Executive Editors of SPE Reservoir Evaluation
& Engineering alternate writing the Executive Summary. This issue's
summary is by Alan Johnson.
I wonder whether you are reading this editorial in the mailed hard-copy
version or online? I hadn’t given this subject much thought recently until I
attended this year’s Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in San Antonio,
Texas, where I remembered that there had been a plan to consider phasing out
the print version of SPEREE once there was sufficient uptake of the
online publication. The obvious benefits would be a savings in printing costs
and an environmental impact, while the online version offers potential
additional advantages such as online discussion of papers and links to other
As things stand, there is no need for an immediate panic. At present, only
around 15% of subscribers have elected to receive the online journal
exclusively, and there are no immediate plans to phase out the print version
until this percentage becomes significantly higher.
When I recalled the plan to eliminate the printed journal, my initial
reaction was a slight panic. I have been around the industry rather longer than
online journals. Deep down, I prefer the feel of a magazine I can carry with
me, read while travelling, and file on the shelf in my office for future
reference. A printed hard copy of a paper from the online journal just doesn’t
feel the same and is easily mislaid.
In an earlier existence, I had my own office with plenty of shelving where I
could store my collection of industry literature for easy reference. But now,
alas, in these forward-looking days of open-plan “paperless” offices, I now
keep my journals on a shelf at home. I may carry the latest edition of
SPEREE in my briefcase to look at when I get a chance, but if I want to
look up a paper in a past edition, I have to wait until I get back from the
office. If the paper I want is from a recent publication, to save time, I now
find myself going to SPE.org and searching the back issues of SPEREE’s
online editions, which date back to December 2004. (To do this: on SPE.org, go
to the Technical Resources tab, then SPE Technical Journals and SPE
Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering, and click in the Access Online
Another useful feature of the online journal arises from the fact that I
live in the U.K. Thanks to the speed of surface mail, I had yet to receive my
printed copy of the October edition by early November, but I had already had
the chance to look at the online version and skim through some of the
So, as you can see, in spite of my initial prejudices and misgivings, I am
already starting to make use of the online version of the journal.
In fact, once you look at it, the online journal does offer a number of
significant features that are not available in the print version:
- PDF versions of each paper found in the print version.
- In addition to the PDF, a separate References link provides online access
to many of the references included in each paper.
- Free retrieval of papers from back issues of the journal
- Access to discipline-related SPE conference papers (usually from the past 3
to 4 months).
- Keyword topic searches.
- An opportunity to participate in online discussions of the journal
As far as SPEREE is concerned, so far there has been no uptake of the
discussion forum. This should be a valuable extension of the publication
process, allowing you to give feedback and discuss elements of published
papers. The possibility to identify further improvements and extensions of the
methods and technologies presented in these papers offers the means to
potentially speed up the technical advances in our individual discipline areas
and in the industry in general.
In any case, the tool is there, and it is up to you, the readers, to make
best use of it. Your feedback would be most welcome:
- Do you have any suggestions as to how the online journal and, in
particular, the discussion forums could be improved, ideally to stimulate more
- If you have a strong preference, as I do (or perhaps did), for the print
version of the journal, how would you feel if it were to disappear?
This is our journal. New technologies are providing the opportunity for us
to make it better, more relevant, and more useful in our daily work; all it
takes is for you to let us know what you think and what you would like to see.
You can do this by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org and indicating SPEREE
(marked for my attention) in the subject line.