Guide to Authors

Manuscript submission

Use the navigation bar on the left to view information about our common editorial policies, how to submit, content types, the manuscript decision process, and biographical information about the editors.

Please see our brief guide to manuscript submission in PDF format for an overview of key information on submitting primary research for publication in Nature Biotechnology.

Aims and scope of the journal

Nature Biotechnology is a monthly journal covering the science and business of biotechnology. It publishes new concepts in technology/methodology of relevance to the biological, biomedical, agricultural and environmental sciences as well as covers the commercial, political, ethical, legal, and societal aspects of this research. The first function is fulfilled by the peer-reviewed research section, the second by the expository efforts in the front of the journal. We provide researchers with news about business; we provide the business community with news about research developments.

The core areas in which we are actively seeking research papers include: molecular engineering of nucleic acids and proteins; molecular therapy (therapeutics genes, antisense, siRNAs, aptamers, DNAzymes, ribozymes, peptides, proteins); large-scale biology (genomics, functional genomics, proteomics, structural genomics, metabolomics, etc.); computational biology (algorithms and modeling), regenerative medicine (stem cells, tissue engineering, biomaterials); imaging technology; analytical biotechnology (sensors/detectors for analytes/macromolecules), applied immunology (antibody engineering, xenotransplantation, T-cell therapies); food and agricultural biotechnology; and environmental biotechnology. A comprehensive list of areas of interest is shown below.

Genetic engineering

  • Strategies for controlling gene expression
  • Strategies for manipulating gene structure
  • Strategies for gene containment

Large-scale approaches

  • Technologies for analyzing gene function (e.g., arrays, SAGE)
  • Technologies for analyzing gene structure/organization (e.g., molecular beacons)
  • Chemogenomics or chemical genetics
  • Pharmacogenomics/SNPs
  • Computational analysis


  • Technologies for analyzing/identifying protein structure/function (e.g., 2-D gels, mass spectrometry, yeast two-hybrid, SPR, NMR, arrays and chips)
  • Structural genomics
  • Computational analysis


  • Technologies for analyzing/profiling metabolites (chromatography, mass spectrometry)
  • Computational analysis

Computational biology

  • Bioinformatics; algorithms; data deconvolution
  • Modeling and systems biology: kinetics-based models and constraints-based models

Molecular engineering

  • Rational approaches for proteins/antibodies/enzymes/drugs
  • Molecular evolution
  • Molecular breeding approaches

Metabolic engineering

  • Genetic manipulation of species of interest to modify or allow the production of a commercially or therapeutically relevant compound
  • Computational analysis

Novel expression systems

  • Mammalian cells
  • Insect cells
  • Bacteria
  • Fungi
  • Plant cells

Delivery of genes, drugs, or cells

  • Targeting strategies
  • Viral and nonviral vector strategies


  • Reporter molecules
  • Imaging approaches/technologies for visualizing whole animals, cells, or single molecules
  • Computational analysis

Nucleic acid therapeutics

  • Gene therapy (targeting, expression, integration, immunogenicity)
  • Antisense
  • RNAi
  • DNAzymes and ribozymes
  • Other (e.g., chimeric oligonucleotides/triple helix)


  • Nanomaterials for use in drug delivery or as therapeutics
  • Nanomaterials for use in industrial biotechnology
  • Nanosensors
  • Nanosystems for imaging molecules and cells

Vaccines and applied immunology

  • Antibody engineering
  • T-cell therapies
  • Therapies exploiting innate immunity (e.g. complement)
  • Antigen delivery vectors and approaches
  • Nucleic acid vaccines
  • Computational analysis

Regenerative medicine

  • Stem cells
  • Tissue engineering
  • Therapeutic cloning (somatic cell nuclear transfer)
  • Xenotransplantation
  • Biomaterials


  • Approaches for detecting biological molecules
  • Use of biological systems in detecting analytes

Assay systems

  • Approaches for multiplexing and increasing throughput
  • Selection/screening strategies for gene/proteins/drugs
  • Microfluidics


  • Engineering materials for biological application
  • Molecular imprinting
  • Biomimetics
  • Nanotechnology

