AM08 2008 START Conference Manager    

Information Behavior in Requirements Engineering: An Initial Review of the Research

Mike Alexander

ASIS&T 2008 Annual Meeting (AM08 2008)
Columbus, Ohio, October 24-29, 2008


This paper provides an overview of the existing research on information behavior (IB) in the practice of software requirements engineering (RE) and the research which, although it does not refer to IB or to RE by name, addresses the concepts and theories of one within the framework of the other. The paper begins with operational definitions of the terms "requirements," "requirements engineering," "information behavior," and "information behavior in requirements engineering" to set the framework for this analysis. A number of authors have written extensively on theories of IB. Similarly, although perhaps less well known to those in the Library and Information Science (LIS) community, many terms exist for the field and practices of software requirements elicitation, documentation and maintenance, herein referred to as RE. Although RE is still a relatively young field, having emerged from computer science and software engineering in only the past 20-30 years, research in the field is diverse and growing. However, little research has taken place specifically on IB in RE. In some cases, research on IB and RE progresses on parallel paths, even utilizing the same terminology, without a recognition of the other community’s work. The paper follows the operational definitions with a review of the collective set of literature covering IB in RE and that which reflects IB in RE but does not label it as such. The next section includes a discussion of what the reviewed literature reveals about the state of research and practice in this area, and the paper concludes with suggestions for future research.

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