Resources allocated to software maintenance constitutes a major portion of the total life cycle cost of a system. The enormous effect that this can have on an organization's ability to react to dynamic environments has been the primary motivation for researchers to study issues related to software maintenance. The purpose of this paper is to take stock of the research conducted in this area in order to identify the intellectual trails embodied in the coherent body of knowledge on software maintenance.
An author co‐citation analysis (ACA) involving authors who have made seminal contributions to the field of software maintenance was performed. The data for the study were obtained from the Science Citation Index (SCI) and the Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI).
The results indicate that most of the software maintenance research has focused on eight areas: Program logic characteristics, Quality of processes/metrics, Effort and productivity issues, Cognitive issues in repair maintenance, Organizational Issues: Strategies for software evolution/maintenance, Object‐oriented (OO) maintenance, Domain specific language issues and Program construction and design. Research limitations/implications – Some of the limitations of this study include: exclusion of data after 2003, giving equal weight for all citations, and implicit assumption that a relationship exists between the citing and cited documents.
The extension of software maintenance research in the areas suggested in this study may lead to new innovations for practice.
The paper not only introduces new methods for meta analysis, it also suggests that opportunities abound for extending the frontiers of software maintenance research, particularly in the context of contemporary software development approaches.
Ramanujan, S. and Nerur, S. (2009), "An exploratory analysis of the state of software maintenance research: An author co‐citation analysis", Journal of Systems and Information Technology, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 117-130. https://doi.org/10.1108/13287260910955093Download as .RIS
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