Interpretation special sections are theme-based one-off supplements to the journal’s general technical submissions. They are organized by experts with special interests in particular subject areas. Manuscript statistics show that special sections are an effective mechanism for the journal to engage the interpretation community. They so far have accounted for 75% of the journal’s submissions. Table 1 shows that the journal has steadily ramped up its special sections. Going forward, the journal will target two or more (no cap) special sections per month, or six or more per quarterly issue.
Table 1 also shows that special sections already are announced for issues one year from now. This is simply because of the one-year life cycle of special sections: five months for manuscript development, five months for peer review and revision, two months for production, plus a quantization delay because the journal is a quarterly. By design, there is no waitlist in special-section scheduling. An accepted special-section proposal will be scheduled as soon as the organizer has the team of editors in place. Individual papers in a special section are published as soon as they are accepted and produced without waiting for other papers in the same special section.
Because the journal makes frequent special-section announcements, I would like to remind everyone that the journal also and always welcomes general technical contributions not intended for special sections. The general submissions are grouped into three regularly recurring sections: Tools, techniques, and tutorials; Pitfalls; and Technical papers. Papers in all these regular sections, of course, are technical papers, but the big bucket Technical papers is used to hold papers that do not fit into the first two.
Let me next address two frequently asked questions about the journal. One regards the fact that the journal does not have topic-based regular sections and the other is about the journal’s scope.
Why not make some special sections perpetual or regularly recurring? Without a publish-or-perish culture of the academia, interpretation geoscientists from E&P and service companies tend to give a low priority to publishing. Promoting publication participation from industry geoscientists has been a perennial effort of the editors of Geophysics, which has 20 or so topic-based “perpetual” sections, and was one of the arguments for launching Interpretation. The rallying themes, submission deadlines, and active editorial invitations are key factors of Interpretation special sections. Most of the special-section papers are submitted within a few days of their submission deadlines. A perpetual special section would lack the necessary deadlines for getting “the grease” when potential authors had other business projects with “louder squeaky wheels.” It also would be unrealistic to expect the same team of editors of a perpetual section to reach out to worldwide contributors year after year with the same high intensity. The existence of a regular section of a topic might also bottleneck or deter the engagement of fresh and energetic teams of experts from organizing special sections on the same or similar topics. These are some of the considerations for not subdividing the Technical papers section of Interpretation into topic-based sections. Nothing is cast in stone, however, as the journal experiments with new ideas and establishes best practices.
Does an Interpretation paper need to contain a seismic interpretation? According to the journal’s editorial policy, an Interpretation article is not required to contain an interpretation; it only has to help advance the practice of interpretation. The policy does not mention specific geophysical methods such as seismic, magnetic, gravity, or electromagnetic. An interpretation submission can use geologic or geophysical data of any type and also can employ data from drilling, coring, logging, and production. Interpretation submissions without a seismic section or an interpretation are not great in number, but they are not rare either. The relevance of a paper to the practice of interpretation requires editorial judgment that cannot be quantified by counting lines, figures, or interpretations. We recently accepted a paper reporting a statistical study of the velocity and density trends of some 500 wells in a region of the Gulf of Mexico to understand overpressure mechanisms, such as unloading and compaction disequilibrium. The study is highly relevant to drilling hazard analysis, a topic of strong interest to interpreters and engineers for well placement. The paper is thus within the scope of Interpretation, yet it does not employ seismic sections directly and does not put forth an interpretation in the sense of a conceptualization of a prospect-specific subsurface model.
From 15 October 2012 (the date of the journal’s launch) to 9 September 2013 (date of drafting this report), the journal has received 137 new manuscript submissions. This second issue of the journal features 18 papers. Among them are 10 papers in the special section on “Interpretation for unconventional resources” organized by John O’Brien, John Eastwood, Mitch Pavlovic, and Wayne Camp. Some of the original 23 submissions to the special section have been reclassified as general technical papers, and revisions are still in progress for a few others. Papers not revised in time for the special section will be considered as general technical contributions for future issues. Below is an update of the upcoming special sections.
