In this paper, we examine the state of computer science (CS) research from the point of view of the following research questions:
1. What topics do CS researchers address? 2. What research approaches do CS researchers use? 3. What research methods do CS researchers use? 4. On what reference disciplines does CS research depend? 5. At what levels of analysis do CS researchers conduct research?
To answer these questions, we examined 628 papers published between 1995 and 1999 in 13 leading research journals in the CS field. Our results suggest that while CS research examines a variety of technical topics it is relatively focused in terms of the level at which research is conducted as well as the research techniques used. Further, CS research seldom relies on work outside the discipline for its theoretical foundations. We present our findings as an evaluation of the state of current research and as groundwork for future CS research efforts. 2003 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.