Sustainable Systematic Literature Reviews

Published: 23 February 2023| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/v7bbs5cx7p.1
Vinicius Santos,


Context: Systematic Literature Reviews (SLR) have been recognized as an important research method for summarizing evidence in Software Engineering (SE). At the same, SLR still presents several problems, such as the high resource consumption (mainly human resources) and lack of effective impact on SE practitioners, although much research has already been done. Objective: The main goal of this paper is to explore the concept of sustainability in the SLR area, intending to contribute to understanding better and solving such problems in an integrated way. More specifically, this paper characterizes what sustainable SLR are, their core characteristics, critical factors (i.e., sensitive points in the SLR process), and guidelines for conducting such SLR. Method: We performed a meta-ethnographic study to find key concepts of sustainable software systems and transpose them to sustainable SLR. For this, we systematically selected 16 studies about sustainable software systems and 14 distinguished studies about SLR. Following, we extracted the main keywords and metaphors, determined how both areas are correlated, and transposed them to obtain a set of core characteristics of sustainable SLR as well as critical factors and guidelines. Additionally, we validated them with specialists using the Delphi method. Results: We found 15 core characteristics that offer a broad view of sustainable SLR, 15 critical factors in the SLR process that should be carefully addressed when conducting and updating SLR, and also 16 guidelines to manage SLR from the sustainability perspective. Conclusion: The concept of sustainability in SLR can contribute to solving SLR problems in a more integrated way, while this work could change the mindset of the SLR community about the need to conduct sustainable SLR. This dataset provides all artifacts created in each step of this studies.



Universidade de Sao Paulo Instituto de Ciencias Matematicas e de Computacao, Universidade de Sao Paulo


Sustainability, Systematic Review


Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior

PROEX-11357580/D, PROEX-11308091/D

Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico


Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo

2015/24144-7, 2019/23663-1