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How To Write and Prepare Your SPE Technical Paper
Copyright 2003, Society of Petroleum Engineers Inc. This guide provides the basics for preparing your paper either for presentation and distribution as part of an SPE-sponsored meeting, submission for review as an unsolicited manuscript, or for final peer-approval and possible publication. For further information, contact the SPE Technical Publications Dept., P.O. Box 833836, Richardson, TX 75083-3836 U.S.A., (phone) 01-972952-9393, (fax) 01-972-952-9435, or (e-mail)

consistently rather than a combination. A conversion factor table at the end of your paper should list the factors necessary to convert from one system of units to another. Outline. Proper organisation should lead the reader through your supporting data and theories to a logical conclusion. The following outline generally applies to SPE papers Title. The title should be concise, attract attention, and highlight the main point of your paper. Below the title, include the full names and company affiliations of all authors and indicate SPE membership. Abstract. Use an abstract of about 50 words to summarize the paper, stating significant new information and conclusions. Introduction. Outline the problem and briefly explain the solution. Statement of Theory and Definitions. Explain theory, define terms, describe test procedures used, and outline any problems peculiar to the subject. Description and Application of Equipment and Processes. Tell how the equipment was used and how tests were conducted. Describe any unusual test procedure(s) and discuss the development of experimental equipment, with illustrations if possible. Evaluate the equipment and its applications. Presentation of Data and Results. Present results in the clearest form, whether it is text, figures, or tables. Use the text to provide essential information on figures. Be sure to define all terms in the text and in figures and tables. Interpret clearly the data your are presenting. Conclusions. State directly and briefly your conclusions and the utility of these conclusions. All conclusions should be supported by data presented in the paper. Acknowledgments. Briefly cite or acknowledge special help from individuals or organisations. Nomenclature. If you use symbols, define them in a formal Nomenclature at the end of the text. Symbols should conform to the SPE Symbols Standard and be listed alphabetically. References. References should be numbered in the order they are cited in the text and listed in number order, not alphabetically. Information should be as complete as possible and in the following order: 1) reference number; 2)

Foreword Authors present hundreds of technical papers on many subjects at SPE conferences each year. Many of these are subsequently published in the Society’s periodicals, which are the Journal of Petroleum Technology, SPE Journal, SPE Drilling & Completion, SPE Production & Facilities, and SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering. These guidelines are designed to help you prepare a manuscript for presentation at an SPE conference and/or publication in an SPE peer-approved publication. The following additional guidelines are available for downloading (PDF format) on the SPE website or may be requested from the SPE Book Order Dept. 1. SPE Symbols Standard 2. SPE Metric Standard 3. SPE Publications Style Guide

Organizing Your Paper
General. These hints will help you in planning your technical manuscript: 1. Define the audience before you begin writing. How you present your ideas depends largely on who is reading or listening. 2. Choose your words carefully, avoiding both slang and technical jargon. Use simple terminology and sentences that convey a single thought. 3. Organize your thoughts to point readers to a logical conclusion. Outline the topics you want to cover. Prepare a first draft to improve readability and to remove unnecessary words and phrases. 4. Get an impartial opinion on your manuscript from someone who is not involved with the work but who represents your prospective audience. Ask for specific suggestions on how to improve readability. Note: Either customary or SI metric units of measure may be used in the paper, but please use one or the other

