I'm a PhD student involved in research based on StackOverflow data. In doing so I am of course very interested in related work about SO.

However, there seems to be no centralised place where academic papers about SE/SO are listed, although the community seems excited about the idea of SO-based academic research.

In addition to the afore-linked blog post (that mentions some papers from 2010), I found two other questions on meta (one from 2010 and another one from 2011) that also list a few papers.

However, this is IMO both hard to maintain as well as counter-intuitive. What I typically see for other data sources / tools is a separate section on their website where they list all publications that use their data. For example:

  • Qualitas Corpus - a curated collection of software systems intended to be used for empirical studies of code artefacts;
  • Aprove - an automated program verification environment;
  • ISBSG - a software development effort dataset.

What do you think about such a feature?

PS. I already have a list of new papers about SO (compiled using Google Scholar) waiting for the right place to be added.

Update: I have compiled a list of academic papers here.


3 Answers 3



Stack Overflow is not a List of all Things


Stack Overflow is not a perfect model of its guidelines

That said, if you must host something like this on Stack Overflow, do not do it on the main site. If you must post it on one of the Stack Exchange sites, make sure to do the following:

  • Post it on meta. After all, this is a list of papers about Stack Overflow, so meta is the natural place to put this.
  • Tag it with at least and .
  • Have one answer which you automatically accept.
  • Make sure you have a significant answer to begin with.
  • Be vigilant about maintaining it (for correctness, broken links, etc)

It's excessively difficult to get all of these things correct in order to maintain something like a book list, and failure to do any of them leads to closure and/or deletion rather quickly.

That said, I think the best option, however, would be to reach out to the community team with your information, and ask then to put an entry on the Stack Exchange blog highlighting these items. After all, they've posted about it before, and if there's significantly new and/or updated information then the blog is the perfect place to put it.

  • 1
    +1 for what StackOverflow is not. May 10, 2012 at 12:16
  • How about making it a FAQ ? May 11, 2012 at 14:24
  • @BogdanVasilescu Not on the main site, you aren't addressing an actual programming problem. If it's going to be a FAQ then you do it here on meta, given the subject matter. If you're talking about integrating it into the actual FAQ, maybe it could happen, but I doubt it, since the FAQ is for how to use the site, not anecdotes about it.
    – casperOne
    May 11, 2012 at 14:36
  • @casperOne the both links are, the same now 404 which is "Page not found" :) is there some other link? following this to get replies; good answer too! Nov 12, 2022 at 9:15

Sounds interesting. For each paper one can, e.g., include the explicit reference to which version of the SO data has been used. In a longer run one can even envision sharing tools used to analyse the SO data.


Perhaps a link to a curated bibliography or tag at http://researchr.org/ ?

They already have the infrastructure to link and collect publications.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .