Nature Guide to Authors

This guide describes how to prepare contributions for submission. A short version of this guide to authors appears regularly (but not weekly) in the printed edition of Nature: see the contents pages of any issue of Nature for a reference to its most recent appearance in this format.

If you require the short version of Nature's Guide to Authors as a one-page PDF please click here. We recommend you read the full version below if you have not previously submitted a contribution to Nature. If you are already familiar with Nature's Article and Letter formats, the short PDF version is sufficient to remind you of the essential details and may be more convenient to print out compared with the long version below. (If you require more detail, we recommend you consider cutting, pasting and printing the section(s) of interest below, rather than printing out the whole document.)

We strongly recommend that, before submission, you familiarize yourself with Nature's style and content by reading the journal, either in print or online at, particularly if you have not submitted to the journal recently.

Failure to adhere to these guidelines can seriously delay the handling of your contribution.

If you wish to submit a contribution which is not an Article, Letter or Brief Communication, see

If you wish to search the text below, press 'control f' and enter the search term, for example 'figure format'.

Contents list for the guide to authors below:

Formats for papers reporting original research

  • How to prepare your paper
  • Presubmission enquiries
  • Readability
  • Format of Articles and Letters
  • How to submit Articles, Letters and Brief Communications
  • Conditions of publication
  • Brief Communications and Communications Arising
  • Submitting other types of contribution to Nature
  • Publishing in other Nature and Nature Research journals

    1. Formats for description of research
    Nature's main formats for original research are Articles and Letters to Nature. The journal also publishes a very few Brief Communications.

    1.1 Articles are original reports whose conclusions represent a substantial advance in understanding of an important problem and have immediate, far-reaching implications. They do not normally exceed 5 pages of Nature and have no more than 50 references. (One page of undiluted text is about 1,300 words.)
    Articles have a summary, separate from the main text, of up to 150 words, which does not have references, and does not contain numbers, abbreviations, acronyms or measurements unless essential. It is aimed at readers outside the discipline. This summary contains a brief account of the background and rationale of the work, followed by a statement of the main conclusions introduced by the phrase 'Here we show' or its equivalent.
    Articles are typically 3,000 words of text, beginning with up to 500 words of referenced text expanding on the background to the work (some overlap with the summary is acceptable), before proceeding to a concise, focused account of the findings, ending with one or two short paragraphs of discussion.
    The text may contain a few short subheadings (not more than six in total) of no more than 40 characters each (less than one line of text in length).
    Articles typically have 5 or 6 small figures.

    1.2 Letters to Nature are short reports of original research focused on an outstanding finding whose importance means that it will be of interest to scientists in other fields.
    They do not normally exceed 3 pages of Nature, and have no more than 30 references. They begin with a fully referenced paragraph of not more than 180 words, aimed at readers in other disciplines. This paragraph contains a summary of the background and rationale for the work, followed by a one-sentence statement of the main conclusions starting 'Here we show' or equivalent phrase.
    The rest of the text is typically about 1,500 words long, starting with a further brief paragraph of introductory material if the author requires it, not repeating information in the summary paragraph. Any discussion at the end of the text should be as succinct as possible.
    Letters typically have 3 or 4 small figures.
    Word counts refer to the text of the paper. References, title, author list and acknowledgements do not have to be included in total word counts.

    2. How to prepare your paper
    See getting published in Nature for an explanation of Nature's editorial criteria for publication, refereeing policy and how editors handle papers after submission.

    3. Presubmission enquiries.
    If you wish to enquire whether your Article or Letter might be suitable for consideration by Nature, please use our online presubmission enquiry service. All presubmission enquiries must include a a cover paragraph to the editor stating the interest to a broad scientific readership, a fully referenced summary paragraph in the style for Letters to Nature, and a reference list. Note that presubmission enquiries are NOT considered for Brief Communications.

    4. Readability
    Nature is an international journal covering all the sciences. Contributions should therefore be written clearly and simply so that they are accessible to readers in other disciplines and to readers for whom English is not their first language.
    Essential but specialized terms should be explained concisely but not didactically.

    For gene, protein and other specialized names authors can use their preferred terminology so long as it is in current use by the community, but they must give all known names for the entity at first use in the paper. Authors in doubt about terminology are advised to use internationally agreed nomenclature at for genes and for mouse strains.
    Taxonomy. Authors of papers that contain taxonomy (that is, the formal nomenclature and description of new species) must send a copy of the published paper by mail (not email) as soon as possible after publication, or send otherwise notification of the new name with a full reference and date, to the Executive Secretary, the Linnean Society of London, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BF, UK. See Nature 417, 573; 2002.

