The editorial board for SPE Journal met with SPE staff members at the Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in Denver in September. The purpose of these yearly meetings is primarily to discuss the status of the journal and to explore ideas for improvement. In general, SPEJ seems to be doing very well on a number of fronts, including impact factor, which is a measure of the influence that SPEJ has on current research and publications. We believe that the focus on quality and fundamental research is a key factor in our success in this area.
The timeliness of reviews, or lack thereof, continues to be a concern, but the addition of new associate editors and a focus on handling the oldest papers have improved the situation from last year. The new electronic peer-review system that will be implemented next year may help to accelerate the review process and enhance quality.
The editorial board for SPEJ discussed several ideas for improving the journal. One idea we discussed last year and are attempting to promote is the publication of several key review papers per year (perhaps as many as one per issue). It may require us to actively solicit papers to meet this goal. We also discussed the idea of having special issues of SPEJ that focus on a particular topic. The general consensus of the editorial board was that this idea should be pursued.
Impact Factor for Petroleum Engineering Journals
The impact factor is a measure of the impact that the articles in a journal have on the advancement of knowledge. The impact factor for SPEJ for 2007 measures the number of times that 2007 journal papers cited SPEJ papers published in 2005 and 2006.
For comparison, the impact factor for several other journals in related fields are comparable to that of various petroleum engineering journals in 2007: Water Resources Research, 2.15; Computational Geosciences, 0.74; Mathematical Geology, 0.76;Transport in Porous Media, 1.01.
It is encouraging to note that the impact factor for SPEJ has been increasing for several years. It does not seem unreasonable for us to aim for an impact factor of 1.00 within the next two years.
Papers in SPEJ are cited in a large number of journals, but a few journals have quite high numbers of citations. In 2007, the following journals cited papers in SPE Journal at least 30 times: Journal of Petroleum Science & Engineering, 133; SPE Journal, 106; SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering, 97; Transport in Porous Media, 45; Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology, 38;Petroleum Science & Technology, 34; Advances in Water Resources, 30; and Water Resources Research, 30. The fact that our papers were cited more times in JPSE than in SPEJ is probably a reflection of the larger number of papers in JPSE.
New Associate Editors
We continue to add new associate editors either to replace someone who has retired from the board or to add new expertise. In 2006–07, we added 12 new associate editors. In 2007–08, we added another seven. We are always open to suggestions for new associate editors in appropriate areas. It is important that associate editors are authors of papers in peer-reviewed journals and have experience reviewing papers. When we invite new associate editors to join the board, we request that they commit to handling a routine load of six to eight papers per year. In fact, some of the editors handle considerably more than that.
With this issue, Amy Kan from Rice University and Randy Seright from New Mexico Tech join SPE Journal as associate editors.