the Editorial Review Committee will consider papers initially presented at SPEsponsored meetings for peer approval. Use only as many grid lines as necessary to illustrate your point. authors should avoid making claims that are not clearly supported by the data presented in the paper. Use a minimum of ordinate and abscissa values so they do not run together.” paper SPE 20607 presented at the 1990 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition. a signed copyright by a Manager. Table A-1. Reference to an article in a journal. All figures should be cited in the body of the paper. 4) publication in which the article appears in italics. 1. M. Craft. and academic experts. Reviewers remain anonymous and are expected to hold their comments. In appendices. etc. Few papers are approved without change. The committee generally provides decisions four (4) to seven (7) months after review begins. Upon author request. 6. Director. etc. Designate multiple appendices as Appendix A. In appendices. Director.: “Calcite Cementation: Description and Production Consequences. Editorial review cannot begin until a signed “Transfer of Copyright Form” is received from each author or. Authors’ whose papers are declined for peer approval may appeal the Editorial Review Committee’s decision. Table B-1. Use horizontal orientation. Do not submit graphs that depend on color for their meaning. Examples follow. Omre. B.: “Effect of Proppant Failure and Fines Migration on Conductivity of Propped Fractures. You will receive a written peer-review decision. Reference to a book. Publishing Your Paper Meeting Papers. A-1.2 SPE AUTHOR GUIDE HOW TO WRITE AND PREPARE YOUR SPE TECHNICAL PAPER AUTHOR KIT authors’ last names and initials. A-2. The committee allows only one appeal of a decline decision. and Hawkins. Manuscripts may be prepared following the enclosed guidelines on “Formatting Your SPE Paper for Conference Proceedings..e. 1. 5) name of publisher and city where the publisher is located (for books only). Reference to a paper presented at a meeting but not published in a journal. government. Fig. Tables: Tables should be used only if they present information more effectively than running text. Provide brief but descriptive captions for all figures. Note: gray and blue do not print as well as black.C. 1995) 20. Englewood Cliffs. The following guidelines are useful in preparing figures that convey your message clearly. and 6) date of publication. Use appendices for mathematical derivations and supporting material too detailed to include in the body of the paper. Figures. do not continue the numbering sequence from the body of the paper.” Handwritten manuscripts will be returned unreviewed. SPE will return to the authors of declined papers that portion . Reviewers follow specific guidelines approved by the Society’s Board of Directors. and beginning page. second edition. or other company official for the employee will be accepted. Instead. if the work was done within the scope of the authors’ employment. Although dual units (customary and SI metric units) are not required. Make your figures as simple as possible. The committee will usually specify revisions necessary for final peer approval along with a recommended length (pages). i. Often. et al. generic descriptions can replace trade names. 8. you may want to present dual scales of measure on keys and axes. Technical papers are printed in black and white only. Also. Table A-2. suggestions. All tables should be cited in the body of the paper. Review The Editorial Review Committee bases peer-review decisions on the consensus of committee members and on written reviews received from industry. Ensure that all lines in the figure are of the same intensity and that all the figures have matching intensities. 5. New Orleans. NJ (1991) 300. Sept. Appendix. Commercialism Material of a commercial nature is unacceptable in a technical paper. Appendix B. 4. but number tables by Appendix and numeric sequence.L. and other review contributions in confidence both during and after the review. 1. Review cannot begin until a signed “Transfer of Copyright Form” is received from each author or. do not continue the numbering sequence from the body of the paper. etc.. Appeals must be made in writing and should provide a detailed response to each objection to the paper. a signed copyright by a Manager.: Applied Petroleum Reservoir Engineering. volume number in bold face. B-1. Fig. Prentice-Hall Inc. 3) title of paper or article in quotation marks or title of book in italics. 23–26. Number figures sequentially as they are mentioned in the paper. or other company official for the employee will be accepted.” SPEPF (Feb. Gidley. if the work was done within the scope of the authors’ employment. Number tables sequentially as they appear in the paper. 1. 2. 7. 3. number the figures Fig. Unsolicited Papers The Editorial Review Committee regularly reviews unsolicited manuscripts (those not previously presented at an SPE meeting) that are on topics covered by the Society’s journals and that have not been published elsewhere. et al. J. H.