February 2014 issue:
Seismic attributes; editors: Saleh al-Dossary, Arthur Barnes, Eric Braccini, Satinder Chopra, Dick Dalley, Kurt Marfurt, Marcilio Matos, Ralf Oppermann, and Kui Zhang; submission by 15 June 2013; 25 submissions received.
Pore pressure prediction and detection, edited by Dan Ebrom, Philip Heppard, Martin Albertin, and Richard Swarbrick; submission by 30 June 2013; 8 submissions received.
May 2014 issue:
Interpreting AVO; editors: William Abriel, John Castagna, Douglas Foster, Fred Hilterman, Ron Masters, George Smith, and Chuan Yin; submission by 31 July 2013; 14 submissions received.
Well ties to seismic data, edited by Don Herron, Rachel Newrick, John Sumner, and Bob Wegner; submission by 30 August 2013; 7 submissions received.
August 2014 issue:
Interpretation and integration of CSEM data; editors: Sandeep Kumar, Lucy MacGregor, and James Tomlinson; submission by 1 October 2013.
Multicomponent seismic interpretation; editors: Michael DeAngelo, Bob Hardage, Paul Murray, Steve Roche, Diana Sava, James Simmons, Charlotte Sullivan, Donald Wagner, and Ran Zhou; submission by 1 October 2013.
Microseismic monitoring; editors: Adam Baig, Jean-Pierre Blangy, Carlos Cabarcas, Jingyi Chen, Dave Diller, Leo Eisner, Jamie Rich, and Julie Shemeta; submission by 1 October 2013.
Karst; editors: Jerome Bellian, Jason Rush, Charlotte Sullivan, Hongliu Zeng, and Kurt Marfurt; submission by 15 November 2013.
November 2014 issue:
Interpretation and integration of gravity and magnetic data; editors: Ran Zhang, Rao Yalamanchili, and Alan Aitken; submission by 15 January 2014.
Interpretation of complex faults; editors: Linda R. Sternbach, John Jordan, and Steven L. Getz; submission by 15 January 2014.
Exploration for unconventional reservoirs; editors: Brian Toelle, Karen Sullivan Glaser, Oswaldo Davogustto Cataldo, and Yaping Zhu; submission by 1 March 2014.
Detection of hydrocarbons; editors: Alistair Brown, Bill Abriel, and R. Randy Ray; submission by 1 March 2014.
Salt tectonics and interpretation; editors: Mark Rowan, Thomas Hearon, Steve Holdaway, Tim Seeley, Carl Fiduk, Van Mount, Frank Peel, Oriol Ferrer, Dave Quirk, Webster Mohriak, Simon Stewart; submission by 1 March 2014.
Salt basin model building, imaging, and interpretation; editors: Jacques Leveille, Brian Horn, Bill Hart, Jerry Young, David Bartel, Scott Morton, Dave McCann, Rob Wervelman, Sverre Brandsberg-Dahl, Adriana Ramirez, Gabriel Ritter, Paul Williamson, and Mark Rhodes; submission by 1 March 2014.
Induced seismicity: Defining the problem of and solution for managing risk; editors: Brad Artman, Randy Keller, Ernest Major, Hal MaCarney, and Dave Dillon; submission by 1 April 2014.
Unconventional reservoir development and production; editors: Abhijit Gangopadhyay, Steve Laubach, Mazher Ibrahim, Terri Olson, Shujie Liu, and John Zhou; submission by 1 March 2014.
February 2015 issue (incomplete):
Geologic, geophysical, and petrophysical interpretation of core data and well logs; editors: Chicheng Xu, Carlos Torres-Verdín, Kyle Spikes, and Thaimar Ramirez; submission by 15 March 2014.
Visualizing and predicting the integrated earth; editors: Rocco Detomo Jr., Carmen C. Dumitrescu, and Huw James; submission by 15 March 2014.
Interpretation welcomes your proposal of new special sections. When you have or see good interpretation materials on an interesting subject area, do not limit your efforts to just developing those materials into one single paper. Multiply the impact of your efforts by organizing an Interpretation special section with the paper as a seed!