SPE Publications Policy

1.0 Introduction

The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) is a global organization that promotes technology dissemination in the upstream oil and gas industry. Meetings and publications are the main SPE activities through which technical knowledge is disseminated, and both are governed by approval and review policies administered through committees of the SPE Board of Directors. This Publications Policy is administered by the Board Committee on Print and Electronic Media.

Substantial value and credibility is added to any publication produced under the SPE name and/or logo. The Board has adopted this policy to ensure that all publications associated with the SPE name and logo through the international SPE, any of its legal subsidiaries, or any of its units (such as sections) follow standards set forth in this policy. No member, section, student chapter, or region is authorized to use the SPE name and/or logo on any publication without following this policy.

2.0 Definitions

Publication. Any book, magazine, newspaper, newsletter, journal, pamphlet, or periodical, in print or electronic format.

SPE Section/Chapter Newsletter. A regular communication to section or student chapter members about the activities of the section or chapter (meetings, study groups, social activities, undraising, etc.). Produced by or for a single SPE section or chapter at the section’s or chapter’s cost but at no charge to the recipients. Sponsoring sections or chapters bear full financial responsibility for the costs of their publications, including any financial losses.

SPE Regional Publication. A regular communication that covers the activity of more than one SPE section and/or chapter in a region, and is distributed to the membership of multiple sections and/or chapters in that region or beyond. May be produced by one section or chapter in that region or under the direction of an SPE regional or national council at the cost of a section, chapter, or group of affiliates but at no charge to the recipients. Sponsoring sections/chapters bear full financial responsibility for the costs of their publications, including any financial losses.

SPE International Publication. A publication whose costs are borne by SPE International and that is available to members and nonmembers. May be provided to members as a member benefit (i.e., without additional cost) or by separate subscription.

Non-SPE Publication. Any publication copyrighted by and the financial responsibility of an organization other than SPE or any of its subsidiaries or units.

3.0 Board Authority for Publications

The Board Committee on Print and Electronic Media has the responsibility and authority to determine whether publications that use the SPE name/logo are consistent with SPE’s mission and serve the needs of SPE’s members. SPE does not wish to impede a section or chapter’s normal business, so they do not need to seek Board approval to publish a section/chapter newsletter. However, section/chapter newsletters are subject to the same policies and standards for content as other SPE publications. Other publications making use of the SPE name/logo, including regional publications and non-SPE publications for which endorsement of or participation by an SPE entity is sought, do require approval by the Board. Requests for SPE support should be made using the format at the bottom of the page.

All SPE publications and non-SPE publications associated with an SPE entity will be reviewed at least once every three years (or more often at the discretion of the Board Committee) to ensure that they remain in compliance with this policy, do not conflict with other SPE publications, and serve the needs of SPE members. The Board Committee on Print and Electronic Media has the authority to revoke approval for a section, chapter, regional or non-SPE publication, requiring the immediate removal of the SPE name/logo from the publication.

4.0 Section/Chapter/Region Responsibilities

The responsible section/chapter/council should form an editorial committee (or designate a member responsible for editorial content) to oversee content development and production of the publication. If a section, chapter, or regional council employs one or more contractors to produce content, manage the production and distribution of the periodical, and/or conduct advertising sales, the section/council is responsible for ensuring that the publication complies with this and related policies. (See Section 6.) The contractor may NOT be listed as the publisher. SPE, through the responsible members, is the publisher of section, chapter and regional publications. Questions, complaints, or comments about the content of a section/chapter/regional publication should be directed to and responded to by the editorial committee, not a contractor.

Where a non-SPE organization is involved in generating content, section officers must maintain active participation in guiding the content and determining what content will be included. Sections must ensure that their publications present a professional image and maintain SPE’s reputation for impartiality.

5.0 Non-SPE Publications

While, in general, SPE would prefer to focus member volunteer efforts and appropriate content on SPE publications, the Board acknowledges that circumstances may arise where it is appropriate to lend SPE support to a non-SPE publication. The Board will closely monitor SPE member involvement with such publications and the quality of these publications. For the logo of an SPE section to be used on a non-SPE publication, section officers or their designees need to remain actively engaged with the publisher in guiding the content and ensuring that it reflects positively on SPE. The Board will monitor such publications closely to review the case for continued lending of the SPE name/logo.

6.0 Governing Policies and Principles

All SPE publications, including section and chapter newsletters, are expected to adhere to certain policies and principles to deliver high-quality content.

6.1 SPE Editorial Policy

All SPE publications, including section and chapter newsletters, must comply with the following SPE Editorial Policy:

The Society of Petroleum Engineers encourages open and objective discussion of technical and professional subjects pertinent to the interests of the Society in its publications. Society publications shall contain no judgmental remarks or opinions as to the technical competence, personal character, or motivations of any individual, company, or group. Any material which, in the publisher's opinion, does not meet the standards for objectivity, pertinence, and professional tone will be returned to the contributor with a request for revision before publication.

It is recommended that this SPE Editorial Policy statement be included in all periodicals published by an SPE entity.

6.2 Impartiality

To protect the Society’s reputation as a respected association for oil and gas professionals and the industry’s most reliable provider of technical information, publications produced under the auspices of SPE should not promote the use of a specific product or service and should present an impartial, balanced view of technology.

6.3 Professionalism

Sections, chapters, and regional councils are responsible for ensuring that their publications present a professional image, avoiding inappropriate or potentially offensive content. Sections and chapters should be mindful of the highly diverse nature of SPE’s international membership and avoid materials of a sexual, racial, religious, or political nature. SPE is a technical organization, and while sections and chapters may engage in a wide range of non-technical activities (e.g., charitable, educational, social), these are nonetheless activities sponsored by a professional society and the overall tone should be professional.

