SPE’s peer review process provides invaluable constructive feedback from experts in your field, allowing you to make a good paper even better.
How does the peer-review process work?
Authors are encouraged to submit technical papers for publication in our peer-reviewed journals. We welcome both conference papers and papers submitted directly for review.
After selecting a journal and submitting your paper, the journal’s editors will identify technical reviewers who will evaluate your paper's criteria for publication and provide constructive feedback. It usually takes 30 days for the paper's decision to be rendered to the author, which we believe to be a reasonable timeframe for providing a thorough and fair evaluation. While it is our goal to always meet this standard, SPE's Editorial Review Structure is comprised wholly of volunteers from industry and academia, and as such, there may be occasions when a paper's review time is extended.
Download and review our Manuscript Template to expedite processing of your paper.
Is my paper a good candidate for peer review?
SPE’s high standards can make peer review a rigorous process for an author. Our technical reviewers will evaluate the extent to which your paper meets our criteria for publication and provide constructive feedback on how the paper could be improved. You may be asked to revise your paper and resubmit it for further review. To be accepted for publication in a journal, a paper must meet the following criteria:
- If your material has been published before or is currently being reviewed by another organization, it is not eligible for peer review.
- Authors must be able to transfer copyright of the published article to SPE if the paper is accepted for publication.
- It should present new knowledge or technology, or analyze previously known facts in a new way.
- A review paper is appropriate if it finds connections between previously unrelated facts or commonality between previously uncompiled facts and results, or makes deductions that give the reader substantiated guidance on the accuracy and applicability of the reviewed analyses.
- The paper is relevant to the technical scope of the journal and to the professional interests and activities of its audience.
- Ideally it should present knowledge or technology that has the potential to help readers in their professional work as practicing engineers.
- It should be logically sound, and it should give sufficient detail to allow the reader to replicate the work it describes and to assess its applicability to other environments.
- The research design, methods, and analyses are adequately defined and clearly described, well-integrated, well-reasoned, and appropriate to the aims of the project.
- Statistical tests are appropriate and the assumptions underlying the use of statistics are fulfilled by the data.
- The statistics are reported correctly and appropriately.
- It should present clearly and concisely in SPE’s standard format all relevant data and information to support the conclusions and to indicate their limitations.
- The text is well written and easy to follow.
- The introduction builds a logical case and context for the problem statement.
- The problem statement is clear and well-articulated.
- Tables, graphs, and figures are used effectively and agree with the text.
- The amount of data presented is sufficient and appropriate.
- Results are presented effectively; the interpretations of the results are appropriate and the conclusions accurate.
- The conclusions are clearly stated and follow from the design, methods, and results; the justification of conclusions is well articulated.
- The study limitations are discussed.
- Statistical differences are distinguished from meaningful differences.
- Practical significance or theoretical implications are discussed.
- Reference citations are complete, accurate, and up to date. The number of references is appropriate, and their selection is judicious.
- If the authors are not native English speakers, they have had the manuscript reviewed by an English-speaking colleague for accuracy of grammar and usage.
- Substantial portions of the data or study should not have been published previously.
- There are no instances of plagiarism—the ideas and materials of others are correctly attributed.
- There are no commercial references.
Starting 1 October 2021, technical papers should be no more than 10,000 words, including the abstract, main text, tables, figure captions, and appendices (but not including the title, affiliations, acknowledgments, nomenclature, or references). In addition, a maximum of 20 figures that are sized half-page or smaller (full-page figures will be counted as two figures) will be allowed. We encourage authors to run a word count check before submission to avoid processing delays. Papers that exceed the length limit will be returned by SPE staff with a request to shorten the manuscript before the paper will be submitted for peer review. We also encourage authors to use the Supplementary Materials template (available in Author Resources) for additional data, figures, and tables that support the main paper. Supplements submitted with the paper for review will be later published with the accepted paper.
Review Papers do not have a length limit.
Does your institution require open access publication? As of 1 January 2022, authors submitting to SPE journals (SPE Journal, Drilling and Completions, Production and Operations, and Reservoir Evaluation and Engineering) may choose to pay an article publication charge (APC) of US$2,500.00 for Open Access. SPE members receive a US$500.00 discount on the APC (US$2000.00). Authors from low and lower-middle income economies (Group A and B; based on Research4Life’s classifications) will receive a 50% discount (US$1250.00). This cannot be combined with the SPE member discount. Payment is required after acceptance of the article for publication and must be received prior to online publication.
Open Access articles will be published under a Creative Commons license term (CC-BY). In order to make clear the separation between scientific editorial decision-making and economic considerations, the option to publish an article under Open Access is offered to corresponding authors after peer-review and acceptance of an article for publication.
