Petroleum Journals Online publishes the first fully refereed e-journals of petroleum engineering. The publications cover the following main areas of petroleum engineering namely: petrophysics, production geology, drilling, production, reservoir engineering, and petroleum management and economics.

This initiative is designed to provide a medium for petroleum engineers to rapidly publish peer-reviewed articles online while retaining their copyright. Petroleum Journals Online will provide free access to the articles within these new journals on the principle that 'making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge and that such access is associated with increased readership and increased citation of an author's work'.

The website uses Simon Fraser University's established publishing system (Open Journal Systems), comprising an online submission system, electronic tools for peer-review, and the ability to publish accepted articles in both PDF and HTML formats. Authors can view the progress of their submission through the editorial process by logging in to the journal web site. The system provides many "Reading Tools" with each article, including links to author bios, "capture the citation", Dublin Core metadata, "add comment to the item", and links to related items such as other works by the author(s), quotations, book reviews, etc.

The peer-reviewed research articles in the journals are indexed by metadata harvesters within a globally distributed system of hundreds of research databases. Metadata harvesters collect records from each indexed item in the journals, enabling accurate and collective searching among research sites that adhere to the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting. The journals are also indexed by the LOCKSS (Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe) system to ensure a secure and permanent archive for the journals. LOCKSS is open source software developed at Stanford University Library that enables libraries to preserve selected web journals by regularly polling registered journal websites for newly published content and archiving it. Each archive is continually validated against other library caches, and if content is found to be corrupted or lost, the other caches or the journal is used to restore it.

Petroleum Journals Online has concluded arrangements for joint publication in print with Mining Archives published by the Polish Academy of Science. This means that accepted submissions to Petroleum Journals Online will be considered for publication in print in the Mining Archives, generally with minimal or no additional peer review. Authors are free to choose not to follow-up publication of their papers in Mining Archives.

Petroleum Journals Online is a Canada based organization, however, the content, technical editors , and editorial board composition are international in scope. Articles are accepted on the basis that they will make a lasting contribution to technical literature. Information regarding scope, policies and author guidelines specific to each of the e-journals can be found by visiting the "About" section within the relevant journal's website.