    It is often useful to ask colleagues specializing in other disciplines to comment on the clarity of a final draft before submission to Nature.
    Nature's editors provide detailed advice about format before contributions are formally accepted for publication. Nature's editors often suggest revised titles and rewrite the summaries of Articles and first paragraphs of Letters so the conclusions are clear to a broad readership.
    After acceptance, Nature's subeditors (copyeditors) ensure that the text and figures are readable and clear to those outside the field, and edit papers into Nature's house style. They pay particular attention to summary paragraphs, overall clarity, figures, figure legends and titles.
    Proofs are sent before publication; authors are welcome to discuss proposed changes with Nature's subeditors, but Nature reserves the right to make the final decision about matters of style and the size of figures.
    See Nature 382, 3; 1996 and 384, 497; 1996 for more details about readability.
    A useful set of articles providing general advice about writing and submitting scientific papers can be found in SciDev.Net's "How do I?" section. There are many articles and books written on this topic.

    5. Format of Articles and Letters.

    A one-page checklist of formats for Articles and Letters is available, and authors are requested to use it immediately before submission and resubmission and to submit it with their paper.

    Contributions should be double-spaced and written in English (spellings as in the Oxford English Dictionary)
    Contributions should be organized in the sequence: title, text, methods, references, Supplementary Information line (if any), acknowledgements, interest declaration, corresponding author line, tables, figure legends. When providing word counts for the editors, authors need only state the number of words in the text (and, separately, methods and total figure legends). Title, acknowledgements and other matter does not need to be included in the word count.

    5.1 Titles do not exceed 90 characters (including spaces), and do not normally include numbers, acronyms, abbreviations or punctuation. They should include sufficient detail for indexing purposes but be general enough for readers outside the field to appreciate what the paper is about.

    5.2 Text. Articles should fill no more than 5 pages, and Letters no more than 3 pages, of Nature. An uninterrupted page of text contains about 1,300 words. A typical Article contains about 3,000 words of text and, additionally, five small display items (figures and/or tables) with brief legends, reference list and methods section if applicable. A typical Letter to Nature contains about 1,500 words of text (excluding the first paragraph of Letters, figure legends, reference list and the methods section if applicable) and four small display items (figures and/or tables) with brief legends (see 5.9 for instructions on sizing figures).
    When submitting new or revised manuscripts, authors should state in a cover letter to the editor their rough estimate of the length of their paper in terms of number of pages of Nature and fill out the format checklist.
    Longer papers are sometimes allowed but only if explicitly suggested by the editor.
    Authors of contributions that significantly exceed the limits stated here or specified by the editor will have to shorten their papers before acceptance, inevitably delaying publication.
    Nature prefers authors to be listed without details of relative status, but instead to specify the contribution made by their co-authors in the Acknowledgements (see Nature, 399, 393; 1999). Nature strongly encourages coauthors to specify their contributions in this way.
    If authors regard it as essential to indicate that two or more co-authors are equal in status, they may be identified by a symbol with the caption 'these authors contributed equally to the work' immediately under the address list.
    Present addresses appear immediately below the author list; all other essential author-related explanation is in the acknowledgements.

    Authors should format Articles or Letters using Nature's Word template, and before finalizing their manuscript should use the author's checklist for format (applies to revised manuscripts as well as original submissions.) The style tags in the template should be deleted before submission.

    5.3 Methods. If brief (less than 200 words in total), they can be included in the text at an appropriate place.
    Otherwise, they should be described at the end of the text in a 'Methods' section, subdivided by short, bold headings referring to methods used.
    Descriptions of methods already published should be avoided; a reference number can be provided to save space, with the new addition or variation briefly stated.
    This whole section should not exceed 800 words and should ideally be shorter. If more space is required for Methods, the editor may suggest use of online-only Supplementary Information for this purpose after submission and after receiving referees' reports. Supplementary material is peer-reviewed.

    5.4 References are each numbered, ordered sequentially as they appear in the text, methods, tables, figure legends.
    When cited in the text, reference numbers are superscript, not in brackets unless they are likely to be confused with a superscript number.
    The maximum number of references, strictly enforced, is 50 for Articles and 30 for Letters. Only one publication can be listed for each number.
    Only articles that have been published or submitted to a named publication should be in the reference list; papers in preparation should be mentioned in the text with a list of authors (or initials if any of the authors are co-authors of the present contribution).
    Published conference abstracts, numbered patents and preprints on recognized servers may be included in reference lists, but text, grant details and acknowledgements may not.
    All authors should be included in reference lists unless there are more than five, in which case only the first author should be given, followed by 'et al.'.

