Author guidelines

We place very few restrictions on the way authors prepare their manuscript for submission and it is not necessary to try to replicate the published format of the journal (this is not a good use of a researcher’s time).

In order to submit, we ask only that you consider your cross-disciplinary readers and reviewers by supplying a cover letter as first page to summarise your manuscript in a clear, generic and readable manner, and expressing possible ramifications for other areas of study. We aim to post the preprint of your manuscript directly online in the format you provide, should it be approved by the Editor.

The following can be used as a checklist to ensure that the manuscript has all the information necessary for successful review and publication (please also consider page and continuous line numbers):   

  1. Abstract (up to 250 words).
  2. Keywords (up to 10 keywords).
  3. Main body of text (e.g. Introduction, Materials, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions).
  4. Abbreviations and acronyms
    All abbreviations and acronyms are defined in text when first introduced.
  5. Notes
    Use endnotes, not footnotes, for any additional notes and information. These appear at the end of the main text, before References. All notes should be used only where crucial clarifying information needs to be conveyed.
  6. Tables, Figures and Figure captions
    These can be included within the text or can be deposited into a data repository and cited in text. For supporting or supplementary information and data, see below.
  7. Funding and Acknowledgement statements
    All sources of funding for the research reported should be declared, including any project codes.
  8. Authorship Contribution
    Authors are required to include an authorship statement in their article to outline how each author contributed to the article, after any acknowledgements in the article.
  9. Data availability statement (see below).
  10. Declarations and Conflict of Interests statement 
    Clearly state the following in the article as sub headings:
    1. Conflicts of Interest
      Clearly declare any possible conflicts of interest, including but not limited to financial and non-financial competing interests. Where there are no conflicts of interests or competing interests, authors must clearly declare this under the same heading. For further information, please refer to the journal’s Editorial Policy at
    2. Ethics Approval
      Authors are required to show in their articles that they have received ethical approval for their research from all relevant institutional review boards and that they have followed appropriate personal data protection regulations (e.g. EU General Data Protection Regulation and the UK Data Protection Act 2018) in the handling of personal data. Where such committees do not operate, authors are responsible for providing evidence of their adherence to relevant ethical guidelines for the subject. Where ethics approval is not needed a statement should be included to declare this.
    3. Consent for publication
      For all articles involving human subjects, including any images, videos, and any other personal and identifiable information, authors must have secured informed consent to participate in the study and to publication before submitting to the journal, and a statement declaring this must be included in the article.
  11. Supporting Information (including supplementary information and appendices, see below)
  12. A full reference list.

English language
Please note that all publications in the journal are published in English (UK). In order to facilitate rigorous and high-quality peer review, all manuscripts should be submitted with a high and coherent level of English. Should you require help when writing your manuscript, a native English-speaking colleague may be well suited to help edit the level of English language in the manuscript. You may also want to consider using a professional English-language editing service to improve the level of English . Please note that using professional English-language editing services does not guarantee manuscript acceptance in the journal, and you may be charged for these services.

Data avilability statement

UCL Open: Environment strongly encourages authors to make all data and datasets on which the conclusions of the manuscript rely to be publicly available either in publicly open repositories (where available and appropriate) or presented in the main paper in machine-readable format (such as formatted tables rather than flat images) whenever possible. Authors are encouraged to follow the FAIR data principles – to make data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Re-usable. Further information and guidance on these principles is outlined at

Authors must clearly state in their manuscript where their data are made available at time of submission. In circumstances where ethical and legal issues dictate any restrictions on sharing data (including research using personal data), a statement to this effect must be included for clarity. Where a widely established research community expectation for data archiving in public repositories exists, submission to a community-endorsed, public repository is mandatory. Persistent identifiers (such as DOIs and accession numbers) for relevant data must be provided in the manuscript.

During submission, authors are required to confirm the data availability statement to indicate how fellow researchers can access their software and data and link to data sets in repositories. Authors will be required to select one of the following statements:

  1. The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are available in the repository: *[source]
  2. The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.
  3. Data sharing not applicable to this article as no datasets were generated or analysed during the current study.
  4. All data generated or analysed during this study are included in this published article (and its supplementary information files).
  5. The data that support the findings of this study are available from * but restrictions apply to the availability of these data, which were used under license for the current study, and so are not publicly available. Data are however available from the authors upon reasonable request and with permission of * [source]
* You may add a link here to your data sets and/or software at a standard data repository. We also strongly encourage you to cite your data in the reference section according to the Joint Declaration of Data Citation Principles.

You can read more about open data here.

Supporting information

Data or information should not be submitted as supplementary information alongside the manuscript, but instead be included in the manuscript that forms part of the paper or deposited into a publicly available repository, depending on the type of data or information concerned. Where supporting information is included in the article that has no persistent identifier (for example, a Google survey), authors may be requested to deposit the information into a relevant data repository to ensure persistent access, have it registered to a DOI, and cite the DOI in the article.

Referencing style

UCL Open: Environment follows the ‘Vancouver’ system for referencing and citation. We do not generally require authors to format their manuscripts in this style for peer review, so long as references and citations are written in a clear, concise, and complete manner. If editorially accepted, the manuscript will go through the production process and reference and citation formatting will be applied. See here for a guide to the Vancouver reference system.<

Image permissions and copyright

Please ensure that where any copyrighted image or figure is used in the manuscript, appropriate permission to reuse in an open access journal publication has been obtained in writing and signed by the copyright holder. Please contact the Editorial Office with any questions at

Article types

We welcome 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 author guidelines and the journals editorial policies for additional information before submitting.

Article type Description
Research article Detailed studies reporting research classified as primary literature. This can also include challenge and theory articles reporting research classified as primary literature, specifically showing how a certain challenge, an/or tested hypothesis/theory was investigated.
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 journal (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 journal’s wider aims (please see the aims and scope here, 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.