Executive Summary

Behrooz Fattahi

This is my last summary as I am leaving my position as the Executive Editor of the reservoir engineering portion of the SPEREE. This has been a great and memorable experience for me. I have always considered working for SPE a privilege and I am grateful that I have had another opportunity to serve and work with a large number of very dedicated volunteers and the SPE staff.

Together, we have come a long way in two short years. Here is a summary of the highlights both in terms of increasing the quantity and enhancing the quality of the journal:

Quantity:

  • Increased the number of technical editors from 75 to approximately 325. I contacted roughly 4,000 candidates, received response from approximately 1,500 and selected 250 new technical editors.
  • Increased the number of associate editors from seven to 22.
  • Reduced number of papers of one or more years of age from more than 100 to zero today. Currently, only one paper in the system is older than 16 weeks.
  • Reduced the review cycle time from 40 to 16 weeks.
  • Required technical editors to sign a commitment letter to review up to five papers per year.
  • Increased SPE staff assigned to the peer-review process from one to three.
  • An outside consultant conducted a process-optimization study and we implemented recommendations.

Quality:

  • Established two teams of academics and technical industry professionals (four members per team) to review the quality of the SPEREE and provide recommendations for improvement. These teams have completed their preliminary review, and have started their study (expect to be completed by September 2009).
  • Established an expert technical-review team to exclusively review appeals, discussions, and rebuttals.
  • Increased the number of reviews for each paper from two to three.
  • Increased the number of printed papers in each issue from an average of nine to the current average of 15.
  • Required authors to first submit an evaluation of their own papers and demonstrate why their paper is unique enough to warrant a review and possible publication.
  • Conducted a survey of journal subscribers to measure their satisfaction, and collect their feedback and comments.
  • Grown the SPE journals' staff from three to six.
  • Established the position of Senior Manager of Technical Publications to oversee the peer-review and publication process
  • Increased the Executive Editor's term of service from two to three years to maintain a better continuity

I am certain that all of these changes will help to further improve the journal. However, our journal is not designed to serve the interests of only one group of people. SPEREE is for all of us in the industry, for the very young and less experienced to the highly experienced professionals, for those in academia and those working for various companies in research or in the field. With such a wide variety of readers, it will be difficult to keep everyone happy all of the time. Yet, the hard working SPE staff, volunteers on the Peer Review Committee, and all the authors who submit their papers for review and publication endeavor to "Make it happen," and I am grateful for that. My goal in the past two years has been to establish accountability and discipline in our peer review process and--aside from occasional disagreements--I did enjoy a full cooperation from the team. I look forward to working for SPE in other capacities in which I feel that I can add value and make a difference.

And finally, I would like to warmly welcome Dr. Anil Ambastha as the new Co-Executive Editor forSPEREE. He received an MS degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Tulsa, an MS degree in operations research, and a PhD degree in petroleum engineering from Stanford University. Ambastha currently works for Chevron in Indonesia as a senior advisor in reservoir simulation. His work experience is in simulation modeling, transient pressure analysis, heavy oil recovery, and gas reservoir engineering. He has served SPE in many different capacities at the section board and head office committee levels. Ambastha has served on the Peer Review Committee as a Technical Editor and Associate Editor for 15 years.