Empirical Methodologies for Web Engineering

  • Briony J. Oates
  • Gary Griffiths
  • Mike Lockyer
  • Barry Hebbron
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3140)


We review a range of data generation methods and empirical research strategies of potential usefulness to web engineering research. The various strategies do not all share the same underlying philosophy about knowledge and how it can be acquired. We therefore explain two contrasting philosophical paradigms: positivism and interpretivism. We suggest that empirical web engineering should use a plurality of research strategies and data generation methods, and recognise the potential usefulness of both positivism and interpretivism. Finally we discuss the implications of such a plurality.


Empirical Methodology Empirical Software Engineering Data Generation Method Software Engineering Researcher System Development Methodology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    March, S., Smith, G.: Design and natural science research on information technology. Decision Support Systems 15, 251–266 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Zelkowitz, M.V., Wallace, D.: Experimental validation in software technology. Information and Software Technology 1997, 11 (1997)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kitchenham, B.A., Pfleeger, S.L., Pickard, L.M., Jones, P.W., Hoaglin, D.C., El Emam, K., Rosenberg, J.: Preliminary Guidelines for Empirical Research in Software Engineering: National Research Council of Canada (2001)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Rumpradit, C., Donnell, M.L.: Navigational Cues on User Interface Design to Produce Better Information Seeking on the World Wide Web. In: Presented at 32nd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS-32), Hawaii, USA (1999)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Grazioli, S., Wang, A.: Looking without seeing: Understanding unsophisticated consumers’ success and failure to detect Internet deception. In: Proc. 22nd International Conference on Information Systems, pp. 193–203 (2001)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Pfleeger, S.L., Kitchenham, B.A.: Principles of survey research, Part 1: Turning lemons into lemonade. Software Engineering Notes 26, 16–18 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lang, M.: Hypermedia systems development: A comparative study of software engineers and graphic designers. Communications of the AIS 12, 242–257 (2003)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Gehrke, D., Turban, E.: Determinants of successful web site design: relative importance and recommendations for effectiveness. In: Proc. 32nd Hawaii International Conference on Systems Sciences (1999)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Huarng, S.: Web-based information systems requirement analysis. Information Systems Management 20, 49–57 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Yin, R.K.: Case Study Research, 3rd edn. Design and Methods. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks (2003)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Yin, R.K.: Applications of Case Study Research, 2nd edn. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks (2003)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Mendes, E., Mosley, N., Steve, C.: Web metrics - Estimating design and authoring effort. IEEE Multimedia 8, 50–57 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Hine, C.: Web pages, authors and audiences. The meaning of a mouse click. Information, Communication & Society 4, 182–198 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Baskerville, R.L., Wood-Harper, A.T.: A critical perspective on action research as a method for information systems research. Journal of Information Technology 11, 235–246 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Vidgen, R.: Constructing a web information system development methodology. Information Systems Journal 12, 247–261 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Griffiths, G., Oates, B.J.: Lecture-free teaching for systems analysis: An action research study. In: Proc. INSITE Informing Science and Information Technology Education conference, Pori, Finland, June 24-27, pp. 355–365 (2003)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Van Maanen, J.: Tales of the Field: On Writing Ethnography. University of Chicago Press, Chicago (1988)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Hayes, N.: Boundless and bounded interactions in the knowledge work process: The role of groupware technologies. Information and Organization 11, 79–101 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Hine, C.: Virtual Ethnography. Sage Publications, London (2000)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Popper, K.: The Logic of Scientific Enquiry. Harper, London (1959)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Denzin, N.K., Lincoln, Y.S.: Handbook of Qualitative Research. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks (1994)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Bahli, B., Di Tullio, D.: Web engineering: An assessment of empirical research. Communications of the AIS 12, 203–222 (2003)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Dawson, R., Bones, P., Oates, B.J., Brereton, P., Azuma, M., Jackson, M.L.: Empirical methodologies in software engineering. In: Under review, Springer, Heidelberg (2004)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Briony J. Oates
    • 1
  • Gary Griffiths
    • 1
  • Mike Lockyer
    • 1
  • Barry Hebbron
    • 1
  1. 1.School of ComputingUniversity of TeessideMiddlesbroughUK

Personalised recommendations