Call for Papers: Special Issue on Sustaining Software Engineering Knowledge Transfer
IEEE Software seeks submissions for this special issue.

Submission Deadline: 1 February 2021
Publication: September/October 2021

Many industries are finding that they now need to innovate with and through software. Whether through in-house development or contracting, they need to transform their business to include significant software. For instance, more than half of the cost of engineering a car is now in software. Another example is that financial institutions must not only produce software to keep their business efficient but also develop software products to give their clients directly through webpages and apps. Producing all of this software requires efficient and productive software development processes. Yet, the research that is done in academia to improve software engineering approaches is slow to transfer to industry. At the same time, companies struggle to transfer academic results and duplicate them in their research labs with a more practice focus. Universities, funding agencies, and startup incubators are attempting to facilitate the technology transfer.

Technology transfer is a bi-directional engagement, i.e., from academia to industry and vice versa. As one example, spin-offs are considered a method for bi-directional knowledge transfer and facilitating open innovation. Only bi-directional transfer ensures that needs on the industry side are well understood. Otherwise, we widen the gap. A good example is requirements engineering or modeling in embedded critical systems; today, we have two methods on both sides because academic research delivers but does not consider specific needs on the industry side. However, considering the number and the success rate of software engineering university spin-offs and funded partnerships, the rate of transferred research projects into industry demonstrates the challenging path for knowledge transfer. Even when the transfer of knowledge occurs, the adoption process can be lengthy and hence not sustainable and cost-effective. Typically, companies save first on training and knowledge transfer projects. Shortening the adoption curve from academia to production and putting sustainable processes in place are needed to cope with the fast-changing business and academic environments.

This IEEE Software special issue on Sustaining Software Engineering Knowledge Transfer seeks to gather and share academic and practitioner experience reports in regards to knowledge transfer. In particular, we welcome experience reports on:

  • Research partnership programs,
  • Patents and licensing of the research results,
  • Academic spin-offs,
  • Sustaining knowledge and its effective transfer during cost-savings programs,
  • Hiring scholars,
  • Inter-disciplinary teams,
  • Co-editing articles and integration in conferences,
  • Open sourcing, and
  • Crowdsourcing in the form of hackathons.

Submission Guidelines

Submissions for this special issue must not exceed 5,400 words, including figures and tables, which count for 200 words each. Submissions in excess of these limits may be rejected without refereeing. The articles we deem within the theme and scope will be peer-reviewed and are subject to editing for magazine style, clarity, organization, and space. We reserve the right to edit the title of all submissions. Be sure to include the name of the theme or special issue you are submitting for. Articles should have a practical orientation and be written in a style accessible to practitioners. Overly complex, purely research-oriented, or theoretical treatments are not appropriate. Articles should be novel. IEEE Software does not republish material published previously in other venues, including other periodicals and formal conference/workshop proceedings, whether previous publication was in print or in electronic form.

Please read the author guidelines.
To submit an article, go to


Contact the guest editors at

Guest editors:

  • Maleknaz Nayebi
  • Gail Murphy
  • Christof Ebert
Special Issue on Sustaining Software Engineering Knowledge Transfer
1 February 2021