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


An Article is a substantial research study of high quality and general interest to human behaviour researchers. The main text (excluding the Abstract, Methods, References and Tables/Figure Captions) is 3,000—5,000 words. There is no word limit on the Methods section, although ideally it should not exceed 3,000 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). We do not impose formal limits on the number of references. 

Articles include received/accepted dates and may be accompanied by supplementary information. Articles are peer reviewed.

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. We also welcome submissions proposing secondary analyses of existing data sets, provided that the authors have had no prior access to the data in question. Note that we do not consider systematic reviews and meta-analyses for the Registered Report format. High quality protocols are provisionally accepted for publication before data collection (or data analysis, for submissions involving secondary analyses of existing datasets) 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. Please use this template to prepare your Stage 1 submission. Length and formatting guidelines for the Stage 2 manuscripts are the same as for Articles.

Registered Reports include received/accepted dates and may be accompanied by supplementary information. Registered Reports are peer reviewed in two stages - before & after data collection.


A Resource presents a large data set or tool of broad utility, interest and significance to the community. Length and formatting guidelines are the same as for Articles.

Resources include received/accepted dates and may be accompanied by supplementary information. Resources are peer reviewed.

Other formats


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 100—150 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.

Reviews include received/accepted dates. Reviews are peer reviewed to ensure factual accuracy, appropriate citations and scholarly balance.


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.

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.

Matters Arising

Matters Arising are exceptionally interesting and timely scientific comments and clarifications on original research papers published in Nature Human Behaviour. These comments should ideally be based on knowledge contemporaneous with the original paper, rather than subsequent scientific developments.

For detailed information on how to submit a Matters Arising, please follow instructions here.


The Correspondence section provides a forum for discussion of issues relevant to the journal’s community or comment on content published in Nature Human Behaviour. Critiques of articles published elsewhere or highlights of the authors’ own research published elsewhere are not suitable for the Correspondence section.

A Correspondence should not exceed more than one printed page and is typically 250–500 words; it is limited to one display item and, as guideline, Correspondence allows up to 10 references. Article titles are omitted from the reference list. Titles for Correspondences are supplied by the editors. Correspondence may be peer-reviewed at the editors’ discretion. Note that Correspondence pieces are not technical comments on peer-reviewed research papers which would be considered Matters Arising. 


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.

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.

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