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 can read more about our open peer review policy on our For reviewers pages as well as our Peer review and commenting code of conduct.

Inviting peer reviewers

Reviewers are invited by the Editor and authors are also free to invite reviewers to review their paper openly.

As an author of a submitted article you can aid the peer review process by inviting reviewers to review your article openly (the names and affiliations of reviewers are published alongside their review reports).

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.

To perform a peer review, reviewers are required to have five published records associated with an ORCID to demonstrate that reviewers are active and professional researchers. Any early career reviewer 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.

Further information about peer review including our reviewer guide can be found on our for reviewers pages, at https://ucl-about.scienceopen.com/for-reviewers.

How open peer review works

UCL Open: Environment operates a preprint server post-publication open peer review model (i.e. the names and affiliations of reviewers are published alongside their review reports). Upon submission, articles are assessed for suitability by the Editor before proceeding with peer review. Once approved for peer review, the article 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).

You can access the preprint server of UCL Open: Environment at ucl.scienceopen.com.

Reviewer reports will be openly published online (alongside the preprint article), made openly available under the creative commons licence (CC-BY 4.0) and assigned a DOI – similar to a formal research publication. This means that reviews are re-usable, citable, and permanent records of reviewing activities.

Once the paper is approved by reviewers and accepted by the Editor, the article is officially published in the UCL Open: Environment journal and is identified as an approved article, alongside links to the review history, including all previously published review reports, which remains freely and permanently available to anyone.


Comments can be much shorter than reviews and may 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 uclopen.environment@ucl.ac.uk.
  • Editors may intervene at any point should there be any concern about a misuse of reviewing and commenting tools.

Please read our peer review and commenting code of conduct for further guidance and information.