A survey of over 400 recent research articles suggests that
computer scientists publish relatively few papers with
experimentally validated results.
The survey includes complete volumes of several refereed computer
science journals, a conference, and 50 titles drawn at random from
all articles published by ACM in 1993. The journals Optical
Engineering (OE) and Neural Computation (NC) were used for
comparison. Of the papers in the random sample that would require
experimental validation, 40% have none at all. In journals
related to software engineering, this fraction is over 50%.In
comparison, the fraction of papers lacking quantitative evaluation
in OE and NC is only 15% and 12%, respectively.
Conversely, the fraction of papers that devote one fifth or more
of their space to experimental validation is almost 70% for OE and
NC,while it is a mere 30% for the CS random sample and 20% for
software engineering.The low ratio of validated results appears to
be a serious weakness in computer science research.This weakness
should be rectified for the long-term health of the field.