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Journal

Software: Practice and Experience

Vol 44 (12 Issues in 2014)
Print ISSN: 0038-0644 Online ISSN: 1097-024X
Impact Factor: 1.008
Software: Practice and Experience (SPE) cover image

Software: Practice and Experience is an internationally respected and rigorously refereed vehicle for the dissemination and discussion of practical experience with new and established software for both systems and applications.


Articles published in the journal must be directly relevant to the design and implementation of software at all levels, from a useful programming technique all the way up to a large scale software system. As the journal’s name suggests, the focus is on practice and experience with software itself. The journal cannot and does not attempt to cover all aspects of software engineering.

The key criterion for publication of a paper is that it makes a contribution from which other persons engaged in software design and implementation might benefit. Originality is also important. Exceptions can be made, however, for cases where apparently well-known techniques do not appear in the readily available literature.

Contributions regularly:

  • Provide detailed accounts of completed software-system projects which can serve as ‘how-to-do-it’ models for future work in the same field;
  • Present short reports on programming techniques that can be used in a wide variety of areas;
  • Document new techniques and tools that aid in solving software construction problems;
  • Explain methods/techniques that cope with the special demands of large-scale software projects. However, software process and management of software projects are topics deemed to be outside the journal’s scope.


The emphasis is always on practical experience; articles with theoretical or mathematical content are included only in cases where an understanding of the theory will lead to better practical systems.

If it is unclear whether a manuscript is appropriate for publication in this journal, the list of referenced publications will usually provide a strong indication. When there are no references to Software: Practice and Experience papers (or to papers in a journal with a similar scope such as JSS), it is quite likely that the manuscript is not suited for this journal. Additionally, one of the journal’s editors can be contacted for advice on the suitability of a particular topic.

Article Categories

Submitted articles normally fall within one of the following five categories.

  • Research Article – which contains original results that are directly relevant to software design and implementation;
  • Extended conference paper – this would be a research article, but where an early version has already been published as a conference paper; special rules apply for submitting this form of paper (please refer to the Author Guidelines for details).
  • Survey paper – which would typically provide a brief introduction to a topic appropriate for the journal and follow that introduction with a critical analysis of work to date on the topic; alternatively, a survey paper can take the form of a timely tutorial on techniques not previously documented in the computing literature.
  • Experience report – which might take the form of a (1) case study, or (2) a detailed account of a completed software-system project, or (3) a report on practical experience with tools and methods for development and/or evaluation of software and software systems in both academic and industrial environments.
  • Short communication – which can introduce a rapidly developing new topic and provide early results on that topic; it will be given higher priority for publication than a regular article.



Articles range in length from a Short Communication (up to ten pages) to the length required to give full treatment to a substantial piece of software (exceptionally up to 40 pages).

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