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.


How open peer review works

UCL Open: Environment operates a preprint server post-publication open peer review model whereby 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 at



Authors should firstly read the journals author guidelines at before submitting. When you are ready, please submit using journals submission system by logging in (or registering if you are submitting for the first time), Unlike most submission systems, we simply ask for the title, author list and author information, the title, abstract and keywords, as well as any funding, links to data, and to confirm all authors have read the terms to submission as outlined in the author contributor agreement.



Articles submitted to the journal are first assessed by journal Editors for suitability for peer review in the journal. If approved for peer review, the submitted paper is immediately made available on the preprint server to read under the CC-BY licence and assigned a DOI (digital object identifier) from CrossRef and integrated with their ORCID.

Important note: Preprint articles are identified as not yet certified by peer review.



Once the paper is online, the Editor invites reviewers to openly review it. All reviews are posted to the preprint server 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. As reviews can be integrated with the reviewer’s ORCID (by linking your ORCID account to your registered user profile), reviews can also be uploaded to other review credit sites such as Publons and ImpactStory, helping reviewers to build their profiles.



Once enough reviews have been secured the Editor will make an editorial decision on the paper informing the authors of their decision. If authors have been requested to revise, when ready to, the corresponding should log back into the journal submission system to resubmit their revisions. Authors are requested to highlight where textual changes have been made to make it easy for reviewers to understand where changes have been made by way of tracked changes or changing the font colour. A cover letter should also be supplied to summarise what  changes have been made in response to the Editor decision and any peer review comments. These comments are made public online to aid readers understanding of how the paper has changed during the review process.



When a paper receives enough positive reviews the Editor can decide to accept the paper for publication in the journal. The accepted version is then processed through our production processes where it will be professionally typeset and undergo professional copyediting and proofreading, ready for publication in 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. The final published version of record is then sent out for indexing.