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Startups have high failure rates due to their inability to attain a sufficient product/market fit, i.e., delivering a solution that best matches the user needs in the market. Requirement engineering is the activity that could help startup teams identify the value proposition that provides high value to the users and continuously innovate it. The objective of the study is to analyse the state of art of the requirement engineering research in the context of startups, as available in the<span class="external-identifiers"> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener noreferrer" href="https://doi.org/10.3390/app10176125">doi:10.3390/app10176125</a> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener" href="https://fatcat.wiki/release/uzabkqyftnch3ozfxexj7ua23q">fatcat:uzabkqyftnch3ozfxexj7ua23q</a> </span>
more »... . The analysis of the research area highlights the research trends to achieve two things i.e., (a) predict how much support the startups can get from the literature for enhancing their success rates and (b) identify the research gaps to motivate researchers to conduct future research that could be adoptable in startup contexts. Systematic mapping is conducted on studies extracted from the four bibliographic databases (IEEExplore, ACM, Springerlink and ScienceDirect) and studies extracted by using a forward snowballing approach. Individual studies are coded to yield the classification scheme. Formulated schemes and those already available in literature, were populated with information extracted from the abstracts of the studies. The research is mostly focused on generic requirement engineering and product validation activities. The research is conducted mostly as evaluations (empirical studies) with the outcome of providing theory to the research community. Major underlying motivation of the research is to attain the product/market fit. However, research studies focusing on requirement documentation, prioritization and elicitation are losing focus from 2017, 2018 and 2019, respectively. The literature lacks the studies that reports research solutions which are validated in laboratory settings or in real contexts, experience reports, opinion papers and philosophical papers. The positive side of the finding is that the number of requirement engineering research studies in a startup context have increased in the past five years. At this instant, unfortunately the literature has limited ability to support startups by providing solutions (for instance, research solutions, evidence to support decision makings, best practices, experiences etc.) that are adoptable in their real context. Uniform focus of the researchers across all sub-activities of requirement engineering is required with effort distributed across different research types that supports startups, not only by providing validated solutions but experience reports, opinions, new conceptual frameworks and empirical evidence that can aid their decision making.
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