Development of scientific software: A systematic mapping, a bibliometrics study, and a paper repository

Roshanak Farhoodi, Vahid Garousi, Dietmar Pfahl, Jonathan Sillito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
118 Downloads (Pure)


Scientific and engineering research is heavily dependent on effective development and use of software artifacts. Many of these artifacts are produced by the scientists themselves, rather than by trained software engineers. To address the challenges in this area, a research community often referred to as "Development of Scientific Software" has emerged in the last few decades. As this research area has matured, there has been a sharp increase in the number of papers and results made available, and it has thus become important to summarize and provide an overview about those studies. Through a systematic mapping and bibliometrics study, we have reviewed 130 papers in this area. We present the results of our study in this paper. Also we have made the mapping data available on an online repository which is planned to be updated on a regular basis. The results of our study seem to suggest that many software engineering techniques and activities are being used in the development of scientific software. However, there is still a need for further exploration of the usefulness of specific software engineering techniques (e.g., regarding software maintenance, evolution, refactoring, re(v)-engineering, process and project management) in the scientific context. It is hoped that this article will help (new) researchers get an overview of the research space and help them to understand the trends in the area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-506
JournalInternational Journal of Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 01 May 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Bibliometrics study
  • Development of scientific software
  • Paper repository
  • Systematic mapping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Artificial Intelligence


Dive into the research topics of 'Development of scientific software: A systematic mapping, a bibliometrics study, and a paper repository'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this