Skip to main content

Systematic Literature Reviews in Engineering: Example: Software Engineering

How to conduct a Systematic Literature Review in Software Engineering

The following documents provide a comprehensive overview of adapting the systematic review process for Software Engineering

Here is an example paper:

Using Scrum in Global Software Development: A Systematic Literature Review, by Emam Hossain, Muhammad Ali Babar, and Hye-young Paik. Fouth IEEE International Conference on Global Software Engineering, 2009, p. 175-184.


According to the Guidelines for performing Systematic Literature Reviews in Software Engineering, a Systematic Literature Review may address research questions such as:

  • "Assessing the effect of a software engineering technology."
  • "Assessing the frequency or rate of a project development factor such as the adoption of a technology, or the frequency or rate of project success or failure."
  • "Identifying cost and risk factors associated with a technology."
  • "Identifying the impact of technologies on reliability, performance, and cost models."
  • "Cost benefit analysis of employing specific software development technologies or software applications."

Key Databases for Systematic Literature Reviews in Software Engineering

Get Started

Since conducting a comprehensive and exhaustive search of the literature is a key component of a Systematic Literature Review, it can be helpful to get help from a librarian. Several librarians have received formal Systematic Review training. We can provide assistance with the following:

  • Recommending databases and sources
  • Developing a search strategy, including using controlled vocabularies
  • Running test searches
  • Identifying sources for grey literature and hand searching
  • Advising on citation management

It may also be helpful to look at guides for Systematic Reviews in other fields.

Web Accessibility Assistance