    Please follow the style below in the published edition of Nature in preparing reference lists.

    • Authors should be listed surname first, followed by a comma and initials of given names.
    • Titles of all cited articles are required. Titles of articles cited in reference lists should be in upright, not italic text; the first word of the title is capitalized, the title written exactly as it appears in the work cited, ending with a full stop. Book titles are italic with all main words capitalized. Journal titles are italic and abbreviated according to common usage; authors can refer to Nature, the Index Medicus or the American Institute of Physics style manual for details.
    • Volume numbers are bold. The publisher and city of publication are required for books cited. (Refer to published papers in Nature for details.)
    • References to web-only journals should give authors, article title and journal name as above, followed by url in full - or doi if known - and the year of publication in parentheses.
    • References to websites should give authors if known, title of cited page, url in full, and year of posting in parentheses.

    5.5 Acknowledgements are brief and follow the reference list. Authors are encouraged to include a statement to specify the contributions of each co-author. Acknowledgements do not contain grant or contribution numbers, or thanks to anonymous referees and editors, or effusive comments.

    5.6 Competing interests and materials request statements follow the Acknowledgements.

    See for instructions about the competing interests statement.

    After the competing interests statement, authors should write a further statement reading "Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to xxxxx", with one e-mail address, followed by numbers for public database accession. Nature expects this identified author to respond to readers' enquiries and requests for materials, and to coordinate the handling of any other matters arising from the published contribution, including complaints. The author named as corresponding author is not necessarily the senior author, and publication of this author's name does not imply seniority.

    5.7 Tables.
    Tables should each be presented on a separate page, portrait (not landscape) orientiation, and upright on the page, not sideways.
    Tables have a short, one-line title in bold text.
    Upright roman (not bold or italic) type of the same size as the rest of the text is used. The body of the table should not contain horizontal or vertical rules; these will be added by Nature when necessary after the paper has been accepted for publication.
    Tables should be as small as possible. Bear in mind the size of a Nature page as a limiting factor when compiling a table and ensure it will reduce appropriately.
    Symbols and abbreviations are defined immediately below the table, followed by essential descriptive material as briefly as possible, all in double-spaced text.

    5.8 Figure legends.
    Figure legends should be listed one after the other, as part of the text document, separate from the figure files. Please do not write a legend below each figure.
    Each figure legend should begin with a brief title for the whole figure and continue with a short description of each panel and the symbols used. For contributions with methods sections, legends should not contain any details of methods, or exceed 100 words (fewer than 500 words in total for the whole paper). In contributions without methods sections, legends should be fewer than 300 words (800 words or fewer in total for the whole paper).

    All error bars must be defined in the figure legend (see Nature 428, 799; 2004 for further details.)

    5.9 Figures
    Nature requires figures in electronic format.
    Articles and Letters should ideally have no more than 5 and 4 display items (figures and tables), respectively, all as small as is compatible with clarity. The goal is for figures to be comprehensible to readers in other or related disciplines, and to assist their understanding of the paper.
    Unnecessary figures and parts (panels) of figures should be avoided: data presented in small tables or histograms, for instance, can generally be stated briefly in the text instead.
    Keep figures as simple as possible for clarity: avoid unnecessary complexity, colouring and excessive detail.
    Figures should not contain more than one panel unless the parts are logically connected; each panel of a multipart figure should be sized so that the whole figure can be reduced by the same amount and reproduced on the printed page at the smallest size at which essential details are visible and the panels, when assembled, are square or rectangular shaped. A Nature page is 178 mm wide and 245 mm deep, so no figure can be larger than this (the vast majority of figures are much smaller).
    Amino-acid sequences should be printed in Courier (or other monospaced) font using the one-letter code in lines of 50 or 100 characters.

