Standing on shoulders or feet? The usage of the MSR data papers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: The establishment of the Mining Software Repositories (MSR) Data Showcase conference track has encouraged researchers to provide more data sets as a basis for further empirical studies. Objectives: Examine the usage of the data papers published in the MSR proceedings in terms of use frequency, users, and use purpose. Methods: Data track papers were collected from the MSR Data Showcase and through the manual inspection of older MSR proceedings. The use of data papers was established through citation searching followed by reading the studies that have cited them. Data papers were then clustered based on their content, whereas their citations were classified according to the knowledge areas of the Guide to the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge. Results: We found that 65% of the data papers have been used in other studies, with a long-tail distribution in the number of citations. MSR data papers are cited less than other MSR papers. A considerable number of the citations stem from the teams that authored the data papers. Publications providing repository data and metadata are the most frequent data papers and the most often cited ones. Mobile application data papers are the least common ones, but the second most frequently cited. Conclusion: Data papers have provided the foundation for a significant number of studies, but there is room for improvement in their utilization. This can be done by setting a higher bar for their publication, by encouraging their use, and by providing incentives for the enrichment of existing data collections.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2019 IEEE/ACM 16th International Conference on Mining Software Repositories, MSR 2019
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781728134123
Publication statusPublished - May 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event16th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Mining Software Repositories, MSR 2019 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: 26 May 201927 May 2019

Publication series

NameIEEE International Working Conference on Mining Software Repositories
ISSN (Print)2160-1852
ISSN (Electronic)2160-1860


Conference16th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Mining Software Repositories, MSR 2019


  • Bibliometrics
  • Data paper
  • Data showcase track
  • Reproducibility
  • Software engineering data


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