Trends in software reuse research: a tertiary study

Jose L. Barros-Justo, Fabianne B.V. Benitti, Santiago Matalonga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
209 Downloads (Pure)


The reuse of software has been a research topic for more than 50 years. Throughout that time, many approaches, tools and proposed techniques have reached maturity. However, it is not yet a widespread practice and some issues need to be further investigated. The latest study on software reuse trends dates back to 2005 and we think that it should be updated.

To identify the current trends in software reuse research.

A tertiary study based on systematic secondary studies published up to July 2018.

We identified 4,423 works related to software reuse, from which 3,102 were filtered by selection criteria and quality assessment to produce a final set of 56 relevant studies. We identified 30 current research topics and 127 proposals for future work, grouped into three broad categories: Software Product Lines, Other reuse approaches and General reuse topics.

Frequently reported topics include: Requirements and Testing in the category of Lifecycle phases for Software Product Lines, and Systematic reuse for decision making in the category of General Reuse. The most mentioned future work proposals were Requirements, and Evolution and Variability management for Software Product Lines, and Systematic reuse for decision making. The identified trends, based on future work proposals, demonstrate that software reuse is still an interesting area for research. Researchers can use these trends as a guide to lead their future projects.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103352
Number of pages18
JournalComputer Standards & Interfaces
Early online date27 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2019


  • Software reuse
  • Trends in software reuse
  • Systematic literature review
  • Tertiary Study


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