    Some brief guidance for figure preparation:
    Lettering in figures (labelling of axes and so on) should be in lower-case type, with the first letter capitalized and no full stop.
    Units should have a single space between the number and the unit, and follow SI nomenclature or the nomenclature common to a particular field. Thousands should be separated by commas (1,000). Unusual units or abbreviations are defined in the legend.
    Scale bars should be used rather than magnification factors, with the length of the bar defined in the legend rather than on the bar itself.
    Layering type directly over shaded or textured areas and using reversed type (white lettering on a coloured background) should be avoided where possible.
    Where possible, text, including keys to symbols, should be provided in the legend rather than on the figure itself. (See published issues of Nature for guidance.)
    A contribution towards the total cost of reproduction of colour figures is requested. Inability to pay this charge will not prevent publication of colour figures judged essential by the editors.
    At submission, figures should be at good enough resolution to be assessed by referees, ideally as JPEGs. Very high-resolution figures are often too large to send to referees or between Nature's editorial offices, although they are required if the paper is eventually accepted for publication.
    At submission, figures should be clearly labelled with the corresponding author's name, Nature reference number when known, and the figure number/part. Instructions for online submissions are at ( In preparing figures for submission, each should be a separate, clearly labelled file, with a clear indication of how parts of each figure (if any) should be assembled on the printed page.
    Authors who cannot submit online and are instead submitting by mail should provide figures on disk, clearly labelled with corresponding author's name, a list of the figure numbers/parts on the disk and formats used, and file types. Authors submitting by mail must also provide one set of hard-copy figures in a separate, clearly marked envelope with a set of photocopies, one for each figure, with the panels (if any) arranged into a rectangular shape as they will appear in the published paper. These hard-copy original figures should be of the highest possible quality, as Nature will scan them into electronic form to send to reviewers if unable to use digital files from authors' disks.

    5.10 Production-quality figures.
    When a manuscript is accepted in principle for publication, the editor will ask for high-resolution figures. Do not submit publication-quality figures until asked to do so by an editor. They must be prepared according to the guidelines at We suggest you download these instructions before preparing the final version of figures.

    5.11 Supplementary Information
    This is online-only, peer-reviewed material that is essential background to the Article or Letter (for example, large data sets), but which is too large or impractical to be included in the printed version of the paper. SI is not necessary for Brief Communications. See the Supplementary Information page for further details.

    6. How to submit

    When possible, Articles, Letters and Brief Communications should be submitted online. If online submission is not possible, contributions should be posted.
    E-mailed submissions will not be considered.

    Authors submitting Articles, Letters and Brief Communications online should not also send a hard copy of their papers.

    Authors who are unable to submit online may submit by post, but Nature strongly prefers online submission. Authors experiencing operational difficulty in online submission should send a help request to

    In hard copy submissions, one copy is required, with a disk (cover letter, manuscript, supporting manuscripts, figures, all in separate files, clearly labelled and named and format identified). We keep all submissions on file for future reference. Supplementary Information (if any) can be supplied on the same disk, with the files and formats clearly labelled and specified. Do not submit Supplementary Information without first reading the guidelines. Submissions can be mailed to London or Washington DC. Office postal addresses are listed on Nature's masthead in each printed issue (between the contents pages and the Opinion page) and online at Editorial contacts.

    Nature urges authors to submit online if possible to reduce delay.

    Online submission formats: Word (preferred), Wordperfect, PostScript (PS), EPS, RTF, TXT and PDF formats are acceptable. Figures can be submitted as JPEG (preferred), PDF (high resolution), TIFF/Gif, Adobe photoshop or illustrator, Excel, Word, Wordperfect, PS, EPS. We cannot (yet) handle Tex, LaTex or Corel draw.


    The following applies to all Article, Letter and Brief Communication submissions, whether submitted online or by mail.

    • Submissions should be accompanied by a brief covering letter from the corresponding author. This letter should contain two (100-word or shorter) summaries: a concise paragraph to the editor indicating the scientific grounds why the paper should be considered for a topical, interdisciplinary journal rather than for a single-discipline or archival journal; and a separate, 100-word summary of the paper's appeal to a popular (non-scientific) audience, written at the level of a good national newspaper. This second summary may be used as the basis for Nature's press release (6.2) and other general publicity material.
    • The cover letter should state clearly what is included as the submission, including number of figures, supporting manuscripts and any Supplementary Information (specifying number of items and format).
    • The cover letter should also state the number of words of text in the paper; the number of figures and parts of figures (for example, 4 figures, comprising 16 separate panels in total); a rough estimate of the desired final size of figures in terms of number of pages; and a full current postal address, telephone and fax numbers, and current e-mail address. Nature usually communicates with authors by e-mail; authors must specify if they wish to exclude a method of communication.
    • Nature does not require all authors of a paper to sign the letter of submission, nor does it impose an order on the list of authors. Submission to Nature is taken to mean that all the listed authors have agreed all the content. The corresponding (submitting) author is responsible for having ensured that this agreement has been reached.
    • A copy of a permission letter or e-mail must be included for any work described in the paper as "personal communication".
    • Permission must be obtained for use of any previously published figure or text, and included with the submission
    • One copy of any relevant paper by any of the authors submitted or in press elsewhere (including papers submitted elsewhere while the Nature contribution is under consideration) should be attached, ideally as PDFs but in other format if PDF is not possible, clearly marked as such. Failure to disclose this information may lead to rejection. (Authors submitting by mail should include one copy of clearly identified supporting manuscripts, where possible in electronic form, but where not, on paper.)
    • Nature does not consider contributions under consideration or published elsewhere. This policy does not apply to conference abstracts, which are allowed. If part of a contribution has appeared or has been submitted elsewhere, the paper is not automatically rejected so long as the main result, conclusion and implications are not apparent from the other work. In this event, the corresponding author must specify in the covering letter which part of the contribution will appear or has appeared elsewhere, indicating the publication concerned. Authors must also state whether any material in the paper has appeared or will appear on a preprint server and, if so, which.

