G5 Doctoral dissertation (article)
Persistent errors in query formulation (2020)

Taipalus, Toni (2020). Persistent errors in query formulation. JYU dissertations, 283. Jyväskylä: Jyväskylän yliopisto. http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-39-8290-4

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Taipalus, Toni

eISBN: 978-951-39-8290-4

Journal or series: JYU dissertations

eISSN: 2489-9003

Publication year: 2020

Number in series: 283

Number of pages in the book: 1 verkkoaineisto (40 sivua, 93 sivua useina numerointijaksoina, 6 numeroimatonta sivua)

Publisher: Jyväskylän yliopisto

Place of Publication: Jyväskylä

Publication country: Finland

Publication language: English

Persistent website address: http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-39-8290-4

Open Access: Publication published in an open access channel


We use the internet daily to query data from a myriad of databases; every search term entered in a search engine, every movie watched, every song listened, ev-ery newspaper article read online. Although we as end-users only see the rel-atively effortless user interfaces as we query data, someone has had to formal-ize our queries into a language the software understands. The most common of these so called query languages is Structured Query Language (SQL). In or-der for us as end-users to retrieve exactly the data we want, it is crucial that the software developers responsible for writing the underlying queries have written the queries without errors. Educational SQL research, however, has not yet thor-oughly addressed issues related to understanding query formulation errors or some technical factors which influence the process of learning SQL. This doctoral dissertation makes the following contributions for increased understanding of SQL education: (i) a systematic overview of SQL teaching practices proposed in scientific literature, (ii) a creation of a wide taxonomy of errors committed in SQL learning, (iii) a description of which types of errors halt query formulation, and which types of encountered errors are usually fixed, (iv) evidence on the effects of database complexity on query formulation success rates, and (v) a creation of a planning notation designed to mitigate errors in query formulation. Contribu-tion (ii) presents practical implications for research by allowing the comparison of results of different SQL error studies when the taxonomy is used, and extend-ing and generalizing prior SQL error studies. While contributions (i) and (v) may be directly applied in teaching SQL, contributions (iii) and (iv) may be consid-ered when making an informed decision on what kind of databases are the most suitable for practicing SQL.

Keywords: query languages; SQL; databases; relational databases; programming; errors; programming errors; teaching and instruction

Free keywords: Structured Query Language (SQL); computing education; database; relational; error; logical complexity; planning; notation

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Last updated on 2020-16-11 at 16:14