Lincoln Paterson, CSIRO Petroleum
In the March issue I provided some analysis of author patterns in the SPE
Journal. Electronic cataloguing also allows for easy lexicographic analysis
of paper titles. Here, I examine 234 titles in SPEJ from the period September
2000 to December 2004. The frequency spectrum of the number of words per
title is shown in Fig. 1. The shortest title is four words, the longest is 22
words, and the mean is 10.9 words. Despite 11 words being nearest the mean,
titles of 11 words are actually underrepresented and the mode is nine words.
Note that I have treated hyphenated words as separate words.
Fig. 1 here
How does this compare with the other SPE technical journals? The result is
shown in Fig. 2. Titles in SPEJ are slightly shorter than in the other
journals; this coincides with the average number of authors being slightly
lower (see the figure in the March issue).
Fig. 2 here
Which words are used more frequently? For the period analyzed, Table 1 gives
the number of times the most frequent words are used in titles. What is of
interest is the exceptional use of the word "of." In general text normally the
word "the" is the most frequent word, but around half of all SPEJ titles use
"of." Looking at the nouns and verbs gives a clear guide to the main themes
of this journal. Together "model", "modeling", and "models" are used 53
times; "reservoir" and "reservoirs" 47 times; "well" and "wells" 33 times; and
"data", "permeability", "phase", “oil”, "water", and "gas" all get good usage.
Over the same period there are 412 words only appearing once, reflecting the
breadth to the topic material.
Table 1 here
In the June issue we have the journal’s mainstream themes represented, with
three papers using "wellbore" in the title, three with "oil", three using
"model" or "modeling", two with "reservoir", and again that word "of" gets a
good workout. Again we have a variety of topics; I hope you can find some in
your area of interest.
Finally, for this issue I warmly welcome Aly Hamonda to the editorial board
and give thanks to Gary Jenneman, Jairam Kamath, and Mary Wheeler, who have
retired after giving excellent service.
Fig. 1—Frequency chart of the length of titles in SPEJ, September 2000 to
Fig. 2—Average length of titles for the four SPE technical journals compared.