The new ‘In Practice’ track of JSS


It is a pleasure to announce the new In Practice track at the Journal of Systems and Software! Below, some more preliminary information on the planned submission types.


As a research-centric engineering discipline, systems and software engineering research is traditionally driven by the symbiotic relationship between theory and practice. Yet, it is commonly understood that researchers and practitioners are still having limited interactions with each other, rendering that symbiotic relationship and technology transfer cumbersome. To reduce the gap between theory and practice, the Journal of Software and Systems has introduced a new In Practice track. The overarching goal is to become the ideal forum in the area of systems and software for researchers carrying out investigations in industry to disseminate their results, as well as for practitioners to share their experiences with the academic community


Research papers to be published in this track are expected to provide value to practitioners that aim at triggering innovation and operational excellence inside their organisations based on relevant industrial research findings, or to researchers by providing practitioner insights to help them focus their research on practically relevant problems. Hence, we envision publications of this track to help bridging the gap between theory and practice and to achieve high academic and practical impact. 

Submission Types

We invite submissions in a similar scope of our journal’s main track, as long as there is a clear industry focus. More specifically, we are interested in submissions that fit into one of the following two categories:

  • Applied Research (“out of the lab, into the wild”): In this category, we invite submissions that report results (positive or negative) concerning the experience of applying/evaluating systems and software technologies (methods, techniques and tools) in real industrial settings. These comprise empirical studies conducted in industry (e.g., action research, case studies) or experience reports that may help understanding situations in which technologies really work and their impact. Submissions should include information on the industrial setting, provide motivation, explain the events leading to the outcomes, including the challenges faced, summarize the outcomes, and conclude with lessons learned, take-away messages, and practical advice based on the described experience. An extensive description of related work or background material is not required. Similarly, extensive details on the research methodology (if needed to assess the scientific rigour) should be reported as part of an appendix. While papers in this category will be evaluated also based on their scientific rigor, the focus is on their merit in reporting practically relevant results rather than in terms of academic (theoretical) novelty.  
  • Practitioner Insights: In this category, we invite experience reports showing what actually happens in practical settings, illustrating the challenges (and pain) that practitioners face, and presenting lessons learned. Problem descriptions with significant details on the context, underlying causes and symptoms, and technical and organizational impact are also welcome. Practitioner insights papers may also comprise invited opinionated views on the evolution of chosen topic areas in practice.  Submissions in this category are limited to four pages and the first author must be from industry.

Not in scope of the In Practice track are secondary studies (e.g. systematic literature reviews), studies carried out in artificial settings (e.g. controlled experiments carried out in academic settings), and studies with limited potential for scaling up to practice (e.g. survey research that is not exclusively directed at analysing contemporarily used practices, problems, or perceptions in practice). Kindly note that rather than inviting traditional research papers written and carried out by researchers and having co-authors from practice, the focus on this track is to serve as a catalyst for submissions emerging from practical settings. Hence, all submissions will be evaluated through industry-appropriate criteria and having at least one reviewer with an industry-affine affiliation. The track aims at establishing a forum for industry-related researchers and practitioners to disseminate results and make their voice being heard.

Daniel Mendez, Marcos Kalinowski
Area editors