SPE’s peer review process provides invaluable constructive feedback from experts in your field, allowing you to make a good paper even better.
How does the peer-review process work?
Authors are encouraged to submit technical papers for publication in our peer-reviewed journals. We welcome both conference papers and papers submitted directly for review.
After selecting a journal and submitting your paper, the journal’s editors will identify technical reviewers who will evaluate your paper's criteria for publication and provide constructive feedback. This review cycle usually takes 120-150 days. SPE's Editorial Review Committee is composed of volunteers, so there may be occasions when the paper's review exceeds our preferred timeframe. However, we believe that our process is timely, and it is our intent to provide a thorough and fair evaluation.
Formatting and general guidelines can be found on our elements of a technical paper page.
Is my paper a good candidate for peer review?
SPE’s high standards can make peer review a rigorous process for an author. Our technical reviewers will evaluate the extent to which your paper meets our criteria for publication and provide constructive feedback on how the paper could be improved. You may be asked to revise your paper and resubmit it for further review. To be accepted for publication in a journal, a paper must meet the following criteria:Originality / Innovation
- If your material has been published before or is currently being reviewed by another organization, it is not eligible for peer review.
- Authors must be able to transfer copyright of the published article to SPE if the paper is accepted for publication.
- It should present new knowledge or technology, or analyze previously known facts in a new way.
- A review paper is appropriate if it finds connections between previously unrelated facts or commonality between previously uncompiled facts and results, or makes deductions that give the reader substantiated guidance on the accuracy and applicability of the reviewed analyses.
- The paper is relevant to the technical scope of the journal and to the professional interests and activities of its audience.
- Ideally it should present knowledge or technology that has the potential to help readers in their professional work as practicing engineers.
- It should be logically sound, and it should give sufficient detail to allow the reader to replicate the work it describes and to assess its applicability to other environments.
- The research design, methods, and analyses are adequately defined and clearly described, well-integrated, well-reasoned, and appropriate to the aims of the project.
- Statistical tests are appropriate and the assumptions underlying the use of statistics are fulfilled by the data.
- The statistics are reported correctly and appropriately.
- It should present clearly and concisely in SPE’s standard format all relevant data and information to support the conclusions and to indicate their limitations.
- The text is well written and easy to follow.
- The introduction builds a logical case and context for the problem statement.
- The problem statement is clear and well-articulated.
- Tables, graphs, and figures are used effectively and agree with the text.
- The amount of data presented is sufficient and appropriate.
- Results are presented effectively; the interpretations of the results are appropriate and the conclusions accurate.
- The conclusions are clearly stated and follow from the design, methods, and results; the justification of conclusions is well articulated.
- The study limitations are discussed.
- Statistical differences are distinguished from meaningful differences.
- Practical significance or theoretical implications are discussed.
- Reference citations are complete, accurate, and up to date. The number of references is appropriate, and their selection is judicious.
- If the authors are not native English speakers, they have had the manuscript reviewed by an English-speaking colleague for accuracy of grammar and usage.
- Substantial portions of the data or study should not have been published previously.
- There are no instances of plagiarism—the ideas and materials of others are correctly attributed.
- There are no commercial references.
Writing tips and suggestions
This 9-minute video will explain why you should write and submit a technical paper and offer tips for content and formatting.
SPE has seven journals covering a wide range of disciplines. Take a look at our journal coverage to see which journal will be the best fit for your paper.
Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology | Submit Your Paper
Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology focuses on heavy oil and oil sands technology, thermal recovery techniques, unconventional gas supplies, optimization techniques, increasing recovery from older basins, and other technologies designed for the production challenges of Canada. Most of these technologies have worldwide applications as well.
SPE Drilling & Completion | Submit Your Paper
SPE Drilling & Completion features papers covering horizontal and directional drilling, drilling fluids, bit technology, sand control, perforating, cementing, well control, completions, and drilling operations. SPE Drilling & Completion is the successor publication to SPE Drilling Engineering.
SPE Economics & Management | Submit Your Paper
SPE Economics & Management covers resource and reserve evaluation, portfolio/asset management, project valuation, uncertainty/risk assessment, benchmarking and performance indicators, information management, digital energy and petroleum economics.
SPE Production & Operations | Submit Your Paper
SPE Production & Operations includes papers on production operations, artificial lift, downhole equipment, formation damage control, multiphase flow, workovers, and stimulation.
SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering: Formation Evaluation | Submit Your Paper
Technical papers on geology and geophysics, core analysis, SCAL, petrophysics, well log interpretation, fracture detection, rock mechanics, well testing, pressure-transient analysis, geostatistics, reservoir characterization, well productivity, and economics.
SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering: Reservoir Engineering | Submit Your Paper
Technical papers on enhanced recovery mechanisms, IOR/EOR field studies, immiscible and miscible flooding, thermal recovery, waterflooding, pilot test interpretation, tracer studies, phase behavior, PVT analysis, reservoir management, performance prediction, and reservoir simulation.
SPE Journal | Submit Your Paper
SPE Journal includes fundamental research papers on all aspects of engineering for oil and gas exploration and production. SPE Journal covers the theories and emerging concepts that will become the new technologies of tomorrow. Recent issues have included articles covering reservoir characterization, multiphase flow, drilling dynamics, well architecture, gas well deliverability, numerical simulation, and CO2 sequestration.
Oil and Gas Facilities | Submit Your Paper
This bi-monthly magazine includes a small number of peer-reviewed papers in each issue. Topics covered in this publication include all aspects of onshore and offshore surface facilities design, project management, operations, and abandonment, including subsea, fixed and floating production systems; piplines; mid-stream natural gas (LNG, CNG, GTL plants, terminals and transportation); remote monitoring and control; and safety and human factors.
Presenting at a conference?
If you are planning to present your paper at an SPE conference, you will have the option to submit your paper for peer review at the end of the conference submission process. If you have already submitted your paper to the conference or you’d like to wait until after you’ve presented it, you can choose to submit your paper after the conference as well. Conference papers may be submitted as-is—there is no need to modify the format of your submission. Additionally, your transfer of copyright forms should already be on file, so you won’t need to resubmit them to the peer-review system.
You will need
Once you have completed your paper and identified which journal is the best fit, you will need the following information:
- Each co-author’s name, email address, company/institution, city, state, and country.
Note: Each co-author must have a unique email address.
- Any required Transfer of Copyright forms (if you are submitting directly to peer review, not from a conference)
- A cover letter, or other statement, about why you are submitting your paper for peer review in the particular journal.
- Any applicable Technical Discipline codes
Online Submission Links
SPE uses an online peer-review system that is completely web-based, and designed for manuscript submission, review, and tracking from beginning to final editorial decisions. The system links authors, reviewers, and SPE staff into one workspace and offers authors and reviewers convenient access to manuscript information.
- SPE Drilling & Completion | Submit Your Paper
- SPE Economics & Management | Submit Your Paper
- SPE Production & Operations | Submit Your Paper
- SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering: Formation Evaluation | Submit Your Paper
- SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering: Reservoir Engineering | Submit Your Paper
- SPE Journal | Submit Your Paper
- Oil and Gas Facilities | Submit Your Paper
What to do if your paper is declined
The appeals process describes the time frame for making an appeal and the way in which SPE will address any appeals received for papers declined during the peer-review process.
'A Peer Apart' Award
SPE created A Peer Apart in 2007 to recognize dedicated individuals who have been involved in the peer review of 100 or more papers. Learn more and see winners »