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 90 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.
Formatting and general guidelines can be found on our elements of a technical paper page.
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.
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.
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
SPE Production & Operations
SPE Production & Operations includes papers on 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. Submit Your Paper
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
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
SPE Journal covers theories and emerging concepts spanning all aspects of engineering for oil and gas exploration and production, including reservoir characterization, multiphase flow, drilling dynamics, well architecture, gas well deliverability, numerical simulation, enhanced oil recovery, enhanced recovery mechanisms, CO2 sequestration, and benchmarking and performance indicators. Submit Your Paper
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 the following information:
- Each co-author’s name, email address, company/institution, city, state, and country.
Note: Each co-author must have a unique email address.
- Any required Transfer of Copyright forms (if you are submitting directly to peer review, not from a conference)
- A cover letter, or other statement, about why you are submitting your paper for peer review in the particular journal.
- Any applicable Technical Discipline codes
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 »