How to peer review

If invited for review or whether you are interested in reviewingr for UCL Open: Environment, you will find further infomration on how to submit your review.

If you are interested in reviewing for the journal and wish to register your interest, please contact the editorial office with your details and subject expertise by emailing

Reviewer guidelines

Reviews should result from an in-depth and thorough evaluation of a research manuscript. Reviews should help readers decide if an article is scientifically sound, meets academic standards and is worth reading in its present form. They can either encompass the entire paper or just a single aspect.

We do not expect reviewers to decide if a manuscript is ‘worthy of publication’. Instead, the expert commentaries expressed at UCL Open: Environment should aim to assist authors and readers, and improve the value of the associated article. It can be very helpful to others to share experiences in reproducing experiments, methodologies, or code.

Reviewers should guide authors and encourage them to further improve their skills and research. Based on critical reception, authors may publicly engage the reviews and/or comments via the article landing page.

Reviews consist of two parts: 1) a General Factors Ratings, and 2) a written report.

General Factors Ratings

Level of importance

Is the publication of relevance for the academic community and does it provide important insights? Does the work represent a novel approach or new findings in comparison with other publications in the field?

Level of validity

Is the hypothesis clearly formulated? Is the argumentation stringent? Are the data sound, well-controlled and statistically significant? Is the interpretation balanced and supported by the data? Are appropriate and state-of-the-art methods used?

Level of completeness

Do the authors reference the appropriate scholarly context? Do the authors provide or cite all information to follow their findings or argumentation? Do they cite all relevant publications in the field?

Level of comprehensibility

Is the language correct and easy to understand for an academic? Are the figures well displayed and captions properly described? Is the article systematically and logically organised?

The written report

After assigning the manuscript rating (see above), reviewers are prompted to submit a written report (of up to 10,000 characters). Reports should stick to the aims and objectives set out above. Try to structure your review as a list of major points followed by minor points and conclude with an overall impression of the manuscript. Keep in mind that the audience for the review includes both authors and readers.

You can find an example of a previous open peer review report here.