The spread of information systems in organisational environments in recent years has turned their development into a critical task for corporations. In this setting, the crucial development processes, as well as the large volumes of information which support this process, have meant that the management of the process, in the context of reutilisation, extrapolation and transferability of Software Engineering (SE) elements, has become an essential research field. Additionally, the globalisation of technologies, such as the internet and its subsequent reinvention as the web 2.0, has led to a scenario where the possibilities for reuse and transfer of SE products are multiplied, and transcend organisational boundaries. The structural barriers to learning are changing due to the revolution in the exchange of information witnessed on the internet. Globalisation and participation have opened up infinite opportunities for exploiting the capacities which a network of users can contribute to the software development process. Web 2.0 is seen as a new deal for software management.
In this new web 2.0 or social web, the arrival of the Semantic Web represents a revolution for the form of access and storage of information. The term "Semantic Web" was coined by Berners-Lee, Hendler & Lassila to describe the evolution from a document-based web towards a new paradigm that includes data and information for computers to manipulate. The Semantic Web enables automated information access based on machine-processable semantics of data. The Semantic Web was defined by these authors as “an extension of the current web in which information is given well defined meaning,” and can “enable computers and people to work in co-operation better”. The Semantic Web provides a complementary vision as a knowledge management environment that, in many cases, has expanded and replaced previous knowledge and information management archetypes. Fensel and Musen consider the Semantic Web as “a brain for humankind” and some authors have even extended this definition to a “human semantic web”.
The aim of this Special issue is to bring an overview of success cases as well as tools and methods to enable the use of Social Semantic Web in software development teams. This use can be applied as a support for software development process, as a way to assess documents, personnel enrollment, requirements and knowledge reuse… The social semantic web is a new environment in which both organizations and software professionals could foster expertise sharing and enable cocreation.