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How to submit

Welcome to the Nature Climate Change website. Here you can find general information about the journal, and more detailed information for readers, authors, referees, librarians, advertisers and journalists. This site is specific to Nature Climate Change, which is published by Nature Research. A full list of Nature Research publications is also available.

 

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

1. Online submission

Owing to the volume of manuscripts we receive, we must insist that all submissions be made via our online submission system. Using this system, authors can upload manuscript files (text, figures and supplementary information, including video) directly to our office and check on the status of their manuscripts during the review process. In addition, reviewers can access the manuscript (in a highly secure fashion that maintains referee anonymity) over a direct internet link, which speeds the review process.

We offer the option of double-blind peer review, which allows authors to remain anonymous to referees (see our editorial here) Authors who wish to participate should check the box 'Yes I do want to participate in double-blind peer review' during the submission procedure, and ensure their manuscript is prepared in a way that does not give away their identity. A checklist to aid authors in preparing their manuscript for double-blind peer review can be found here.

Revisions should be uploaded via the link provided in the editor's decision letter. Please do not submit revisions as new manuscripts.

Follow this link for further information on submitting to Nature Climate Change and for information on how our editors make decisions.

2. Submission policies

Submission to Nature Climate Change is taken to imply that there is no significant overlap between the submitted manuscript and any other papers from the same authors under consideration or in press elsewhere. (Abstracts or unrefereed web preprints do not compromise novelty.) The authors must include copies of all related manuscripts with any overlap in authorship that are under consideration or in press elsewhere. If a related manuscript is submitted elsewhere while the manuscript is under consideration at Nature Climate Change, a copy of the related manuscript should be sent to the editor.

The primary affiliation for each author should be the institution where the majority of their work was done. If an author has subsequently moved, the current address may also be stated.

If the manuscript includes personal communications, please provide a written statement of permission from any person who is quoted. E-mail permission messages are acceptable.

A high priority of Nature Climate Change is that all papers be accessible to nonspecialists. Manuscripts are subject to substantial editing, in consultation with the authors, to achieve this goal. After acceptance, a copy editor may make further changes so that the text and figures are readable and clear to those outside the field, and so that papers conform to our style. Contributors are sent proofs and are welcome to discuss proposed changes with the editors, but Nature Climate Change reserves the right to make the final decision about matters of style and the size of figures.

The editors also reserve the right to reject a paper even after it has been accepted if it becomes apparent that there are serious problems with the scientific content or with violations of our publishing policies.

Additional editorial policies can be found on the Nature journals joint policies page. This page includes information on manuscripts reviewed at other Nature journals; competing financial interests declarations; pre-publication publicity; deposition of data as a condition of publication; availability of data and reagents after publication; human and animal subjects; digital image integrity; biosecurity; refutations, complaints and correction of mistakes in the journal; duplicate publication; confidentiality; and plagiarism.

Nature Climate Change uses Oxford English spelling.

3. Costs

There is a charge of $639 for the first colour figure and $319 for each additional colour figure. Please note that we are unable to offer to publish greyscale in print and colour online. Otherwise, there are no submission fees or page charges.

4. Advance online publication

Nature Climate Change provides Advance Online Publication (AOP) of research articles, which benefits authors with an earlier publication date and allows our readers access to accepted papers before they appear in print. Note that papers published online are definitive and may be altered only through the publication of a print corrigendum or erratum, so authors should make every effort to ensure that the page proofs are correct. All AOP articles are given a unique digital object identifier (DOI) number, which can be used to cite the paper before print publication. Follow this link for details about advance online publication.

5. Cover and other artwork

Authors of accepted papers are encouraged to submit images for consideration as a cover. Cover images are normally linked to a specific paper in that issue, but we may also be able to use other images elsewhere in the journal, such as on the table of contents. Illustrations are selected for their scientific interest and aesthetic appeal. Please send prints or electronic files (rather than slides) in the first instance. Please also include a clear and concise legend explaining the image.

6. Preparing the manuscript

Nature Climate Change is read by researchers from a wide range of backgrounds, including biology, chemistry, physics, geography, economics, sociology and policy, among other subjects. In addition, many are not native English speakers. Authors should therefore give careful thought to how their findings may be communicated clearly. Technical jargon should be avoided as far as possible and clearly explained where its use is unavoidable. Abbreviations, particularly those that are not standard, should also be kept to a minimum, and should be defined at their first occurrence. The background, rationale and main conclusions of the study should be clearly explained. Titles and abstracts in particular should be written in language that will be readily intelligible to any scientist.

No paper will be rejected for poor language. However, if you would like assistance with writing your manuscript, you can consider asking a colleague whose native language is English for their input and/or use a professional editing service such as those provided by our affiliates Nature Research Editing Service or American Journal Experts. The use of a language editing service has no bearing on editorial decisions and is not a requirement for publication.

6.1 Cover letter

Authors should provide a cover letter that includes the affiliation and contact information for the corresponding author. Authors should briefly discuss the work's importance and explain why the work is considered appropriate for the diverse readership of Nature Climate Change. Any prior discussions with a Nature Climate Change editor about the work described in the manuscript should also be mentioned.

6.2 Manuscript text

All textual content should be provided in a single file, prepared using either Word or TeX/LaTeX; figures should be provided in individual files (see below).

The manuscript text file should include the following parts, in order: a title page with author affiliations and contact information (the corresponding author should be identified with an asterisk); the sections required for each content type (see information for Letters and Articles); then References, Acknowledgements (optional), Author Contributions, Competing Financial Interests statement, Figure Legends and Tables.