For information and tips on preparing the electronic version of your paper.M. The Macmillan Co. W. including all tables and figures. Athenueum Publishers. 2. please see the enclosed guidelines. New York City (1979) 27–30. Strunk. U. The Chicago Manual of Style. New York City (1983). send three copies of the revised manuscript along with a cover letter that discusses changes made in response to reviewer comments and your reasons for not addressing any reviewer comments that were not addressed. Further information on publishing your paper is available from the Technical Publications Dept.G.” Recommended Writing Aids and White. Chicago (1982). Bernstein.: The Careful Writer – A Modern Guide to English Usage. . at techprog@spe. Editorial Review Committee members will re-examine the revised manuscript for compliance with previously specified revisions and paper length.AUTHOR KIT SPE AUTHOR GUIDE HOW TO WRITE AND PREPARE YOUR SPE TECHNICAL PAPER 3 of the copyright that will enable one-time publication in a non-SPE journal. Electronic Submittal All papers presented at SPE meetings and submitted for review or publication must be accompanied by the electronic version of the paper. of Chicago Press. Jr. T. as well as for continued timeliness of the technology (for papers that take more than 6 months to revise) before final approval for publication is given. 3. If you are invited to revise your paper for peer approval.. “Formatting Your SPE Paper for Conference Proceedings. E.: Elements of Style.

5-in. They WILL be removed from the author line. SPE Paper Number.32 cm] Title. as presented. [1.O. The number assigned to your paper by SPE should appear flush left at the top of the first page of your manuscript in 14-point Arial type.69-in.385 in. credentials. Permission to reproduce in print is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words. Electronic reproduction. with a 1/2-point rule underneath.0 Headers) for an example of how the page numbers and headings should appear. Society of Petroleum Engineers Inc.75 in.98 cm] Right: 0. A 0. Body Copy.7-cm]) paper. flush left. distribution.27 cm] “gutter” between the columns..5-in.45 cm] from the top of the page (this is to allow placement of the SPE logo if the author doesn’t use the SPE Template). or members. [1. two lines below the SPE paper number in 14point Arial. The abstract must contain conspicuous acknowledgment of where and by whom the paper was presented. Contents of the paper. is prohibited. [4. and your SPE paper number flush right.7 in. Refer to the Microsoft Word Instructions document (page 5. or style. Second level: (Head 2) Return above head. Style The elements of an SPE paper are listed below in the order in which they should appear. Page numbers and headings.27 cm] Bottom: 1 in. or e-mail addresses.27-cm] margin should be used on the remaining manuscript pages. [4. upper and lower case. Box 833836. Page Dimensions and Margins Manuscripts must be submitted on (8. Type SPE after the names of all authors who are SPE members. 10point Times New Roman bold. The material. The first paragraph of each section should be flush with the left margin. the title of the paper in all capital letters in the center. [1. Authors. This paper was selected for presentation by an SPE Programme Committee following review of information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). illustrations may not be copied. flush left. upper and lower case. in 8-point Arial. fax 01-972-952-9435. SPE. single-spaced in 10-point Times New Roman. its officers. upper and lower case. 3. SPE policy limits papers for the Annual Technical Conference to 16 pages. fax. The title of the paper should be flush left with no hyphenation. with a 1/2-point rule underneath. 2.3 Author). [21×29. 10-point Arial bold. A format. TX 75083-3836.5×11-in. On odd-numbered pages should be your SPE paper number flush left. should appear on Page 2 and all subsequent pages. This paper was prepared for presentation at the SPE 13th Middle East Oil Show & Conference to be held in Bahrain. for each element of content is provided. [1. The text of the paper should be two-column. Write Librarian.27 cm] Right: 0. have not been reviewed by the Society of Petroleum Engineers Inc. [0.. Richardson. U. justified with hyphenation on.98 cm] Bottom: 1. On evennumbered pages. Papers presented at SPE meetings are subject to publication review by Editorial Committees of the Society of Petroleum Engineers Inc.S. and are subject to correction by the author(s).54 cm] or A4 Left: 0. including figures and tables. Do not include address. single-spaced format with 0. Hard return at the end so that the head is on a line by itself. [21. The following statement should appear 2 lines below the author line at the top of the first column of text in 6 point Arial. Separate the copyright statement from the rest of the paper with a 1/2-point horizontal rule below the final paragraph (as show above).9cm]) paper or A4 (8. If you do not have the specified typeface. Margins should be as follows: Top: On the first page. end . this should include the page number flush left.6×27. all other paragraphs should have a paragraph indent. Headings. 5-8 April 2003. [0. and the page number flush right. the author names in all capital letters in the center.A. Refer to the Microsoft Word Instructions document (page 3. Major headings and subheads should use the following specifications. as presented. First level: (Head 1) Return above head. the text of the paper should begin 1. phone. [2. Copyright Statement.27×11. Only the full name and company affiliation of each author should appear flush left below the title in 10point Arial.5 in.5 in. Left: 0. The body copy of the paper should be a two-column.Formatting Your SPE Paper for Conference Proceedings Paper Length An average paper for SPE Conference Proceedings is about 10 pages. does not necessarily reflect any position of the Society of Petroleum Engineers Inc. Copyright 2002. or storage of any part of this paper for commercial purposes without the written consent of the Society of Petroleum Engineers Inc. match the appearance as closely as possible. P.385 in.

