Our Policies

Volcanica is committed to establishing a publication system that is both Free to publish and Free to access. A rigorous peer review system assures impartial assessment of quality scientific research which, thanks to Open Journal Systems (part of the Public Knowledge Project), can be accessed freely, by anyone.  

Moreover, all published material is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. This means that as the author, you retain the copyright, and are free to share, copy, and redistribute the material in any medium or format, and even adapt the material for any purpose. The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms. Specifically, you must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use. Full details are available here

Specific policies are summarised below. The most recent versions of all policy documents can be accessed here:
Volcanica-charter Volcanica charter
Volcanica-OA-policy Open-access policy
 Volcanica-publication-ethics-policy Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice Statement
 Volcanica-name-change-policy Name-change policy
Volcanica-pre-print-policy Pre-print policy
 Volcanica-plagiarism-policy Plagiarism policy


The review process

All articles published in Volcanica are subject to rigorous peer review. The first stage of manuscript assessment is an initial screening by a journal editor, who makes a first-pass appraisal of whether the manuscript is in-scope and constitutes a substantive piece of research. If the manuscript is deemed in principle to be suitable for publication in Volcanica, the journal editor will assign it to a topical editor within the Editorial Board based on the specific subdisicipline or article type. The topical (handling) editor is then responsible for a more detailed assessment of the content of the manuscript, and will either decline the submission at this stage, or facilitate the external peer review process. In the latter case, editors will solicit a minimum of two review reports from external reviewers in order to inform their final decision. These reports may be supplemented by internal editorial reviews as appropriate. Based on the reviews and their own assessment of the manuscript, editors will then communicate a decision to the authors. This may be to accept the manuscript for publication, accept with conditions (e.g. minor technical changes), recommend minor or major revisions, or to decline the submission. If minor or major revisions are requested by the editor, the authors will have an opportunity to resubmit a revised version of their manuscript alongside a point-by-point response to the editor and reviewer comments. The handling editor will then re-assess the revised submission in light of any changes and/or rebuttal, and will make another decision. As in the previous round, the editor may recommend acceptance, revisions, or rejection. This can continue for as many rounds as are required for the handling editor to make a final decision (accept/reject) regarding the suitability of the manuscript for publication in Volcanica. More information on the role of the editor(s) in facilitating peer review are available in Volcanica's Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice Statement.

While the default system is "single-blind" (i.e. the authors are known to the reviewers, but not vice versa), we can also facilitate double-open or double-blind reviews. In the spirit of openness, we encourage authors (and reviewers) to opt for a double-open approach; this can be communicated to the editor on submission.

If you wish to have your manuscript reviewed anonymously, then please follow the instructions laid out in the Ensuring blind review and Blinding manuscripts documents. Note that the responsibility is with the author to ensure they have appropriately blinded their manuscript such that it is free from identifying metadata.



Plagiarism is copying the text, data, images, figure captions, or ideas of another person or group, then passing that text or idea off as your own.

Any such copied material must be clearly identified, separated from the primary text, and duly credited. By this we mean that the original source of the material must be cited. Plagiarism is tantamount to fraud, and detection of plagiarism will result in rejection of a submitted manuscript. In the event that plagiarism is detected after publication, Volcanica reserve the right to retract the article at fault. The above definition of plagiarism applies:

  • irrespective of the of the original source of the copied material or idea
  • irrespective of whether the source from which you have copied said material or idea have themselves copied from another source
  • irrespective of whether the authorship of the original source is known, unknown,  or in question
  • irrespective of whether you are the author of the copied material or idea (i.e. self-plagiarism)
  • irrespective of whether the author of the original source has given you explicit permission to use their material or idea.
Adapted from the following sources:
Liddell, J., 2003. A comprehensive definition of plagiarism. Community & Junior College Libraries, 11(3), pp.43-52.
Harvard College Writing Program, What Constitutes Plagiarism? Harvard Guide to Using Sources, Harvard University.


Pre-print policy

Volcanica accepts manuscripts that have been hosted elsewhere as a pre-print. Pre-prints are not considered published material, because they have not been (formally) reviewed, nor are they in the final formatting of a published article. A benefit of pre-prints is that comments from the interested community can ultimately result in a better published paper, and can reduce the number of manuscripts that are ultimately rejected due to inherent flaws. As such, we encourage authors to share their pre-print prior to submission. If an article is accepted for publication, we ask that authors link from the pre-print to the final publication via its assigned DOI (digital object identifier) number. Moreover, authors can update their pre-prints with the published version (i.e. in the form of a post-print).  A great pre- and post-print repository is Earth ArXiv.


The cost of a free journal

No publishing venture can claim to be cost-free. However, the aim of Volcanica is that the costs are not transferred to the authors and readers of our content. We do this by keeping costs minimal; indeed, the only unavoidable costs of scholarly publishing are the following:

1) Membership to an organisation which provides digital object identifiers (DOIs) to be assigned to published articles. A DOI is a serial code used to uniquely identify objects (e.g. online articles), meaning that your published work can be accessed at any time. 

2) Web hosting. The site is hosted by HostingUK (formerly UnitedHosting), a UK registered privately owned and debt-free company. Their independently monitored service is highly reliable, with a proven uptime record of over 99.999%. Moreover, HostingUK is a "green" web hoster, committed to minimising their environmental impact and supporting renewable energy initiatives. 

These basic costs are currently funded by an institutional publishing press (Presses universitaires de Strasbourg), based in France.  

In our initial budget, we anticipated that about half of our annual costs would go towards an online archiving service. As described below, our articles are now archived securely at zero cost.


Non-English abstracts

In the spirit of open communication, Volcanica encourages the submission of abstracts in languages other than English, which may supplement but not replace the English-language version. A maximum of one additional abstract can be integrated into the formatted PDF. If authors wish to provide more than one additional translation of their abstract, these can appear alongside the article online.


Name change policy

Volcanica recognises that authors may change their names for many reasons, including marriage or divorce, religious conversion, gender identity change, and other personal reasons. Authors may wish to update the publication record to reflect this change in name or identity. Volcanica sees allowing this change to be made retroactively on publications as an important step in respecting the rights of its authors, and reducing barriers to inclusivity in science. This policy outlines how Volcanica can help published authors who change their names.

Full details of our policy can be found here.



Volcanica's articles are archived via the PKP Preservation Network. The PKP PN, a private LOCKSS (Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe) network, is a secure dark archive. This means that Volcanica articles are available in perpetuity: free, forever, for everyone.