A systematic mapping study of web application testing

Vahid Garousi*, Ali Mesbah, Aysu Betin-Can, Shabnam Mirshokraie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)


Context: The Web has had a significant impact on all aspects of our society. As our society relies more and more on the Web, the dependability of web applications has become increasingly important. To make these applications more dependable, for the past decade researchers have proposed various techniques for testing web-based software applications. Our literature search for related studies retrieved 147 papers in the area of web application testing, which have appeared between 2000 and 2011. Objective As this research area matures and the number of related papers increases, it is important to systematically identify, analyze, and classify the publications and provide an overview of the trends in this specialized field. Method We review and structure the body of knowledge related to web application testing through a systematic mapping (SM) study. As part of this study, we pose two sets of research questions, define selection and exclusion criteria, and systematically develop and refine a classification schema. In addition, we conduct a bibliometrics analysis of the papers included in our study. Results Our study includes a set of 79 papers (from the 147 retrieved papers) published in the area of web application testing between 2000 and 2011. We present the results of our systematic mapping study. Our mapping data is available through a publicly-accessible repository. We derive the observed trends, for instance, in terms of types of papers, sources of information to derive test cases, and types of evaluations used in papers. We also report the demographics and bibliometrics trends in this domain, including top-cited papers, active countries and researchers, and top venues in this research area. Conclusion We discuss the emerging trends in web application testing, and discuss the implications for researchers and practitioners in this area. The results of our systematic mapping can help researchers to obtain an overview of existing web application testing approaches and indentify areas in the field that require more attention from the research community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1374-1396
Number of pages23
JournalInformation and Software Technology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Bibliometrics
  • Paper repository
  • Systematic mapping
  • Testing
  • Web application

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications


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