The software engineering (SE) community has recently recognized that the field lacks well-established research paradigms and clear guidance on how to write good research reports. With no comprehensive guide to the different article types in the field, article writing and reviewing heavily depends on the expertise and the understanding of the individual SE actors. In this work, we classify and describe the article types published in SE with an emphasis on what is required for publication in journals and conference proceedings. Theoretically, we consider article types as genres, because we assume that each type of article has a specific function and a particular communicative purpose within the community, which the members of the community can recognize. We draw on written sources available, i.e. the instructions to authors/reviewers of major SE journals, the calls for papers of major SE conferences, and previous research published on the topic. Despite the fragmentation and limitations of the sources studied, we are able to propose a classification of different SE article types. Such classification helps in guiding the reader through the SE literature, and in making the researcher reflect on directions for improvements. © 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.