Using blog-like documents to investigate software practice: benefits, challenges and research directions

Austen Rainer, Ashley Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
174 Downloads (Pure)


Background: There is an emerging body of software engineering research using grey literature. One frequently occurring type of grey literature is the blog post. Whilst there are prospective benefits to the use of grey literature and blog posts in software engineering research, there are also concerns about the quality of such material.
Objectives: To identify and describe the benefits and challenges to using blog--like content in software engineering research, and to scope directions for further research.
Methods: We conduct a review of previous research, within and beyond software engineering, to identify benefits and challenges.
Results: We identify and organise the prospective benefits and the challenges of using blog--like documents in software engineering research. We offer a definition of the type of blog--like document of (more) value to software engineering researchers. We then identify and scope several directions in which to progress research into and with blog--like documents.
Conclusion: This paper presents a substantive and coherent body of benefits, challenges and research directions with which, or against which, future research can progress the use of blog--like documents to investigate software practice.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Software: Evolution and Process
Early online date29 Aug 2019
Publication statusEarly online date - 29 Aug 2019


Dive into the research topics of 'Using blog-like documents to investigate software practice: benefits, challenges and research directions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this