• Analytical: A paper in which the main contribution relies on new algorithms or mathematical theory. Examples include new bug prediction techniques, model transformations, algorithms for dynamic and static analysis, and reliability analysis. Such a contribution must be evaluated with a convincing analysis of the algorithmic details, whether through a proof, complexity analysis, or run-time analysis, among others and depending on the objectives.
  • Empirical: A paper in which the main contribution is the empirical study of a software engineering technology or phenomenon. This includes controlled experiments, case studies, and surveys of professionals reporting qualitative or quantitative data and analysis results. Such a contribution will be judged on its study design, appropriateness and correctness of its analysis, and threats to validity. Replications are welcome.
  • Technological: A paper in which the main contribution is of a technical nature. This includes novel tools, modeling languages, infrastructures, and other technologies. Such a contribution does not necessarily need to be evaluated with humans. However, clear arguments, backed up by evidence as appropriate, must show how and why the technology is beneficial, whether it is in automating or supporting some user task, refining our modeling capabilities, improving some key system property, etc.
  • Methodological: A paper in which the main contribution is a coherent system of broad principles and practices to interpret or solve a problem. This includes novel requirements elicitation methods, process models, design methods, development approaches, programming paradigms, and other methodologies. The authors should provide convincing arguments, with commensurate experiences, why a new method is needed and what the benefits of the proposed method are.
  • Perspectives: A paper in which the main contribution is a novel perspective on the field as a whole, or part thereof. This includes assessments of the current state of the art and achievements, systematic literature reviews, framing of an important problem, forward-looking thought pieces, connections to other disciplines, and historical perspectives. Such a contribution must, in a highly convincing manner, clearly articulate the vision, novelty, and potential impact.
  • Experience report, industrial, and case studies papers: Each paper should provide clear take-away value by describing the context of a problem of practical importance; discussing why the solution of the problem is innovative, effective, or efficient; providing a concise explanation of the approach, techniques, and methodologies employed; and explaining the best practices that emerged, tools developed, and/or software processes involved. Furthermore, papers should describe broader applicability; overall assessment of benefits, risks and mitigations, and other lessons learned. Experience reports and case studies may be up to ten pages in length and will appear in the ICSE Companion proceedings.

All papers are full papers, and papers may belong to more than one category. Note that papers from any research area can fall into any of these categories, as the categories are constructed surrounding methodological approaches, not research topics (e.g., one could write an analytical paper on a new analysis technique, an empirical paper that compares a broad range of such techniques, a technological paper that makes an analysis technique practically feasible and available, or a perspectives paper that reviews the state of the art and lays out a roadmap of analysis techniques for the future).