How JPT Selects Technical Papers

JPT publishes summaries of 144 technical papers a year, choosing from among more than 4,000 papers to ensure that it is publishing the “best of the best.” Although this has been standard practice for the magazine for years, many SPE members, as well as nonmembers, are unclear how these papers are ;selected. 

It starts with dedicated volunteers. The JPT Editorial Committee comprises 47 oil and gas industry professionals who are experts in their field. Committee members volunteer their time to review technical papers and abstracts that have been presented at SPE conferences as well as the multisociety Offshore Technology Conference, Unconventional Resources Technology Conference, and International Petroleum Technology Conference and identify the most relevant, high-interest, and practical papers for publication. Occasionally, papers that have not been presented at a conference but submitted directly to JPT are reviewed. Reviewers also attempt to ensure that the papers represent the industry’s geographic and corporate diversity. JPT staff then summarize the chosen papers in 2–3 pages with access to the full-length paper available online. SPE members can access the full-length papers for free for 2 months at Over the course of the year, JPT will publish summaries of 12–16 papers monthly in a variety of upstream areas such as hydraulic fracturing, formation evaluation, completions, and enhanced oil recovery to name a few. 

The committee members have diverse positions in the industry as well as backgrounds. They include professionals at operators, service companies, national oil companies, independents, consultancies, and in academia. Qualifications to serve on the committee include SPE membership, be a recognized industry expert on a particular technical topic, have at least 10 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, and have been an author of SPE technical papers. The chair of the committee serves a 3-year term as do the committee members. Current members of the committee and their job affiliations can be found to the right of this column.

The goal of publishing these technical paper summaries is to provide readers with short versions of important papers. In years past, JPT published full-length technical papers but that allowed for publication of only a few over the course of the year. Publishing summaries allows readers to be exposed to a variety of ideas and technology applications and an avenue to easily access the full-length paper if interested. This help meets JPT’s, and SPE’s, goal of disseminating and sharing knowledge about recent state-of-the-art developments, best practices, and solutions in E&P technology. 

Each reviewer also picks additional papers for a recommended reading list, for those interested in more high-quality information on a topic, and prepares an article on the state of the technology in that particular discipline. So far this year, the committee has reviewed 3,795 papers and will have reviewed more than 4,000 by the end of the calendar year. 

The process is distinct, but sometimes confused, with peer review. SPE’s online technical journals publish peer-reviewed papers, which is a more lengthy process involving industry experts carefully evaluating a paper and working with the author to clarify or validate certain assumptions or statements.

How JPT Selects Technical Papers

John Donnelly, JPT Editor

01 November 2017

Volume: 69 | Issue: 11


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