    Revised versions should be sent electronically via when possible, and include the manuscript reference number. If not possible, they should be sent by mail (one hard copy plus two disks, one of the figures and one of all textual material, all labelled with the manuscript reference number). All revised papers should be accompanied by one copy of the authors' response to the referees' and editors' comments. Nature prefers it if papers revised and resubmitted at the request of the editors are accompanied by a completed authors' article and letter format checklist.

    If a manuscript is accepted in principle for publication, it will be required by mail as part of a package, specified by the editor in a letter to the author, and must not be submitted online or by email. For full instructions see final submissions.

    6.1 Proofs of accepted contributions b should be returned to the London office. All reprint orders and enquiries should be made to Instructions for ordering reprints are provided after the paper is accepted for publication.

    6.2 Press release. Once scheduled for publication, some contributions are selected by Nature's editors for inclusion in a press release. This provides a brief summary, together with contact details for the authors, and is distributed to registered journalists under embargo conditions a week before the publication date, solely for the purpose of publicizing the work in the media. These journalists are permitted to show papers to independent specialists of their own choosing a few days in advance of publication, again under embargo conditions, solely for the purpose of eliciting comments on the work described.
    Authors of accepted contributions scheduled for publication may also arrange their own publicity, but they must adhere strictly to Nature's press embargo. Authors are advised to coordinate their own publicity with Nature's press office, in the first instance by sending an e-mail to after their paper is accepted for publication. Before publication, Nature's press office informs the public information departments of all authors' institutions to allow them to prepare their own publicity.

    7. Conditions of publication

    Nature has a range of publication policies, with which contributors must agree before submitting. All material considered for publication in Nature is on condition that all authors agree to these conditions.

    8. Brief Communications

    This is a peer-reviewed section of Nature which is less formal than Articles and Letters, aimed at the broadest possible readership. The Brief Communications section is vastly oversubscribed; more than 90 per cent of contributions are returned without review because of Nature's very limited space for this section (two to four contributions a week can be published). Contributions are considered only if their conclusions are clearly of discernible interest to readers in any discipline of science. Presubmission enquiries are not considered, nor can the editor provide detailed explanations for declining to publish contributions. Appeals against editorial decisions are not considered except in special circumstances in the case of Communications Arising, see below.

    The following types of contribution are published:

    • Short reports of a novel, topical finding of general interest, usually needing only one small figure or table. Contributions of this type are often submitted as Letters and are shortened at the editor's suggestion and after advice from referees. They are not preliminary reports or 'addenda' to published Articles or Letters.
    • Short, focused reports of results of exceptional topical relevance, for which fast publication is essential.
    • A scientific perspective on a topical issue of international public interest.
    • Communications Arising, which are exceptionally interesting or important comments and clarifications on original research papers or other peer-reviewed material published in Nature (see below).

    Submissions presenting preliminary data that confirm, extend or contradict only part of a previously published paper (in Nature or elsewhere) are not considered, unless they concern a matter of exceptional interest.

