Research in Practice: A Study of Research Solution Adoption and Use


  • MOHIT SINGH Aspiring Scientists' Summer Internship Program Intern
  • Brittany Johnson-Matthews Aspiring Scientists' Summer Internship Program Mentor
  • Justin Smith Aspiring Scientists' Summer Internship Program Co-mentor



Although commercialized and un-marketed research solutions exist in the software community, not all developers integrate research into practice. Existing studies investigate the relationship between developers and their tools in specific domains, yet little work exists on the synergy between research and practice in software-engineering. Prior medical domain research suggests that issues with tool marketability, or access to and awareness of relevant research solutions, hinders research solution adoption and use. We designed a survey to evaluate this hypothesis in the context of software-engineering, and three research questions: How do software teams learn about research solutions? What factors influence a practitioner's decision to integrate research solutions? How can we increase usage of research solutions in software development? We piloted our survey with 4 professionals. From pilot participant feedback, we improved our survey for dissemination. One interesting insight from our pilot was that 2 professionals believed podcasts represent appealing ways to improve research accessibility, which we did not consider during our hypothesis process. Due to these results, we drafted a report to increase awareness of commercialized research solutions. Attempting to provide support for access to new and relevant research solutions, we also designed a browser plug-in called ToolRepo that we plan to implement and improve based on survey findings. Our study illustrates the need for improved developer-research communication, while our tool lessens the divide between research and practice.





College of Engineering and Computing: Department of Computer Science