and the units of measure. no hard return (text of the subsequent paragraph will be on the same line as the head). Fourth level: (Head 4) Indented. no hard return. A list of the most commonly used conversion factors is included in the “SPE Publications Style Guide. including within figures and tables. Simple fractional expressions should be written with a slant line so that only a single line is required. Table headings and column headings should be as concise as possible. Number equations sequentially as they appear in the paper and enclose the number in parenthesis preceded by dot leaders. Acknowledgments. References. and subscripts are positioned properly.. close to reference in text) or grouped together at the end of the paper. If you have appendices. The same format as the body of the paper is used under a first-level heading. They should be the smallest size possible without loss of clarity. they should follow the same format as the body of the paper under a first-level heading. superscripts. Definitions of symbols should include the symbol. an accurate word definition. References are set in 9-point Times New Roman with a hanging indention after the reference number (i. B-1. the dimensions in which the quantity is measured. an equal sign.2 FORMATTING YOUR SPE PAPER FOR CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS AUTHOR KIT with a period. do not continue the numbering sequence from the body of the paper. Nomenclature. 10-point Times New Roman italic. Tables should be numbered with Arabic. These should appear in the same format as the body of the text under a first-level heading. and the conversion factors should be listed at the end of the paper after the References. Tables should be used only if they present information more effectively than running text. (Set in Format ® Tabs. Third level: (Head 3) Indented. Figures. Names of books and journals should be in italics. A-2. end with a period.” Appendices. etc. no hard return. number these Eq. not Roman. A-1. Make sure that exponents. Use 10-pt Arial Bold for table title and 8-pt Arial for table content. All tables should be cited in the body of the paper. Figures should be numbered with Arabic.. Titles of papers presented at a meeting. Volume numbers should be in bold face.) For equations in appendices. . numerals. You may use either customary or metric units of measure. Tables. the second line does not return to the margin but begins where the indented first line began). articles from journals. Figure captions are set in 8-pt Arial Bold.e. Metric Conversion Factors. end with a period.e. not Roman. Mathematical Material. or chapters in books should be within quotation marks. numerals.” A more complete list can be found in the “SPE Metric Standard. All figures should be cited in the body of the paper. Instead. but one system should be used consistently throughout the paper. Note: Tables and Figures may be placed anywhere within the document (i. 10-point Times New Roman bold italic. Equations must be clear with all symbols identified in the Nomenclature.

