Peer review

We want the best for your project so we’ve designed a review process that enables you to develop your work through guidance from our commissioning editors, and recommendations from peer reviewers and the UCL Press Executive Board. The peer review process is rigorous, and our commissioning editors aim to establish an early collaborative relationship with you so we can be supportive throughout.

Peer review prior to contract

1. When you and your UCL Press commissioning editor are agreed that your proposal is ready, it’s presented to the Executive Board at a monthly meeting for a decision on whether to proceed to peer review. The Board may request revisions to the proposal or clarification on any issues before making the decision.
2. If your project qualifies for further consideration, your commissioning editor sends your proposal (or full manuscript if available) to at least two reviewers who are expert in your field. Completing the review process can take between four weeks and three months - depending on the subject area, availability of reviewers and length of the material - but we always aim to get comments to you as quickly as possible.
3. On receipt of reviews, you’re invited to respond by answering any questions posed by the comments and explaining how you’ll address any suggestions for improvement.
4. The reviews and your response are presented to the Board members for a decision on whether to offer a contract for your book.
a. If the Board is encouraged by the reviews and your response to them, we will offer you a contract.
b. If the reviews are negative, or the reviewers have conflicting opinions, or the Board members have questions about your response to the reviews, they will discuss how to proceed. You may be invited to revise the proposal or manuscript, in which case the revised material will be reviewed again before the Board makes a final decision.

In recognition of the work that goes into reviewing a proposal or manuscript, we offer all of our reviewers a fee. The fee is determined by the amount of material we ask them to review and the required turnaround time.

A proposal can be declined by the UCL Press Executive Board at any point in the consideration process.

Peer review of manuscripts for contracted books

It’s important that your work is well received by its intended readership. To ensure this, and to fulfil our role in the development of your project, we send draft manuscripts of contracted books for peer review before they can be accepted for publication. We seek one review, preferably from one of the experts who commented on your proposal and this review process is handled by the commissioning editors (it does not need to go through the Executive Board at this stage). On receipt of this review, your commissioning editor will ask you to comment on any revisions suggested by the reviewer and to carry out any changes agreed between you. It usually takes two to three months from delivery of the draft to submission of a final manuscript following peer review and revision, and the vast majority of our books are accepted for publication at this point. In cases where significant revision is necessary, the revised manuscript is sent again for peer review. In line with the terms in UCL Press contracts, it’s possible for your book to be rejected at this stage.

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