The open peer review process

UCL Open: Environment aspires to select and publish, through open peer review, the highest-quality environment-related research. To achieve this, the peer review process must be objective, fair and thorough.

You will find further information about how open peer review works on this page and you can also read more about our peer review policy at

How open peer review works

UCL Open: Environment operates a preprint server post-publication open peer review model (the names and affiliations of reviewers are published alongside their review reports). Submissions approved for preprint status to undergo open peer review are generally acceptable for official publication in the journal once at least 2 peer reviews have been provided and the Editor is satisfied any comments raised during peer review have been adequately met. Given the multidisciplinary nature of the journal it is likely submissions will require more than 2 peer review reports by a range of experts across a multitude of subjects.

Further information about the journals review policy can be found in the editorial policies webpage and also in the peer review and commenting code of conduct webpage.

  1. Submission

Upon submission, manusctripts are assessed for suitability by the Editor before proceeding with peer review. Once approved for peer review, the manuscript PDF is immediately posted to the preprint server made openly available under the creative commons licence (CC-BY 4.0) found here and assigned a DOI (a Digital Object Identifier).

  1. Open peer review

Once the paper is online, the Editor invites reviewers to openly review it. Authors are also encouraged to invite reviewers to comment and/or review their paper. Reviewers not invited by the Editor must possess the reviewer criteria as outlined on our how to peer review pages.

All reviews are posted to the preprint alongside the paper under the CC-BY license and assigned a DOI from CrossRef, similar to a formal research publication. This means that every review is re-usable, citable, and a permanent record of the publication and reviewers activities. Every review performed for the journal is integrated with the reviewer’s ORCID and can also be uploaded to other review credit sites such as Publons and ImpactStory, helping reviewers to build their profiles.

  1. Editorial decision revision

Once enough reviews have been secured the Editor will make an editorial decision on the paper informing the authors to revise and highlighting particular areas to focus on.

Authors are requested to highlight where textual changes have been made to make it easy for reviewers to understand where changes have been made. A cover letter should also be supplied to summarise what  changes have been made. Authors are also requested to respond to all reviewer reports by posting a response comment on the review page.

Reviewers are notified of any new version and are requested to re-review.

  1. Editorial decision accept

When a paper receives enough positive reviews the Editor can decide to accept the paper for publication in the journal and is published as version of record in the journal.

Links to the review history, including all previously published review reports and versions remains freely and permanently available to all readers. The final published version of record is then sent out for indexing.


Comments are much shorter than reviews but can be used to add relevant information to the discussion, highlight certain aspects of the publication, or express general agreement or disagreement. Comments should either support other readers in making up their own mind about the paper or encourage the authors to further improve their work. Authors are also encouraged to respond to reviewers by commenting on reports.

Please keep the following points in mind before commenting on a article:

  • Comments are made under your real identity (ORCID) and are visible to the public.
  • Comments should be written in clear and comprehensible English.
  • The feedback should be constructive and issue-focused.
  • We expect everyone to express their opinion in a polite and objective way.
  • In case of disagreement, please be respectful and refrain from personal attacks.
  • Please inform the editorial office if you encounter any inappropriate comment by emailing
  • Editors may intervene at any point should there be any concern about a misuse of reviewing and commenting tools.

Please read the peer review policy for further guidance and information about commenting.

Who can review for UCL Open: Environment?

Reviewers are invited by the Editor based on subject expertise. In addition, as the journal operates open peer review (the names and affiliations of reviewers are published alongside their review reports), authors are also encouraged to help expedite the peer review process by inviting reviewers to review their paper openly.

As a general guide, peer reviewers should hold expert knowledge of the specific disciplines to which your article relates. For example, it is usual for many peer reviewers to hold a doctorate (PhD/MD/MBBS or equivalent). In subjects or fields where doctorates are less common or reviewers are currently in process of completing one, we recommend these individuals provide via their ORCID profile a demonstrable public record of expertise.

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

Reviewers invited by authors are required to have five published records associated with their ORCID to demonstrate that reviewers are active and professional researchers. Any professional or researcher who would like to review a paper but has fewer than five published records associated with an ORCID is advised to contact the editorial office to register their interest in reviewing a paper.