First International Workshop on Properties of Software Engineering Research (PROPSER)


This workshop aims to bring together researchers at various points in their career and practitioners alike, for discussing the systematic description and evaluation of software engineering research.


The workshop is motivated by two observations:

  1. writing and reviewing software engineering research results is often hindered by the lack of a community understanding what are important questions (hypotheses) to validate research and which methods are suitable, appropriate and needed for demonstrating evidence;

  2. retrieving research results just through syntactical terms of the paper title (or even abstract) is often very hard, and, as a consequence, comprehensively relating research results to each other in terms of support, strengthening or contradiction is rarely done.

Therefore, in PROPSER we want to discuss in particular:

  • properties for describing software engineering research, such as relevance, evidence, applicability, appropriateness, etc;
  • general patterns for suitable empirical validations of research results and hypotheses;
  • suitable classifications of software engineering research, beyond established subject categories;
  • experiences, rules or guidelines, on how to decide on suitable validation questions and subsequently suitable empirical methods;
  • managing and organising research knowledge at a finer grain than paper citations;
  • methods for evaluating the impact of research on software engineering practice.

The workshop aims to discuss these subjects as such, it is not meant to be a platform for original research results in a specific software engineering topic. Therefore, we intentionally do not require original new ideas to be submitted. Of course, for inclusion in the proceedings a paper should be original text.


Concretely, we invite three types of submissions:

  • taxonomy papers (up to 8 pages): papers presenting or surveying classifications of software engineering subjects, empirical methods, areas of software applications, etc.; including hypotheses about relationships between such categories (e.g., "contributions of type X should be validated with method Y.")

  • method-not-obvious papers (up to 6 pages): papers describing ongoing research that has unsolved questions regarding how to demonstrate the validity and relevance of the work.

  • proposal papers (up to 6 pages): papers that directly address one or a few of the above-mentioned topics.

None of these submission types strictly requires a conventional sequence of sections; please find a suitable section format for your respective case, but make heavy use of headings to help readers with orientation.

Papers will be reviewed with respect of their strength of argumentation and their potential to spark interesting discussions during the workshop regarding the above-mentioned topics.

Submitted papers must be written in English and conform to the ACM Proceedings Format: Download template here.

Submissions are done via the Easychair site of EASE.


The deadlines and important dates for the submissions are as follows:

  • Paper submission: 26 March 2021
  • Author notification: 19 April 2021
  • Camera-ready: 30 April 2021
  • Workshop: 23 June 2021

All accepted papers will be published at ACM EASE Companion Proceedings.


Antonia Bertolino, ISTI-CNR, Italy

Anne Koziolek, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany

Ralf Reussner, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) / FZI – IT Research Centre, Germany (main contact)

Programme Committee

Robert Feldt, Chalmers University, Sweden

Paul Ralph, Dalhousie University, Canada

Carlo Ghezzi, Politecnico di Milano, Italia

Gustavo Pinto, Federal University of Pará, Brasil

Barbara Kitchenham, Keele University, UK

Lutz Prechelt, FU Berlin, Germany

Walter Tichy, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

Sira Vegas, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain