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How it works

Where traditionally scholarly publication and peer review suffers from a lack of transparency, recognition and accountability, UCL Open: Environment is different. Operating dually as an open access e-journal and offering immediate publication in a dedicated preprint server, with open peer review , the entire publishing process will be accessible, transparent, accountable and fast. Articles submitted to the megajournal are first posted to the preprint server to undergo open peer review, identified as not yet peer reviewed, then officially published in the UCL Open: Environment journal after editorial acceptance, thereafter being identified as an accepted article.

Preprints are scholarly papers not yet published in a peer-reviewed journal. They speed the delivery and accessibility of academic work and lead to faster reuse by the scientific community. Being freely accessible, UCL Open: Environment enables knowledge to spread beyond typical journal subscribers in university and research settings, during the review process.

Following a simple submission process, authors submit to the megajournal by using their ORCID (see below sections). Upon submission, articles are assessed for suitability by the Editor before proceeding with peer review. If approved for peer review, the submitted paper is immediately made available on the preprint to read under the CC-BY licence and assigned a DOI (digital object identifier) from CrossRef and integrated with their ORCID.

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, as are readers. 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 megajournal 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.

Once the paper is approved by reviewers and accepted by the Editor, the article is professionally typeset and copyedited and is published officially in the UCL Open: Environment as the version of record. Links to the review history, including all previously published review reports and versions remains freely and permanently available to all readers.

Publishing scholarly articles open access is, however, not without costs, and all non-UCL authored papers will be required to pay an Article-Processing Charge (APC) once the article has been editorially accepted. The APC price is set as low as possible and based on word count to cover the open access publication costs of the article, including typesetting and copyediting, publication, and indexing. APCs range from a brief article of up to 1,000 words through to a long article of up to 10,000 words.

Additionally, UCL Press offers waivers and discounts for papers whose corresponding authors are based in low-income countries, as classified by the Research4Life initiative (https://www.research4life.org/access/eligibility/).

Further information regarding APCs can be found on the Article-Processing Charges page.


ORCID (http://orcid.org/) provides researchers with a unique identifier that can be kept throughout their career and can be used in publications and grant applications. ORCID distinguishes between researchers with similar names, and helps ensure that publications are attributed and recorded correctly. It also helps researchers to comply with funders’ open access requirements.

Why should I use ORCID?

ORCID helps researchers to record and report their work. UCL encourages all researchers to use ORCID. Funders such as the Wellcome Trust and the UK Research Councils now require or recommend the use of ORCID IDs alongside systems like Researchfish that can link with ORCID.

How do I get an ORCID?

Researchers should register for an ORCID ID either at http://orcid.org/, or by registering with MyScienceOpen and following the registrations instructions for ORCID.

If you already have an ORCID ID and want to submit, review, or comment on an article, you will need to sign into MyScienceOpen on the UCL Open: Environment website.