    Contributions can be submitted as Word documents, with figures as JPEGs, as small as possible but with a combined limit of no greater than 3 MB (ideally much smaller), using the online service. Contributions can be submitted by post as hard copy with disk to the Brief Communications editor (see Editorial contacts for postal addresses), but Nature strongly prefers online submission. Before submission, contributors should read some published issues of Nature to appreciate the style of this section of the journal, to get an idea of whether their contribution is of sufficient interest, and should prepare their manuscripts according to the instructions below:

    • Contributions should not exceed 500 words, or 700 words if there is no figure or table.
    • Titles must be brief. They may be changed on acceptance by the editors for space or other reasons. Authors will be consulted about title changes but Nature will make the final decision.
    • Contributions should start with a two- or three-sentence paragraph that summarizes the message of the article without specialized terminology, for a non-specialist readership.
    • Brief Communications contributions should have a simple message that requires only one small figure or table. Contributions with multiple or complex figures and/or tables will not be considered.
    • Figures and tables should be sized so that they can be reduced to single-column width (56 mm). See section 5.9 above for formats and resolution: 150 dots per inch is usually sufficient resolution for editorial peer-review.
    • Contributions should not have more than around 10 references (ideally fewer); reference style is as for Letters and Articles, but titles of cited articles are not required.
    • Methods should be supplied as Supplementary Information; in Brief Communications, it is not permitted to use Supplementary Information to present additional new data. Movies and other useful illustrative material are occasionally allowed.
    • Acknowledgements and joint first authors are not allowed. People or organizations providing essential assistance can be mentioned briefly in the text or figure legend.
    • A competing interests statement is required before final acceptance.
    Authors must provide current e-mail, phone, fax and address details, including an e-mail and phone number if spending time away from their usual address.

    Instructions to authors who wish to submit Brief Communications Arising (comments on material published in Nature)

    Brief Communications Arising are published only online.

    When submitting a scientific comment on a recent paper published in Nature, please bear in mind the following additional points to those detailed above:

    • Contributions should be written as focused articles comprehensible to nonspecialists: lists of technical points are not appropriate for publication. They should pertain to the main conclusion of the published paper and should not concern relatively unimportant points.
    • Comments should be sent to the authors of the paper under discussion before submission to Nature, so that disputes can be resolved directly whenever possible and points where both parties agree removed from the submitted contribution. Allow 2 weeks for the original authors to respond.
    • When a contribution is submitted to Nature, copies of correspondence with the original authors should be enclosed for the editor's information, even if the original author has failed to respond, otherwise delays will occur.

    The Brief Communications editor will decide how to proceed on the basis of whether the central conclusion of the earlier paper is brought into question; of the length of time since the original publication; and of whether a comment or exchange of views is likely to seem of interest to nonspecialist readers. Because Nature receives so many comments, those that do not meet these criteria are referred to the specialist literature.
    Nature does not consider Communications Arising on papers published in other journals.

    The Brief Communications editor will not consider appeals against decisions not to publish Communications Arising from Nature Articles and Letters unless the grounds for appeal consist of a previously overlooked and important scientific point and are explained in these terms.

    Nature reserves the right not to consider for publication material written in aggressive or otherwise intemperate language, or if the author(s) behaves in an unprofessional, discourteous manner to Nature staff or others.

    Complaints. Important technical complaints pertaining to published Articles and Letters to Nature should be submitted as Communications Arising using the online submission service. Those endorsed after editorial discussion, comments from the criticized authors and peer-review are published as corrections at the end of the Letters to Nature section, not as Brief Communications Arising, for indexing purposes.

    Communications Arising submissions that meet Nature's initial selection criteria are sent to the authors of the original paper for a response, and the exchange to independent referees. The original authors are given a deadline of 10 days to respond. This response is not a referee's report, but is helpful to the editor in making a decision about publication of the comment and/or a reply. The responders (defined as the authors of the published contribution that is the subject of the comment, and no-one else) must keep the comment confidential and must not use it for their own research or for any other purpose apart from replying to the comment, nor can they distribute it without first obtaining Nature's permission. If the Nature author does not respond within 10 days of receipt of the comment, the editor will proceed without the response. Late responses may not be considered for publication.
    Responses are published only when they add to the debate, and not when they reiterate points already published. They should not contain new data, but be confined to replying to the specific issue raised about the published paper.
    All contributions should be measured in tone, and should not contain inflammatory or otherwise intemperate language.
    Authors of Brief Communications Arising will be shown the initial response from the Nature authors. In the event that the exchange is accepted for publication, they will see a proof of their own contribution but not of the final reply (if a reply is being published). Responders will see a proof of the whole exchange but are allowed only to change typographical errors.

    9. Other contributions published in Nature

    Book Reviews
    News and Views
    Reviews and Progress
    Occasional peer-reviewed articles
    Nature Jobs editorial articles
    Technology features

    10. Other Nature and Nature Research journals
    Please see Publications and services for a list of the other journals published by the Nature Publishing Group and their publication policies.

    For an account of the relationship between all the Nature journals, see

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