One of the advantages of serving as Executive Editor for a journal is the
opportunity to see more completely the entire review and publication process.
It is particularly interesting to me to see where the manuscripts come from,
and which conferences tend to contribute significantly to the pages of this
journal. For an author, or a potential author, an investigation along these
lines can also be enlightening.
This month’s papers originate from a variety of sources. Three were originally
presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (ATCE). Two
were presented at the SPE Western Regional Meeting, three from the Symposium
on Improved Oil Recovery (IOR), and three others at SPE conferences or
symposia on specialized topics (including those dedicated to oilfield
chemistry, underbalanced drilling, and reservoir simulation). Another paper in
this month’s issue came to SPE as an unsolicited manuscript.
These numbers are generally in line with longer-term averages. Each issue of
SPEJ contains 12 technical papers. Thirty of the 72 papers in the six most
recent issues were originally presented at the ATCE, 10 at the IOR, and four
each at several symposia for specialists (including those dedicated to
oilfield scale, formation damage, and reservoir simulation). Interestingly,
six papers during this period (an average of one per issue of SPEJ)
were never presented at any SPE meeting, but were submitted directly to SPEJ
It is not surprising to me that the largest source of papers in SPEJ is
the ATCE. After all, approximately 400 papers are presented at the ATCE, so
the 20 per year that are published in SPEJ represent 5% of the papers
presented at the conference. (Others appear in SPE Reservoir Evaluation &
Engineering, SPE Drilling & Completion, SPE Production & Operations,
and SPE Projects, Facilities & Construction.) Although the SPE IOR
symposium is much smaller, with 110 papers presented, six per year (5%) on
average are accepted for publication in SPEJ. These numbers tend to be higher
than the rates from other SPE symposia or conferences.
For the Society as a whole, the number of unsolicited manuscripts submitted
for review is small compared to the number that come from conference
proceedings. I estimate that only 2 to 3% of the manuscripts that arrive in my
inbox are unsolicited (i.e., submitted by the authors directly for review),
yet these papers make up approximately 8% of the papers published. While there
are many valid reasons to present papers at one of the SPE meetings (e.g.,
networking), based purely on the averages, it would seem that submitting an
unsolicited manuscript is the best way to get a paper into this journal.
In this issue, you will find another collection of outstanding papers, with
topics ranging from flow behavior at the microscale, to wellbore-scale studies
of sand production, to reservoir-scale studies of uncertainty. Everyone with
an interest in the science of petroleum engineering should find something of
The membership of the SPEJ Editorial Board is continually undergoing
adjustment, as people who have volunteered for many years move on and are
replaced by the young and energetic. We also monitor the need for review
chairs with expertise that is limited or not currently present on the board.
Subhash Shah joins us this month on the Editorial Board as a Review Chair.
Subhash is a professor in the Mewbourne School of Petroleum & Geological
Engineering at the U. of Oklahoma. His specialties are fluid rheology,
particle transport, and coiled-tubing operations. He has extensive experience
as a technical editor for the SPE Drilling & Completion journal.