First, and foremost, we would not want to repeat articles that have appeared in our direct competitors such as Oil & Gas Journal, E&P, Offshore, JPT and other SPE journals, American Oil & Gas Reporter, The Leading Edge, Geophysics, First Break, The Explorer and The Bulletin. Papers from conferences are fine, but we would not normally publish them before the conference, unless that is OK with the conference. Even then, we would want the author to seek permission to publish, if based on a copyrighted paper. However, unpublished conference papers, and even some SPE/IADC and other papers that were either published obscurely, such as in the Russian Journal of Rheological Research or The New Zealand Exploration Society, or only exist as PowerPoint presentations or poster presentations, are fine. A complete rewrite of the paper, including altering the figures, is a way around the copyright, as copyright in this sense goes to form, not substance: The nature of the story and its data belong to the author (and perhaps his company), not the publication.
There are three types of articles:
1. Wrap-up type articles are essentially catalogs of equipment, although we always prefer to have an oil company as a co-author or more commonly on these, quoted as to efficacy/cost-savings. We do a compilation of these a few times a year in a special section such as in Rig Floor Equipment (Dec.) or Formation Evaluation (March) or What’s New in Artificial Lift (April). The technology should include an example of use in the field, no matter how brief. If the technology is so new that it is not fully commercialized, we will allow the field-use example to be a beta test. If it is still on the laboratory bench, it is usually too tentative; unless we can qualify it from our own experience or as transfer technology from another industry, we would probably not use the article (except, perhaps, as a small, New Products’ item). The field operator or client should be mentioned as well as the specifics, e.g., “In BP’s Crazy Horse field, Block 2001, Gulf of Mexico, the X1 discovery well was drilled to a 21,456-ft TD using the Xsteam Widget motor.” For some examples of these short articles, see April 2005, McKenna; December 2001 (staff authored); and April 2006, Nussbaum.
2. Technical feature articles are our mainstay. They must be bylined, preferably by an oil-company client, or at least with an oil-company co-author. The rare exception is where an oil company client has been quoted extensively or otherwise has provided his view as to efficacy and costs/savings, but just doesn’t want to have his name in the byline. Generally, these articles describe new technology or procedures in a case-study format. In these types of articles, certain specifics should be mentioned, e.g., “In BP’s Crazy Horse field, Mississippi Canyon Block 766, Gulf of Mexico, the X-1 discovery well was drilled to a 21,456-ft TD.” (Although these may be very brief in a very short article.) For some examples, see July 2006, Burns, et al.; March 2005, Strickler, et al.; and March 2005, Bickler.
3. Expert/academic articles. Consultants, academics, and occasionally vendor/service companies may be sole authors. They would write a non-commercial article (that does NOT discuss, mention or try to sell a particular “widget” or service) from a viewpoint of expertise. In these cases, the author appears to have no obvious interest in marketing his work. These most often deal with industry-status overviews, culminating with what’s on the “cutting edge” (past, present and future), or they discuss new/best methods and procedures, again, without mentioning any particular “widget.” They are often mathematical in nature. For some examples of these articles, see September 2001, Cambois; July 2006, Ronen, et al.; and October 2005, Tryie.
We do not want articles to appear to be advertisements or brochures. Neither should you. It is not in either of our best interests. We do not allow TM or SM marks. Instead, we insert the word “proprietary” before the name or description. In rare cases, in response to a lawyer’s request, we have used the classic, “Windows and XP are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corp.” in an Acknowledgment at the end of an article. We generally only allow one appearance of a company name or brand name. Thereafter, we refer to it generically if at all possible. For example, “Microsoft’s VISTA operating system” becomes, “the company’s new O/S,” or “the new software.”
Similarly, we do not allow logos in pictures, unless they are unreadable. We remove such logos electronically. If you do not wish to have your logos removed, please provide us with pictures/drawings without them.
A personal email address may (optionally) be included in the author’s biography (<75 words), which should include work experience and education. Author photos are encouraged, but not mandatory; however, in the case of more than three authors, only the lead author may have the option to have his photo appear. Please ensure that the author includes an email address, fax and telephone number so that we can send a copy to the lead author for final proofing. Also include address(es) for the author(s), since we send extra magazine copies to the author(s) after publication.
Length. For short, Wrap-up articles of specific technologies (e.g., widgets and services), which we do about six times a year in special catalog-like sections, lengths are between 200 and 1,000 words. Only one figure/photo is usually needed.
For Technical feature articles and expert articles, we usually try for not more than four magazine pages in length—roughly, between 1,800 and 3,800 words. Of course, the number of figures/photos affects article length, and these vary. Use this as a guideline: estimate four to eight figures per page, depending on size, with six being a good average; estimate 900 words per page; and estimate 1/4 of a page for four author bios. Thus, a 2,700-word, two-author paper with six figures will probably take up four pages. We print technical feature articles in white-paper (outline) style.
File format. We use Word for the PC for text editing, any font. No embedded figures please. The preferred file format is .doc. Next is .rtf. Don’t waste effort on custom templates, where everything (head, body, captions, etc.) has a different font, size, etc.; it is of no value to us, since we will eventually remove those formats.
Deadlines. Our lead time/deadline is at least seven weeks before the publishing date, on or before the 7th of the month, two months before the publishing date (i.e., February 7th for the April 1st issue).—a little earlier if you want to ensure publication.
Artwork requirements. We use Adobe Products for the Mac: Photoshop and Illustrator. They are the print industry standards.
Photo format/resolution. The preferred photo formats for article figures are .jpg, .tif and .eps, and every effort should be made to provide them in these formats. If jpegs are used, they can only be for a photo, and even then, must be of high resolution (300 dpi is standard). Author photos are preferred, but optional, and, if there are more than three authors, should be limited to the lead author only. These are preferred in color and can be in any format (jpg, Kodak PhotoCD, PCX, etc.), and may have less resolution (~150 dpi). However, screen captures are generally risky; often they are unusable.
It should be mentioned that it is of no use to convert a crummy photo or drawing to high resolution, i.e., take a .jpg or a screen-capture and convert it to a 300-dpi tiff. (You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.) A good way to tell if a photo or drawing will look bad when published is to zoom to 200% at 4 x 6 inches: if it still looks fairly sharp, it’s probably OK.
Drawing format/resolution. If at all possible, drawings should be in vector format. If the drawings are in Corel Draw, Freehand, CAD, etc., they need to be re-saved or exported in Adobe Illustrator format, that is, .ai or .eps. We have had about a 60% success rate of converting PowerPoint or embedded Word images into something that is usable. If it is a graph in Excel or PowerPoint, we can usually use the data points in Adobe Illustrator for graph plotting, so send the spreadsheet with its data points if it’s not 300 dpi.
Following the above guidelines benefits both authors and publishers, as it results in a better quality article. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated. I look forward to working with you.
2 Greenway Plaza, Suite 1020, Houston TX 77046