Article types

UCL Open: Environment welcomes submissions from all aspects of environment-related research from any discipline and strongly encourages submissions of a multi and inter-disciplinary nature that showcases radical and critical thinking on real world problems with the aim of benefiting humanity – please see the aims and scope for further guidance.

The list of article types below is by no means extensive or exhaustive, but rather aims to aid authors frame their article for submission to UCL Open: Environment – please also refer to the Preparing your manuscript pages and Publishing policies pages for additional information before submitting.

Article type Description
Challenge article and/or Theory article Challenge and theory articles are primary research detailing and reporting research classified as primary literature, specifically showing how a certain challenge, and/or a tested hypothesis/theory was investigated.
Research article Detailed studies reporting research classified as primary literature.
Systematic reviews

A review provides critical and systematic appraisal of the current research to offer an authoritative and balanced survey of recent developments to its particular context, topic, and field.

We place very few restrictions on the way authors prepare their review manuscript for submission and it is not necessary to try to replicate the published format of the megajournal (this is not a good use of a researcher’s time). We do recognise there exist many formal guides and formats that are currently considered best practice within a specified field be followed to improve the reporting and standards (for example, PRISMA within health care). Where a field specific guide and format should be followed, authors should therefore make clear within their article what guide has been applied alongside a reference to the applicable resource, ideally online.

Any review submitted must be within scope and in keeping with the megajournal’s wider aims (, including clear and descriptive language for specialist and non-specialist audiences. Where this is not clearly evident, the manuscript may be declined without proceeding through open peer review.

Methodology Present a new experimental or computational method, test or procedure. The method described may either be completely new, or may offer a better version of an existing method. The article must describe a demonstrable advance on what is currently available. The method needs to have been well tested and ideally, but not necessarily, used in a way that proves its value.
Open commentary Provide further explanation on a new or existing topic as well as an article published in the journal, aimed to specifically address the key topic or subject to provide further clarification to the journals audience and literature. Provide short or technical communication on an emerging topic, might include presentation of preliminary results from both primary and secondary data.
Data note Briefly and concisely describe sound research data with the aim of increasing visibility and transparency, supporting the reuse of valuable research data.
Research protocols Demonstrates the guidelines for conducting an experiment or trial. Research protocols accepted for peer review at UCL Open: Environment must have a multi-disciplinary base and illustrate what will be made in the study or experiment by explaining each essential part of it and how it is carried out. It also describes the eligibility of the materials, any participants, the length of the study or experiment, any medications or additional assets, and the related tests. Articles that do not show a multi-disciplinary base will not be accepted for peer review.
Case studies Case study articles should present a single report on a real-life, contemporary bounded system (a case) or multiple bound systems (cases) over time, with some reflection on wider implications. Case studies typically do not include a lengthy and detailed investigation in the research literature and methodology, but authors are encouraged to include sufficient detail to provide context and framing for readers.
Software development Novel software applications that are likely to be of broad utility and that are shown to be a clear advance over the state-of-the-art existing tools in a side-by-side demonstration using the same dataset.