Elements of a Technical Paper

The following is a listing of the elements that should appear in any technical paper submitted for peer review, in the order they should appear in the paper. Additionally, the SPE Style Guide provides valuable information on the style and formatting that should be applied to these elements. Please use the links supplied below to access individual sections of the Style Guide for more in-depth formatting rules and guidelines.

NOTE: Papers being submitted to conferences should use the template provided in the author kit.
  • Paper Number:

  • Title:

  • Author Byline:

  • Summary:

  • Body Text:

    • Section Headings:
      Make sure that section headings are clearly distinguishable by using the following styles:
      • First-Level Heading -- Bold on line By itself
      • Second-Level Heading -- Bold, period at end, run into paragraph, no indent
      • Third-Level Heading -- Bold italic, period at end, run into paragraph, indent if start of new paragraph
      • Fourth-Level Heading -- Italic, period at end, run into paragraph, indent if start of new paragraph
    • Citing Figures and Tables: Cite all figures and tables sequentially in the text of the paper.
    • Equations: Number all equations sequentially as they appear in the paper with the equation number in parentheses on the right margin. Do Not bold equation citations.
    • Citing References (SPE Style Guide Sec. 8.8.): Cite references in the text using the author’s last name, with the year of publication in parentheses or by placing both the author’s last name and the year in parentheses. If more than two authors are listed in a single reference, use the first author’s last name followed by “et al.” Do not italicize et al.
  • Nomenclature

    (SPE Style Guide Sec. 8.7; SPE Letter and Computer Symbols Standard): Compile an alphabetical list of all symbols used in the paper, including the definition, the units of measure, and the dimensions (or dimensionless)

  • Acknowledgments:

    Include a brief acknowledgment to contributors and supporters of the paper. This is an optional element.

  • Reference List

    (SPE Style Guide Sec. 8.8.):

    Include a brief acknowledgment to contributors and supporters of the paper. This is an optional element.

  • Appendices:

    Place appendices after the Reference List and label in alpha order (Appendix A, Appendix B, etc.). Apply separate numbering to figures, tables, and equations included in an appendix (i.e., Fig. A-1, Table B-2, Eq. C-3).

  • SI Conversion Factors

    Include a conversion factor table after the Reference List (or after the appendices, if included) if only one system of units (customary or metric) is used throughout the paper. Include conversion factors for all units used, including those used in figures and tables

  • Author Biographies

    Provide a brief biographical sketch of each author, including: name and affiliation, prior work history over the past decade at most, research interests, publications/patents, academic credentials, and SPE service.

  • Author Biographies

    Provide a brief biographical sketch of each author, including: name and affiliation, prior work history over the past decade at most, research interests, publications/patents, academic credentials, and SPE service.

  • Additional Notes on Figures and Tables:

    • Group figures and tables at the end of the paper or in a separate document; do not embed figures and tables within the body text.
    • Group all figures in numerical order as cited, then group all tables in numerical order as cited.
    • Submit figures in Word, Excel, or PowerPoint format, or as .tif or .jpg images, with print quality set at 300 dpi.
    • Format tables with the Table menu in MS Word (see SPE Style Guide Sec. 8.13).
  • Additional Information on Minor Elements

    • Abbreviations: Use abbreviations sparingly. Spell out the term at first use, place the abbreviation in parentheses after it, and then use the abbreviation in the remainder of the manuscript.
    • Footnotes: Whenever possible, incorporate footnote material into the text using parentheses. If footnotes are unavoidable, follow the formatting rules in SPE Style Guide Sec. 8.9.
    • Submit figures in Word, Excel, or PowerPoint format, or as .tif or .jpg images, with print quality set at 300 dpi.
    • Format tables with the Table menu in MS Word (see SPE Style Guide Sec. 8.13).