Aims and scope

The journal provides a focus for the dissemination of new results about the elicitation, representation and validation of requirements of software intensive information systems or applications.  Theoretical and applied submissions are welcome, but all papers must explicitly address:

  • the practical consequences of the ideas for the design of complex systems
  • how the ideas should be evaluated by the reflective practitioner

The journal is motivated by a multi-disciplinary view that considers requirements not only in terms of software components specification but also in terms of activities for their elicitation, representation and agreement, carried out within an organisational and social context.  To this end, contributions are sought from fields such as software engineering, information systems, occupational sociology, cognitive and organisational psychology, human-computer interaction, computer-supported cooperative work, linguistics and philosophy for work addressing specifically requirements engineering issues.

Type of articles

Research articles

Research articles (1) present solutions for requirements-related problems that are novel or significantly improve existing solutions, or (2) evaluate existing problem situations or proposed solutions. Research articles must include some scientific means for evaluating the validity of the subject. Such means include by empirical studies, experiments, case studies, simulations, formal analyses, mathematical proofs, etc.

Research commentary

Research commentaries provide an analysis of current, and a roadmap to the future of, requirements research and practices. A literature survey is an example, which abstracts from the current state of the art and provides insightful observations, fruitful analogies, or proposes significant and novel research directions—especially for emerging or less-understood subjects. Research commentaries should be educational, provocative, or direction-setting. They must provide compelling argumentation for any conclusions drawn.


Topics include, but are not restricted to:

  • Theories and models relevant to requirements engineering
  • The intersection of requirements engineering with business engineering
  • Elicitation techniques including ethnography and social studies, task analysis, HCI approaches, user centered approaches, participatory design, facilitation techniques, cooperative requirements engineering
  • Analysis and valuation of cultural, political and organisational factors that affect requirements engineering practice
  • Architecture and functions of computer-based tools and environments for requirements engineering
  • Scenarios, design rationales and argumentation-based approaches
  • The states of practice, including evaluations of different approaches in industrial-size projects: papers on problems in requirements
  • Comprehensive reviews of current research and practice that synthesize findings not customarily integrated in the same place, and reports describing the unifying vision of research underway at particular institutions or research groups.
Indexed in Current Contents® / Engineering Computing & Technology® and ISI's Sciences Citation Index Expanded®