Call to Requirements Empiricists!

WANTED: Live Study Proposals


The REFSQ conference has a tradition of a special plenary session for conducting a “live study” involving the conference attendees. Historically, a live study has been a (controlled) experiment relevant to requirements engineering. An “online survey” and Focus group study have also been conducted during the conference days. 


The live study, conducted in a 90-minute session, engages all the voluntary conference attendees present in the session.


For REFSQ 2020, we add the possibility of conducting a “user study” for evaluating requirements engineering tools.


This Call thus invites submissions of proposals for conducting a live study within the framework defined above.


Submission Process


Live study proposal (max 8 pages) should address the following items at least:


1) Plan and Design

  • Research problem

  • Type of study (e.g., experiment, online survey, focus group study, etc.)

  • Research goal

  • Research questions, including any hypothesis

  • Population of interest (i.e., target of generalisation)

    • Description or profile of the intended subjects: prerequisites for being a subject, such as experience, background, etc.

  • Study design, e.g.:

    • For an experiment: research question, hypothesis, control, treatment, variables, randomisation, etc.

    • For a focus group study: sample questions, group partitions if any, coordination, etc.

    • For an online survey: sample questions, rationale, survey length (time), etc.

    • For a user study: research questions, variables, measures, tasks, training(offline, 30-minute session, both), etc.


Note: All participants present in the session should be involved in some manner, e.g., as one large group, or two or more smaller groups in parallel whose results are then possibly integrated and shared with the plenary group. The group partitioning (if any), result integration (if any), result-sharing with the attendees, the process mechanics, etc., are part of study design.


  • Study methods and procedures

  • Equipment and infrastructure needed for performing the live study: PCs, software, flipcharts, Internet, etc.

  • The type of data that would be gathered

  • The type of analysis that would be carried out on the gathered data


2) Relevance and Feasibility of the study

  • Relevance of study for research and/or for practice

  • Benefits to the subjects of participating in the study, including incentives

  • Plan to make publicity of the study if selected, and to attract respondents at the conference

  • Sharing of preliminary and summary results with attendees during the conference

  • Dissemination of the results the conference attendees following the conference


3) About the researchers

  • Record of past empirical studies performed by the submitters

  • Role of the proposed study in a generic research plan (e.g., it is expected to test a theory, to explore an emergent research topic, …)


Submission Link

A template for Live Study proposals can be downloaded here: 


Please use the LaTeX style file: onecolceurws.sty


The proposal should be submitted via Easychair:



Review Process


Live study submissions will be reviewed by 3 reviewers, and based on:


  • The quality, relevance, soundness and feasibility of the proposal;

  • Potential for attracting suitable number of participants.


Accepted proposals


The camera ready of the accepted Live Study proposal(s) will be published in the  CEUR Workshop Proceedings. It must include the following:


  • Plan and Design of the proposal 

  • Anticipated “Threats to the validity of the results” and any mitigation procedures 

  • Ethical issues: informed consent, confidentiality and privacy, fair treatment of subjects, absence of harm to subjects

  • A link to a complete description of the protocol


The authors of the accepted proposal will introduce their study to the participants and conduct the study according to the proposed plan. 


A summary of the (preliminary) results of the study will be shared with the participants within the plenary summary of parallel sessions before the end of the conference.


Important Dates

Live Study Proposal SubmissionNovember 15 November 25, 2019 (Extended)
Notification of AcceptanceDecember 20, 2019

Live Study Track Co-Chairs


Nelly Condori Fernandez,  Universidade da Coruña, Spain; Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands


Luisa Mich, University of Trento


Programme Committee


Dan Berry, University of Waterloo, Canada

Alejandro Catalá, Universidad de Santiago, Spain

Daniela Cruzes, SINTEF, Norway

Fabiano Dalpiaz, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Maya Daneva, University of Twente, The Netherlands

Andrea Herrmann, Hermann & Ehrlich, Germany

Jennifer Horkoff, Chalmers University, Sweden

Ana Maria Moreno, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain

Nicole Novielli, University of Bari, Italy

Barbara Paech, University of Heidelberg, Germany