Theme Issue on Crowdsourcing for Software Engineering

Submission Deadline: 1 August 2016
Publication: March/April 2017

Crowdsourcing is increasingly revolutionizing the ways in which software is engineered. Developers increasingly crowdsource answering their questions through Q&A sites such as StackOverflow. Nonprogrammers can contribute human-intelligence to development projects, by, for example, usability testing software or even playing games with a purpose to implicitly construct formal specifications. Crowdfunding helps to democratize decisions about what software to build. Software engineering researchers can even benefit from new opportunities to evaluate their work with real developers by recruiting developers from the crowd. This IEEE Software theme issue on Crowdsourcing for Software Engineering solicits experience reports, research studies and papers on tools and techniques that use crowdsourcing to solve software engineering problems, or demonstrate how crowdsourcing can enrich software engineers’ work practice. Topics of interest include but are not limited to: 

  • use of crowdsourcing to “source” software (for instance, as an alternative to outsourcing) with considerations relating to task decomposition, coordination, scheduling and quality;
  • any aspect of software engineering including development, testing, design, and requirements with a crowd;
  • sustainability of crowdsourcing and crowds addressing factors such as motivation, burnout, and building relationships with and within crowds;
  • ethics, fairness, privacy, and security aspects of crowdsourcing;
  • creativity and innovation in crowds;
  • gamification of tasks to increase participation in tasks;
  • participation models including factors such as competition, collaboration, transparency, customer participation, and crowdsourcing as “flash mobs” for development;
  • remuneration and pricing mechanisms; 
  • Q&A platforms such as StackOverflow;
  • best practices for “customers” and “suppliers”;
  • internal crowdsourcing models (for application within organizations);
  • governance and control mechanisms for crowds;
  • scaling crowdsourcing to dependable large-scale software development;
  • boundaries and limits of software crowdsourcing; and
  • characteristics of software development crowds — who is the crowd, where do they come from, when do they work, and why do they participate? 


For more information about the focus, contact the guest editors:

Submission Guidelines

Manuscripts must not exceed 4,700 words including figures and tables, which count for 250 words each. Submissions over these limits may be rejected without refereeing. Articles deemed within the theme and scope will be peer reviewed and subject to editing for magazine style, clarity, organization, and space. Submissions should include the special issue’s name.

Articles should be novel, have a practical orientation, and be written in a style accessible to practitioners. Overly complex, purely research-oriented, or theoretical treatments aren’t appropriate. IEEE Software doesn’t republish material published previously in other venues.

To submit an article: (Please select “SI:crowdsourcing4SE” as submission type).

For submission details:

For general author guidelines:

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