Authors: Margaret-Anne Storey, Emelie Engstrom, Per Runeson, Martin Host, Elizabeth Bjarnason (Lund University, Sweden and University of Victoria, Canada)
Empirical software engineering research aims to generate prescriptive knowledge that can help software engineers improve their work and overcome their challenges, but deriving these insights from real-world problems can be challenging. In this paper, we promote design science as an effective way to produce and communicate prescriptive knowledge. We propose using a visual abstract template to communicate design science contributions and highlight the main problem/solution constructs of this area of research, as well as to present the validity aspects of design knowledge. Our conceptualization of design science is derived from existing literature and we illustrate its use by applying the visual abstract to an example use case. This is work in progress and further evaluation by practitioners and researchers will be forthcoming.
Preprint is available at: http://chisel.cs.uvic.ca/pubs/storey-ESEM2017.pdf
A blog post is available here:
A template for the visual abstract can be found here, if you use it, please share your experience with us!
Using a Visual Abstract as a Lens for Communicating and Promoting Design Science Research in Software Engineering
Using a Visual Abstract as a
Lens for Communicating
Design Science Research in
To achieve an effect in a situation apply this intervention
Feedback and limitations
Quite well received by professors, students and practitioners
Seen as useful for training, reviewing, communication and for research design
Preferred over structured abstracts -- different emphasis, more flexible emphasis
The abstract does not apply to studies that don’t produce an artifact/tech rule
Not all components of the abstract may be relevant for all studies
Doesn’t scale well to multiple studies nor to research programs
Not visual enough
In comparison, visual
abstracts provide additional
insights with a more flexible
A structured abstract is an
abstract with distinct, labeled
sections (e.g., Introduction,
Methods, Results, Discussion) for
How could the visual abstract be improved (if you like it)?
Should technological rule be called a “socio-technological rule” or “takeaway”?
What other types of visual abstracts may be needed for software engineering
research (e.g., empirical studies that do not produce an artifact)?
Would a “gallery” of visual abstracts in software engineering be useful?
If yes, how could it be organized?
Thanks to the ISERN workshop participants, Barbara Russo
and Markku Oivo, and the UVic Research Seminar group for
reflecting on and improving the visual abstract!
We are also grateful for the Lise Meitner Guest Professorship
at Lund University for enabling our collaboration!
We welcome your input and ideas!
Talk to us or email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Selected Design Science References
A. Hevner and S. Chatterjee, Design Research in Information Systems: Theory and Practice, 2010th ed.
New York ; London: Springer, May 2010.
J. E. v. Aken, “Management Research Based on the Paradigm of the Design Sciences: The Quest for
Field-Tested and Grounded Technological Rules,” vol. 41, no. 2, pp. 219–246, 2004.
S. Gregor, “The nature of theory in information systems,” MIS Quarterly, vol. 30, no. 3, pp. 611–642, 2006.
R. J. Wieringa, “What Is Design Science?” in Design Science Methodology for Information Systems and
Software Engineering. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2014, pp. 3–11.
M. Bunge, Philosophy of Science: Volume 2, From Explanation to Justification, 1st ed. New Brunswick,
N.J: Routledge, Feb. 1998.
S. Gregor and A. R. Hevner, “Positioning and Presenting Design Science Research for Maximum Impact,”
vol. 37, no. 2, pp. 337– 356, Jun. 2013.
R. Wieringa and A. Moralı, “Technical Action Research as a Validation Method in Information Systems
Design Science,” in Design Science Research in Information Systems. Advances in Theory and Practice.
Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, May 2012, pp. 220–238.