Specifying the Process Model for Systematic Reviews: An Augmented Proposal


  • Luis Olsina, Dr. GIDIS_Web, Facultad de Ingeniería, UNLPam
  • Pablo Becker, Dr. GIDIS_Web, Facultad de Ingeniería, UNLPam
  • Denis Peppino, Ing. GIDIS_Web, Facultad de Ingeniería, UNLPam
  • Guido Tebes, Ing. GIDIS_Web, Facultad de Ingeniería, UNLPam




Systematic Literature Review; Process Modeling Perspectives; SPEM; Process Improvement; Software Testing Ontology


Context: Systematic Literature Review (SLR) is a research methodology intended to obtain evidence from scientific articles stored in digital libraries. SLRs can be performed on primary and secondary studies. Although there are guidelines to the SLR process in Software Engineering, the SLR process is not fully and rigorously specified yet. Moreover, it can often be observed a lack of a clear separation of concerns between what to do (process) and how to do it (methods). Objective: To specify the SLR process in a more detailed and rigorous manner by considering different process modeling perspectives, such as functional, behavioral, organizational and informational. The main objective in this work is specifying the SLR activities rather than their methods. Method: The SPEM (Software & Systems Process Engineering Metamodel) language is used to model the SLR process from different perspectives. In addition, we illustrate aspects of the proposed process by using a recently conducted SLR on software testing ontologies. Results: Our SLR process model specifications favor a clear identification of what task/activities should be performed, in which order, by whom, and which are the consumed and produced artifacts as well as their inner structures. Also, we explicitly specify activities related to the SLR pilot test, analyzing the gains. Conclusion: The proposed SLR process considers with higher rigor the principles and benefits of process modeling backing SLRs to be more systematic, repeatable and auditable for researchers and practitioners. In fact, the rigor provided by process modeling, where several perspectives are combined, but can also be independently detached, provides a greater richness of expressiveness in sequences and decision flows, while representing different levels of granularity in the work definitions, such as activity, sub-activity and task.


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How to Cite

Olsina, L., Becker, P., Peppino, D., & Tebes, G. (2019). Specifying the Process Model for Systematic Reviews: An Augmented Proposal. Journal of Software Engineering Research and Development, 7, 7:1 – 7:23. https://doi.org/10.5753/jserd.2019.460



Research Article