● Put company names OR logos on your slides. . use a subdued color (gray or a slightly lighter color than the background) so that the main points in white will stand out. ● Put the speaker’s name and paper number on the slide and slide tray. If you can read the information on the slide. White or a Light Color Speaker/Audio-Visual Equipment Available Specific equipment available to you for your presentation varies from conference to conference. Yellow or White 24 to 36 pt. ● Use action words to reinforce ideas rather than complete sentences. line graphs visualise trends. In that case. It is difficult to read. pie charts emphasise the relationship of parts to the whole. ● Use more than six lines of text or more than six words per line on a slide.Guidelines Producing Presentation Materials The following guidelines will ensure a successful Slide or PowerPoint presentation. most presentations today are made using PowerPoint software. . White or a Light Color 28 to 36 pt. Examples of good and poor slides are shown on the following page. A good rule of thumb: Hold your slide at arm’s length against a light. Don’t . ● Multiple page projects should be created as one document to avoid setup charges for multiple files. box charts illustrate makeup of an organisation. ● Ensure strong color contrast between the background and text to make the presentation easy to read. The following tips will ensure quality imaging output: ● Slides should be set for 35-mm. and photographs best depict realism. Body type should be white unless a “build” is involved. . PowerPoint Presentations While 35-mm slides are acceptable. Titles: Subtitles: Body Type: 40 to 48 pt. Do . ● Keep all slides in a standard horizontal format.) Data Projector Presentation Computer Remote Control Podium Microphone Lapel Microphone One (1) Light Pointer Two front Projection Screens Speaker’s Timer More detailed information on equipment available at the conference at which you will be presenting will appear on the Speaker/Audio-Visual Aids Reservation Form included with the Author Kit for the conference. . Keep slides simple with plenty of open space. . In general. ● Use all caps for body text or underline for emphasis. ● Limit the information on your slide to a single point or idea (fewer than six lines). (35-mm) slides in plastic mounts. ● Include duplicates if you need to refer back to the same slide several times. ● Orientation should be set to landscape. session rooms are equipped with the following: Single (1) 35-mm Slide Projector Dual (2) 35-mm Slide Projector ( 2 × 2-in. ● Produce slides from transparencies. then it will be legibly projected on the screen. Bar charts compare data. This will avoid confusion when retrieving your slides. ● Select the visual format that suits your purpose. Font Sizes and Colors A dark background is recommended. ● Use either initial caps or lower case for body text. ● Number your slides and mark them in the upper right-hand corner to facilitate proper loading of the slide tray. ● Use color to highlight a point. Slide Presentations ● Use 2 × 2-in. Subtitles should be a different color from titles.

The use of underlining for emphasis can crowd line spacing and make your Material difficult to read. Remember. Plenty of open space around words is needed for slides to be clearly legible when projected onto a screen. Using no more than six lines on a slide with no more than six words on each line is recommended. It is better to use color for emphasis. BODY TEXT IN ALL CAPS IS MORE DIFFICULT TO READ THAN CAP AND LOWER-CASE OR INITIAL CAP BODY TEXT. ALSO. do not put company names or logos on your slides! .2 PRODUCING PRESENTATION MATERIALS AUTHOR KIT GOOD SLIDE CHARACTERISTICS Simplicity Strong color contrast No more than six lines Large. readable print BAD SLIDE CHARACTERISTICS Slides become difficult to read when you try to cover too much material on one slide. Simplicity and conciseness are keys to good slides. Text that is too small or a font color that does not provide enough contrast from the background will not project clearly.

a pocket for handouts. It is best to keep illustrative material simple. Include an abstract that summarizes the project. 3 Fig. 1 Fig.SPE Author Kit SUGGESTED GUIDELINES TO ENHANCE POSTER PRESENTATION Poster sessions can be a valuable means of promoting discussion both within specific disciplines and across widely different research areas. 2. tables. or in making slides. and significance of a project simply by looking at and reading the poster. it may be useful for the author to have on hand a tablet of suitable sketch paper as well as felt markers for discussion purposes. address. which will be provided by SPE. Use contrasting colors. data. Text should be kept to a minimum.5cm) so as to be readable from a distance of several feet. affiliation. A poster should be able to stand-alone. 3. pictures. Charts. Be sure that your materials are prepared for mounting with Velcro. and illustrations might well be similar to those one would use for journal articles. etc. Project Investigator • Introduction Fig. address. Lettering should be a minimum of 24 points (3. A clear title with the author's name. author name. During the poster session. Include useful figures. and phone number is desirable. as well as an abstract in large bulletin type. Each poster will be set up on 185cm tall x 238 cm wide bulletin boards. 4 Table 2 Conclusions 1. they should be readable from a distance of several feet. drawings. A colleague should be able to determine the purpose. equations. Abstract • Project Title A suggested arrangement of a poster is illustrated below. and phone number. • • The display areas will have Velcro panels on which the posters will be mounted. schemes. 2 • Table 1 • Fig. Identify project by title. . affiliation. however.