Engineering.

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Correspondence to Emelie Engström.

Appendix: Example entities collected during the evaluation of SERP-test

Appendix: Example entities collected during the evaluation of SERP-test

See Table 11

Table 11 Example of entities collected during the evaluation of SERP-test

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Engström, E., Petersen, K., Ali, N. et al. SERP-test: a taxonomy for supporting industry–academia communication. Software Qual J 25, 1269–1305 (2017).

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  • Software testing
  • Classification
  • SERP-test
  • Taxonomy
  • Methodology
  • Industry relevance
  • Intervention
  • Context
  • Effect target
  • Scope