If you would like your accepted paper to be Open Access, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information and payment processing.
Writing tips and suggestions
This 9-minute video will explain why you should write and submit a technical paper and offer tips for content and formatting.
English Language Assistance
SPE is pleased to offer a 20% discount to member authors seeking language editing services from Editage. Non-member authors can also receive a 10% discount for the services offered. Use the links below to learn more about our discounted editing services partnership.
- Editage Language Editing (20% Discount – SPE Member)
- Editage Language Editing (10% Discount – Non-member)
Several other language editing organizations also offer services designed to improve the quality of English in papers submitted for peer review. SPE is not affiliated in any way with these organizations. Links to them are offered as a service only.
SPE has five journals that publish peer-reviewed content. Take a look at our journal coverage to see which journal will be the best fit for your paper.
SPE Drilling & Completion
SPE Drilling & Completion features papers covering horizontal and directional drilling, drilling fluids, bit technology, sand control, perforating, cementing, well control, completions, and drilling operations. SPE Drilling & Completion is the successor publication to SPE Drilling Engineering. Submit Your Paper
Impact Factor: 1.4
Time to First Decision: 32 Days
SPE Production & Operations
SPE Production & Operations covers production operations, artificial lift, downhole equipment, formation damage control, multiphase flow, workovers, stimulation, facility design and operations, water treatment, project management, construction methods and equipment, and related PFC systems and emerging technologies. In addition, subsurface renewable energy and carbon dioxide transport, injection, and storage are included. Submit Your Paper
Impact Factor: 1.2
Time to First Decision: 33 Days
SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering: Formation Evaluation
Technical papers on geology and geophysics, core analysis, SCAL, petrophysics, well log interpretation, fracture detection, rock mechanics, well testing, pressure-transient analysis, geostatistics, reservoir characterization, well productivity, petroleum economics, uncertainty/risk assessment, information management, and digital energy (as it relates to big data and analytics). Submit Your Paper
Impact Factor: 2.1
Time to First Decision: 32 Days
SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering: Reservoir Engineering
Technical papers on IOR/EOR field studies, immiscible and miscible flooding, thermal recovery, waterflooding, pilot test interpretation, tracer studies, phase behavior, PVT analysis, reservoir management, performance prediction, reservoir simulation, resource and reserve evaluation, portfolio/asset management, and project valuation. Submit Your Paper
Impact Factor: 2.1
Time to First Decision: 30 Days
SPE Journal covers novel theories and emerging concepts (not including review articles or multi-part articles) spanning all aspects of engineering for oil and gas exploration and production, including drilling and completions, geomechanics, production and facilities, oilfield chemistry, CO2 sequestration and injection, reservoir evaluation and engineering, numerical simulation, data analytics, economics and externalities including health, safety, environment, and sustainability. Submit Your Paper
Impact Factor: 3.6
Time to First Decision: 30 Days
Presenting at a conference?
If you are planning to present your paper at an SPE conference, you will have the option to submit your paper for peer review at the end of the conference submission process. If you have already submitted your paper to the conference or you’d like to wait until after you’ve presented it, you can choose to submit your paper after the conference as well. Conference papers may be submitted as-is — there is no need to modify the format of your submission. Additionally, your transfer of copyright forms should already be on file, so you won’t need to resubmit them to the peer-review system.
You Will Need
Once you have completed your paper and identified which journal is the best fit, you will need each co-author’s name, email address, company/institution, city, state, and country.
Note: Each co-author must have a unique email address.
Online Submission Links
SPE uses an online peer-review system that is completely web-based, and designed for manuscript submission, review, and tracking from beginning to final editorial decisions. The system links authors, reviewers, and SPE staff into one workspace and offers authors and reviewers convenient access to manuscript information.
- SPE Drilling & Completion | Submit Your Paper
- SPE Production & Operations | Submit Your Paper
- SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering: Formation Evaluation | Submit Your Paper
- SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering: Reservoir Engineering | Submit Your Paper
- SPE Journal | Submit Your Paper
Appeals Process for Declined Peer-Reviewed Papers
The author has 90 days from the date of the decline letter to file an appeal. The author should send a letter to email@example.com outlining in detail why the paper merits publication and responding to all reviewer comments provided in the decline letter. The Executive Editor will review the appeal to determine whether the author’s rebuttal is compelling and to be assured that the reviewers acted impartially in their review. If the Executive Editor believes that the appeal is without merit and that the decline decision should stand, then the decline recommendation, along with the paper’s original review details, will be forwarded to the Editor-in-Chief for a final decision.
'A Peer Apart' Award
SPE created A Peer Apart in 2007 to recognize dedicated individuals who have been involved in the peer review of 100 or more papers. Learn more and see winners.