6.4 Use of SPE Name and Logo

Following is SPE’s Policy on Use of SPE Name and Logo:

Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) members, councils, sections, student chapters, and staff should use the SPE name and logo for the Society’s official business, and in communications regarding SPE activities such as meetings, conferences, publications and other SPE programs. Appearance of the SPE logo is governed by the SPE Graphics Standard.

Approval of SPE’s Board of Directors is required for use of the SPE name or logo for (1) any event organized by a commercial meeting organizer, (2) any event organized by either a commercial or not-for-profit meeting organizer that will be promoted beyond an SPE section’s membership,* or (3) any publication (print or electronic) involving an organization other than SPE. Board approval of any joint venture, such as a joint meeting or publication, will serve as approval of use of the SPE logo within the terms of the joint-venture agreement.

No individual SPE member or group of SPE members (SPE section, student chapter, national or regional council, technical section, etc.) may authorize use of the SPE name or logo by another organization for any activity that is not in compliance with the following policies:

  • SPE Meetings Policy
  • SPE Publications Policy
  • Guidelines for Section Websites
  • Policy on Intersociety Cooperation

    Contact SPE’s Director Communications with any questions about use of the SPE name and logo.

    *Regular section meetings (see SPE Meetings Policy, Section 2.7), including those held in cooperation with the local entities of other societies, do not require special Board approval.

The name of the sponsoring section/chapter/council should appear prominently in the title or on the masthead of all section/ regional publications. Such publications also should be branded with the section/chapter/council logo, so that it is immediately clear who is responsible for the publication and its content. The section/council logo is a variant of the SPE logo that includes the section/chapter/council name. Refer to the SPE Graphics Standard for criteria guiding compliance with appearance of the logo.

6.5 Copyright

Sponsoring sections/chapters/councils are expected to be aware of and comply with international copyright laws. The editorial committee (or individual) is responsible for ensuring that they have permission to publish any copyrighted materials. This includes SPE materials and technical papers, consistent with SPE Permissions Policy. Sections may publish an abstract or summary of SPE technical papers up to 300 words in length, without tables or graphics, without prior approval.

6.6 Liability

SPE publications should include a disclaimer of responsibility for contributed content. Example: “SPE is not responsible for any statements made or opinions expressed in its publications.”

6.7 Advertising Policy

In general, advertising accepted for SPE section, chapter, or regional publications should be pertinent to the oil and gas industry and the readers of the publication. Sections, chapters, and regional councils should follow the SPE advertising policy, which should be stated in each of its publications: “SPE publications accept advertising for goods and services which, in the publisher’s judgment, address the technical or professional interests of the journal’s readers.”

This gives sections, chapters and regions the option of refusing to run advertising it does not believe is appropriate to the professional reputation of the Society.

6.8 Conflict of Interest

SPE’s Conflict of Interest Policy defines a conflict of interest as:

A conflict of interest is a situation in which someone in a position of trust (such as a member of the SPE Board or a Committee) has a direct or indirect interest in an entity and that entity enters into a transaction with SPE. … More generally, conflict of interest can be defined as any situation in which an individual or corporation is in a position to exploit a professional or official capacity in some way for their personal or corporate benefit.

Section/chapter/regional council officers and members of the editorial committee for publications should ensure that they do not have a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict that would prevent them from impartially fulfilling their responsibilities.

6.9 Reporting Income from Section Publications [US-based sections only]

The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) is registered as a not-for-profit corporation with the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS). As a not-for-profit organization, SPEI must report to the IRS any profits derived from sources not related to its not-for-profit mission of disseminating technical information. If a section sells advertising in its publications or on its website, the publications or website are considered by the IRS to be unrelated business activities. Advertising revenues received must be reported to SPE so that it can be reported to the IRS. Expenses must also be reported.

Each section’s Treasurer is responsible for submitting the annual Section Financial Statement to SPE by 1 June. Revenue from the sale of advertising in section publications (newsletters and/or websites) should be reported on the line “Unrelated business income” under Income. Expenses for publications and/or websites should be reported on the line “Unrelated business expense” under Expenses.

Approved by the SPE Board of Directors 31 January 2012

SPE Publication Application for Approval of an SPE Regional Publication

  1. Publication description
    Describe the scope, purpose, types of content, and need for the proposed publication.
  2. Title of the proposed publication
    Provide the name of the publication and how the SPE name/logo will be used (section logos on cover, etc.)
  3. Objectives and measures of success
    Describe the desired future outcomes to be achieved by doing this and how successful achievement will be measured.
  4. Consistency with SPE mission and strategy
    How does this publication support SPE’s mission? How does it fit with SPE’s strategic plan?
  5. Similarity/conflict with existing SPE publications
    Describe how this publication differs from existing SPE publications and whether there are areas of overlap or potential competition. What measures will be taken to avoid overlap or competition and any member confusion?
  6. Content sources/generation
    Will a contractor be responsible for content generation? What will be the section’s involvement in overseeing the content of each issue? What types of content will be included? Will the publication include advertising?
  7. Publication distribution
    To whom, and in what format, will the publication be distributed?
  8. Benefits of publication
    Describe how SPE, the section, and members benefit from the creation of this publication
  9. Exit strategy
    What factors will need to be considered to sunset this publication if needed? If a contractor is involved, what lead time is required and reasons are acceptable for termination of the contract?