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Santos, A., Vegas, S., Uyaguari, F. et al. Increasing validity through replication: an illustrative TDD case. Software Qual J 28, 371–395 (2020).

Increasing validity through replication : an illustrative TDD case

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Author: Santos, Adrian1; Vegas, Sira2; Uyaguari, Fernando3;
Organizations: 1M3S-ITEE, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Informáticos, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
3ETAPA, Cuenca, Ecuador
4Department of Computer Science, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-09-15


Software engineering (SE) experiments suffer from threats to validity that may impact their results. Replication allows researchers building on top of previous experiments’ weaknesses and increasing the reliability of the findings. Illustrating the benefits of replication to increase the reliability of the findings and uncover moderator variables. We replicate an experiment on test-driven development (TDD) and address some of its threats to validity and those of a previous replication. We compare the replications’ results and hypothesize on plausible moderators impacting results. Differences across TDD replications’ results might be due to the operationalization of the response variables, the allocation of subjects to treatments, the allowance to work outside the laboratory, the provision of stubs, or the task. Replications allow examining the robustness of the findings, hypothesizing on plausible moderators influencing results, and strengthening the evidence obtained.

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Series: Software quality journal
ISSN: 0963-9314
ISSN-E: 1573-1367
ISSN-L: 0963-9314
Volume: 28
Issue: 2
Pages: 371 - 395
DOI: 10.1007/s11219-020-09512-3
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 113 Computer and information sciences
Funding: Open access funding provided by University of Oulu including Oulu University Hospital.
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2020. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit