List of Top Open Peer-Reviewed Journals in Geological Science (2024)

List of Top Open Peer-reviewed Journals in Geological Science (2024)

  1. Geographies (Optional Open-peer-reviewed)
  2. Asian Journal of Environment & Ecology
  3. Applied Sciences (Optional Open-peer-reviewed)
  4. Asian Journal of Geographical Research
  5. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information (Optional Open-peer-reviewed)
  6. Asian Journal of Geological Research
  7. Sustainability (Optional Open-peer-reviewed)
  8. International Journal of Environment and Climate Change
  9. Climate (Optional Open-peer-reviewed)
  10. Journal of Geography, Environment and Earth Science International
  11. Geotechnics(Optional Open-peer-reviewed)


What is open peer review?

Open peer review (OPR), where review reports and reviewers’ identities are published alongside the articles, represents one of the last aspects of the open science movement to be widely embraced, although its adoption has been growing since the turn of the century (Wolfram etal., 2020) . Open peer review refers to various modifications of the traditional scholarly peer review process. These modifications aim to address perceived shortcomings of the conventional system. Here are the three common forms of open peer review:

  1. Open Identities:
  • In open peer review, authors and reviewers are aware of each other’s identities. Unlike traditional peer review, where reviewers remain anonymous to anyone but the journal’s editors, open peer review allows transparency by revealing reviewer names to authors.
  • However, reviewer identities may or may not be disclosed to the public.
  1. Open Reports:
  • Under this model, review reports are made public, rather than being confidentially shared only with the article’s authors. This includes publishing not only the reviewers’ comments but also the authors’ responses and editors’ recommendations.
  • Typically, this applies to articles accepted for publication, not those that are rejected. 
  1. Open Participation:
  • In open peer review, self-selected reviewers (beyond invited experts) can comment on an article. The assumption is that the article’s content is openly accessible.
  • These self-selected reviewers may contribute either brief comments or comprehensive reviews.
  • The text of the article is openly available, allowing broader community participation in the review process.

The adoption of open peer review aims to enhance transparency, provide incentives, reduce wastefulness, and address issues like bullying and harassment in scholarly communication.

What are the benefits of Open Peer Review?

Open peer review (OPR) is a transparent process that allows scholarly articles to be evaluated by experts in the field, while also revealing the identities of both authors and reviewers. OPR can improve the quality of research by:

  • Encouraging constructive feedback: Openness in the identities of authors and reviewers can lead to better quality feedback rather than simply rejecting the paper.
  • Reducing bias: Everything is openly available to all, which can reduce the possibility of bias.
  • Empowering authors: Authors can lead the process by suggesting reviewers themselves.
  • Improving accountability: The quality of current scientific publications is at stake.
  • Encouraging collaboration: OPR encourages collaboration and promotes diversity of perspectives, ultimately leading to more robust and credible research outcomes.
  • Providing learning opportunities: OPR places a research work in the context of a discussion, and gives authors, readers and others a chance to better understand the process from the initial manuscript submission to final published version.
  • Exposing possible conflicts of interest: OPR may help to expose possible conflicts of interest in some cases.

Adoption of OPR by publishers (Wolfram etal., 2020) [1]

 A summary of the most prolific publishers contributing to OPR and their headquarters country appears below. Although many journals today attract an international audience and are managed by international teams of researchers, the prevalence of OPR journals associated with publishers based in Europe stands out. Twenty-four of the 38 (63.2%) identified publishers are based in Europe and account for 445 out of the 617 titles (72.1%). Although the publishers are based in Europe, many of the journals they publish may support journals originating from other areas of the world (e.g., Kowsar). Furthermore, 500 of the OPR journals (81.0%) are published by only five publishers (MDPI, SDI, BioMed Central, Frontiers Media S.A., Kowsar). This points to the important role that publishers have played to date in the promotion of OPR (Wolfram etal., 2020) [1].


Publisher OPR journals Percentage of OPR journals (%) Headquarters location
MDPI 204 33.0 Switzerland
SDI 111 18.0 India
BioMed central 70 11.3 United Kingdom
Frontiers media S.A 64 10.4 Switzerland
Kowsar 51 8.3 The Netherlands
Wiley 40 6.5 USA
Copernicus publications 21 3.4 Germany
PLOS 7 1.1 USA
Elsevier 7 1.1 The Netherlands
EMBO press 5 0.8 Germany
Other publishers 37 6.0 11 countries*
Total 617 100.0
  1. *United Kingdom (19 journals), United States (9), Argentina (1), Bulgaria (1), Canada (1), France (1), Germany (1), Ireland (1), Kenya (1), The Netherlands (1), Switzerland (1)


Recent Biggest Discoveries and advances in geological research (2024)

  1. Geological Oceanography and Ocean Observation in the Pacific Ocean:
    • The Pacific Ocean, being the largest and deepest ocean on our planet, plays a pivotal role in marine geology and oceanography studies. Recent advancements have shed light on various aspects within this vast marine realm:
      • Sedimentology: Investigating sediment deposits and their significance.
      • Geochemistry: Analyzing chemical processes in oceanic environments.
      • Geophysics: Studying Earth’s physical properties and processes.
      • Marine Biology: Understanding marine ecosystems and biodiversity.
      • Mineral Resources: Exploring oil, gas, and gas hydrate reserves.
    • Researchers are uncovering dynamic features, mineral resources, and tectonic evolution specific to the Pacific Ocean and its marginal basins [2].
  1. Geotechnical Engineering:
    • Recent research in geotechnical engineering has focused on several intriguing areas:
      • Static and Cyclic Liquefaction of Soils: Understanding soil behavior under different loading conditions.
      • Equivalent State Theory: Advancements in soil mechanics modeling.
      • Micro-Mechanical Behavior of Soil: Investigating soil properties at a microscopic level.
      • Offshore Geotechnics: Addressing challenges related to seabed engineering.
      • Bio-Cementation: Exploring natural processes to stabilize soil.
      • Unsaturated Soil Behavior: Studying soil response in partially saturated conditions.
      • Soil–Vegetation–Atmospheric Boundary Interaction: Examining interactions between soil, vegetation, and the atmosphere.
      • Sustainable Geotechnical Practices: Promoting environmentally friendly approaches [3].
  1. Scandinavian Bedrock Origins:
    • A recent geological study revealed that the oldest Scandinavian bedrock originated in Greenland. This finding contributes to our understanding of continental origins and the unique characteristics of Earth within our solar system [4].
  1. Advances in Geotechnical Research:
    • The Institute of Geotechnical Engineering at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna, Austria, has been actively researching various topics:
      • Centrifuge Model Testing: Simulating geotechnical processes at scale.
      • Constitutive Models: Developing mathematical representations of soil behavior.
      • Granular Physics: Investigating the behavior of granular materials.
      • Numerical Simulation: Using computational methods for geotechnical analysis.
      • Soil Bioengineering: Integrating biological processes for soil stabilization [5].

These advancements represent significant progress in the field of geological research.


  1. Wolfram, D., Wang, P., Hembree, A. et al. Open peer review: promoting transparency in open science. Scientometrics 125, 1033–1051 (2020).
  2. Recent Developments and Advances in Geological Oceanography and Ocean Observation in the Pacific Ocean and Its Marginal Basins, Journal of Marine Science and Engineering (ISSN 2077-1312).
  3. Reddy, K.R., Janga, J.K. & Kumar, G. Sustainability and Resilience: A New Paradigm in Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering. Indian Geotech J (2024).
  4. Geology News. ScienceDaily.
  5. Recent Advances in Geotechnical Research.
  6. Recent Advances in Geotechnical Engineering. Geotechnics (ISSN 2673-7094).

Last update: 02-May-2024

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