Content Types

Nature Human Behaviour is flexible with regard to the format of initial submissions so more detail will not be required to prepare manuscripts for submission.  

Primary research formats:

Article

An Article is a substantial research study of high quality and general interest to human behaviour researchers, which typically draws on several techniques or approaches. The main text (excluding the abstract, references and figure legends) is 6,000—7,000 words. The abstract is no more than 150 words and is unreferenced. An introduction (without heading) is followed by sections headed Results, Discussion and Methods. The Results and Methods should be divided by topical subheadings; the Discussion does not contain subheadings. Articles have no more than 8 display items (figures and/or tables). As a guideline, Articles contain approximately 50 references.

Articles include received/accepted dates and may be accompanied by supplementary information. Articles are peer reviewed, and authors must provide a competing interests statement at the time of submission.

Letter

A Letter is an important research study of high quality and general interest to human behaviour researchers.  The text is approximately 5,000 words, including the introductory paragraph, but excluding references and figure legends. Letters should have no more than 4 display items (figures and/or tables). As a guideline, Letters contain approximately 30 references (excluding those cited exclusively in Methods). This format begins with a title of, at most, 90 characters (including spaces), followed by an introductory paragraph (not abstract) of approximately 200 words, summarizing the background, rationale, main results (introduced by "Here we show" or some equivalent phrase) and implications of the study. This paragraph should be fully referenced and should be considered part of the main text, so that any subsequent introductory material avoids too much redundancy with the introductory paragraph. Letters are not divided by headings, except for the Methods heading.

Letters include received/accepted dates and may be accompanied by supplementary information. Letters are peer reviewed, and authors must provide a competing interests statement at the time of submission.

Registered Report

A Registered Report is a form of empirical article offered at Nature Human Behaviour in which the methods and proposed analyses are pre-registered and reviewed prior to data collection. The format is offered for hypothesis-driven quantitative research with primary research data. High quality protocols are provisionally accepted for publication before data collection commences. This format is designed to minimize publication bias and research bias in hypothesis-driven research, while also allowing the flexibility to conduct exploratory (unregistered) analyses and report serendipitous findings. Detailed guidelines for authors and reviewers can be found here. Length and formatting guidelines are the same as for Articles.

Registered Reports include received/accepted dates and may be accompanied by supplementary information. Authors must provide a competing interests statement at the time of submission.

Resource

A Resource presents a large data set of broad utility, interest and significance to the community. The main text (excluding the abstract, references and figure legends) is 6,000—7,000 words. The abstract is no more than 150 words and is unreferenced. An introduction (without heading) is followed by sections headed Results, Discussion and Methods. The Results and Methods should be divided by topical subheadings; the Discussion does not contain subheadings. Resources have no more than 8 display items (figures and/or tables). As a guideline, Resources contain approximately 50 references.

Resources include received/accepted dates and may be accompanied by supplementary information. Resources are peer reviewed, and authors must provide a competing interests statement at the time of submission.

 

Other formats:

Review

A review is an authoritative, balanced synthesis of recent developments in a research field. We ask authors to go beyond a mere summary of the relevant literature, providing original insight into the topic in question. Although reviews should be recognized as scholarly by specialists in the field, they should be written with a view to informing a broad audience, including non-specialist readers. Thus, reviews should be presented using simple prose, avoiding excessive jargon and technical detail. Reviews are 4,000—5,000 words long and typically include 4—6 display items (figures, tables or boxes). As a guidelilne, Reviews include 100150 citations. Footnotes are not used. The scope of a Review should be broad enough that it is not dominated by the work of a single research institution, and particularly not by the authors' own work.

Review authors must provide a competing interests statement before publication. Reviews include received/accepted dates. Reviews are peer reviewed to ensure factual accuracy, appropriate citations and scholarly balance.

Perspective

A Perspective is intended to provide a forum for authors to discuss models and ideas from a personal viewpoint. Perspectives are more forward looking and/or speculative than Review Articles. They may be opinionated but should remain balanced and are intended to stimulate discussion and new experimental approaches. Perspectives are 3,000—4,000 words long and typically include 2-4 display items (figures, tables or boxes). As a guideline, Perspectives include approximately 100 citations. Footnotes are not used. As with Review Articles, many Perspectives are invited by the editors, so it is advisable to send a pre-submission enquiry including a synopsis before preparing a manuscript for formal submission.

Perspective authors must provide a competing interests statement before publication. Perspectives include received/accepted dates. Perspectives are peer reviewed and edited by the editors in consultation with the author.

News and Views

News and Views articles inform readers about the latest advances in the human behaviour research, as reported in recently published papers (in Nature Human Behaviour or elsewhere) or at scientific meetings. Unsolicited contributions will not normally be considered, although prospective authors are welcome to make proposals. News and Views are not peer reviewed, but undergo editing in consultation with the author. Authors must provide a competing interests statement before publication.

Correspondence

The Correspondence section provides readers with a forum for comment on papers published in a previous issue of the journal, or to discuss issues relevant to human behaviour. A Correspondence should not exceed more than one printed page and is typically 250—500 words; it is limited to one display item and 10 references. Article titles are omitted from the reference list. Titles for correspondences are supplied by the editors.

In cases where a correspondence is critical of a previous research paper, the authors of the criticized paper are given the opportunity to publish a brief reply. The criticism of opinions or other secondary matter does not involve an automatic right of reply. Critical comments should be sent to the authors of the paper under discussion before submission to Nature Human Behaviour, so that disputes can be resolved directly whenever possible and points where both parties agree removed from the submitted contribution. If after 2 weeks the original authors have not responded, this should be indicated at submission. Otherwise, when the contribution is submitted to Nature Human Behaviour, copies of the correspondence with the original authors should be enclosed for the editor’s information.

Refutations of previous publications are always peer-reviewed. Other types of Correspondence may be peer-reviewed at the editors' discretion. Authors must submit a competing interests statement.

Comment

Comment articles can focus on policy, science and society or purely scientific issues related to Nature Human Behaviour. Single-author articles are preferred as this is an 'opinion' section of the journal. Comments are usually commissioned by the editors, but proposals are welcome. They should be of immediate interest to a broad readership and should be written in an accessible, non-technical style. Figures and diagrams are encouraged, but are not a requirement. Comments are typically no longer than 1,600 words and include up to 10 references. Article titles are omitted from the reference list.

Comment authors must provide a competing interests statement before publication. Comments may be peer-reviewed at the editors' discretion.

Books & Arts

The Books & Arts section comprises timely reviews of books and other cultural and pedagogical resources of interest to the human behaviour research community. The pieces are limited to one page. They are usually commissioned, though unsolicited contributions will be considered.

Authors must provide a competing interests statement before publication.

Features and News Features

These sections are written and commissioned by the journal editors. They do not contain unsolicited material. We are, however, keen to accept freelance pitches of exclusive stories, particularly conference coverage from locations where we do not have staff, or reports from interesting field work.

All of our features are written with a lively, proactive tone, using language that is clear even to readers for whom English is not their native tongue. Stories should be accessible to those with a general interest and background in science.

For details on how to pitch to Nature Human Behaviour, contact the editor at humanbehaviour@nature.com.