Venters, Colin, Seyff, Norbert, Becker, Christoph, Betz, Stefanie, Chitchyan, Ruzanna, Duboc, Leticia, McIntyre, Dan and Penzenstadler, Birgit (2017) Characterising Sustainability Requirements: A New Species, Red Herring, or Just an Odd Fish? In: 39th International Conference on Software Engineering ICSE 17, 20-28th May 2017, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Abstract—Requirements articulating the needs of stakeholders are critical to successful system development and key to influ-encing their long-term effects. As the concept of sustainability has entered the discourse of a number of software-related computing fields, so has the term ‘sustainability requirement’. However, it is unclear whether sustainability requirements are and should be different from how we already understand software requirements. This paper presents the results of a corpus-assisted discourse analysis study that explored the concept of sustainability requirements in order to understand how the term is being used in software and requirements engineering and related fields. The results of this study reveal that the term ‘sustainability requirement’ is generally used ambiguously and reveals significant segmentation across different fields. Our detailed analysis of selected influential papers highlights the segmented use of the term and suggests key focus questions that need to be addressed to establish a shared operative understanding of the term.

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