Agbiotech and transgenic plants

  • Crop improvement (resistance to stress, disease, pests)
  • Nutraceuticals
  • Forest biotechnology
  • Plant vaccines
  • Plants as bioreactors
  • Gene-containment strategies


  • Transgenic animals
  • Knockouts
  • Reproductive cloning
  • Biopharmaceutical and enzyme production
  • Transgene targeting and expression strategies


  • Bioremediation
  • Biomining
  • Phytoremediation
  • Monitoring

Editorial process

The overview of the journal's manuscript decision process includes submission, editorial decision on whether the paper should be reviewed, peer review, decisions after review, revision, acceptance in principle, final submission and acceptance, proofs, advance online publication, and print publication. Before submitting a paper, authors should consult our editorial policies as well as technical tips for using our online submission system.

Please also consult our general guide for manuscript preparation and submission, which includes information on article formats, journal style, and figure preparation tips. Note that procedures for initial submission, revision, and final submission are slightly different, so please consult the directions before proceeding to the online submission system. Presubmission inquiries are not a prerequisite for the regular submission process, but are intended as a mechanism for authors to receive rapid feedback on whether a manuscript in preparation is likely to be of interest to the journal. We encourage authors who have already prepared their manuscripts to bypass the presubmission inquiry process and upload their papers as a regular submission to the journal.

Journals in the Nature family no longer take copyright on the primary research articles we publish. Instead we ask authors to sign a license for us to publish their work. US government employees sign a different license.


Editors and contact information

Like the other Nature titles, Nature Biotechnology has no external editorial board. Instead, all editorial decisions are made by a team of full-time professional editors. For information on their research backgrounds and scientific interests, see About the Editors.

Full contact information for the journal can be found here.


Relationship to other Nature journals

Nature Biotechnology is editorially independent, and its editors make their own decisions, independent of the other Nature journals. If a paper is rejected from one Nature journal, the authors can use an automated manuscript transfer service to submit the paper to another Nature journal via a link sent to them by the editor handling the manuscript. Authors should note that referees' comments (including any confidential comments to the editor) and identities are transferred to the editor of the second journal along with the manuscript. In that case, the journal editors will take the previous reviews into account when making their decision, although in some cases the editors may choose to take advice from additional or alternative referees. Alternatively, authors may choose to request a fresh review, in which case they should not use the automated transfer link, and the editors will evaluate the paper without reference to the previous review process. More details are available on the manuscript transfer service and on the relationships between Nature titles.


Editorial and publishing policies

Please see authors & referees for detailed information about author and referee services and publication policies at the Nature family of journals. These journals, including Nature Biotechnology, share a number of common policies including the following:

Author responsibilities

License agreement and author copyright

Compliance with open access mandates

Embargo policy and press releases

Use of experimental animals and human subjects

Competing financial interests

Availability of materials and data

Reporting requirements for life sciences articles

Digital image integrity and standards

Security concerns

Refutations, complaints and corrections

Duplicate publication

Confidentiality and pre-publicity

Plagiarism and fabrication


Journal metrics

Article metrics such as number of downloads, citations and online attention are available from each article page, and provide an overview of the attention received by a paper.

The 2016 peer review performance metrics (as median time in calendar days) for Nature Biotechnology are shown below:

  • Submission to first editorial decision: 7
  • Submission to first post-review decision: 50
  • Submission to Accept: 210

The 2016 peer review performance metrics Nature Biotechnology are as follows:

  • 2-year Impact Factor: 41.667
  • 5-year Impact Factor: 46.223
  • Immediacy index: 7.542
  • Eigenfactor ® score: 0.16993
  • Article Influence Score: 23.881
  • 2-year Median: 25

For a further description of these metrics and a summary of the metrics for all Nature journals, please visit our journal metrics page. More information underlying our approach to journal metrics may be found here.


Editorial Blogs

We encourage community participation in all Nature journal blogs. Nature Research blogs can be found on the blog index page.



The correct abbreviation for abstracting and indexing purposes is Nat. Biotechnol.



The international standard serial number (ISSN) for Nature Biotechnology is 1087-0156, and the electronic international standard serial number (EISSN) is 1546-1696.


Further editorial information

The guide for authors is available in PDF format.

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