6.2.1 Word

Nature Climate Change does not use a manuscript template for Word documents. The manuscript file should be formatted as double-spaced, single-column text without justification. Pages should be numbered using an Arabic numeral in the footer of each page. Standard fonts are recommended, and the Symbol font should be used for representing Greek characters.

6.2.2 TeX/LaTeX

Authors submitting LaTeX files may use any of the standard class files such as article.cls, revtex.cls or amsart.cls. Non-standard fonts should be avoided; please use the default Computer Modern fonts. For the inclusion of graphics, we recommend graphicx.sty. Please use numerical references only for citations. There is no need to spend time visually formatting the manuscript: Nature Climate Change style will be imposed automatically when the paper is prepared for publication. References should be included within the manuscript file itself as our system cannot accept BibTeX bibliography files. Authors who wish to use BibTeX to prepare their references should therefore copy the reference list from the .bbl file that BibTeX generates and paste it into the main manuscript .tex file (and delete the associated \bibliography and \bibliographystyle commands). As a final precaution, authors should ensure that the complete .tex file compiles successfully on their own system, with no errors or warnings, before submission.

6.2.3 References

References should be numbered sequentially first throughout the text, then in tables, followed by figure legends and, finally, boxes; that is, references that appear only in tables, figure legends or boxes should be last in the reference list. Only one publication is given for each number. Only papers that have been published or accepted by a named publication or recognized preprint server should be in the numbered list; preprints of accepted papers in the reference list should be submitted with the manuscript. Published conference abstracts, numbered patents and research datasets that have been assigned a digital object identifier may be included in the reference list. Grant details and acknowledgments are not permitted as numbered references. Footnotes are not used.

BibTeX bibliography files cannot be accepted. LaTeX submission must contain all references within the manuscript .tex file itself (see above TeX/LaTeX section for more details).

Nature Climate Change uses standard Nature referencing style. 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.'. Authors should be listed last name first, followed by a comma and initials (followed by full stops) of given names. Article titles should be in Roman text; the first word of the title should be capitalized and the title written exactly as it appears in the work cited, ending with a full stop. Book titles should be given in italics and all words in the title should have initial capitals. Journal names are italicized and abbreviated (with full stops) according to common usage. Volume numbers and the subsequent comma appear in bold.

Titles of cited articles are required for Articles, Letters, Reviews and Progress articles. Example: Rosenzweig, C. et al. Attributing physical and biological impacts to anthropogenic climate change. Nature 453, 353–357 (2008).

For Commentaries or News & Views, titles of cited articles are not included. Example: Schneider, S. H. Nature 411, 17–19 (2001).

For book citations, details of the publisher are required. Example: Jones, R. A. L. Soft Machines: Materials and Life Ch. 3 (Oxford Univ. Press, 2004).

Research datasets may be cited in the reference list if they have been assigned digital object identifiers (DOIs) and include authors, title, publisher (repository name), identifier (DOI expressed as a URL). Example:

Hao, Z., AghaKouchak, A., Nakhjiri, N. & Farahmand, A. Global Integrated Drought Monitoring and Prediction System (GIDMaPS) data sets. figshare. http://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.853801 (2014).

6.2.4 Acknowledgements

Acknowledgements should be brief, and should not include thanks to anonymous referees and editors, or effusive comments. Grant or contribution numbers may be acknowledged.

6.2.5 Author contributions

Nature Climate Change requires an Author Contributions statement, as described in the Authorship section of our joint editorial policies.

6.2.6 Competing financial interests

Submission of a signed Competing Financial Interests statement is required for all content of the journal. This statement will be published at the end of Letters, Articles, Reviews and Progress articles, whether or not a competing financial interest is reported. For all other content types, a statement will be published only if a competing financial interest is reported. In cases where the authors declare a competing financial interest, a short statement to that effect is published as part of the article, which is linked to a more detailed version available online.

6.2.7 Figure legends

Figure legends for Articles or Letters begin with a brief title for the whole figure and continue with a short description of each panel and the symbols used; they should not contain any details of methods. Text for figure legends should be provided in numerical order after the references.

6.2.8 Tables

Please submit tables at the end of your text document (in Word or TeX/LaTeX, as appropriate). Tables that include statistical analysis of data should describe their standards of error analysis and ranges in a table legend.

6.2.9 Figures

Figures should be numbered separately with Arabic numerals in the order of occurrence in the text of the manuscript. Figures in one- or two-column formats are preferred. When appropriate, figures should include error bars. A description of the statistical treatment of error analysis should be included in the figure or scheme legend.

Figure lettering should be in a clear, sans-serif typeface (for example, Helvetica); if possible, the same typeface in approximately the same font size should be used for all figures in a paper. Use Symbol font for Greek letters. All display items should be on a white background, and should avoid excessive boxing, unnecessary colour, spurious decorative effects (such as three-dimensional 'skyscraper' histograms) and highly pixelated computer drawings. The vertical axis of histograms should not be truncated to exaggerate small differences. Labelling must be of sufficient size and contrast to be readable, even after appropriate reduction. The thinnest lines in the final figure should be no smaller than one point wide. Reasonable requests to enlarge figures will be considered, but editors will make the final decision on figure size. Authors will see a proof of figures.

Figures divided into parts should be labelled with a lower-case bold a, b, and so on, in the same type size as used elsewhere in the figure. Lettering in figures should be in lower-case type, with only the first letter of each label capitalized. Units should have a single space between the number and the unit, and follow SI nomenclature (for example, ms rather than msec) or the nomenclature common to a particular field. Thousands should be separated by commas (1,000). Unusual units or abbreviations should be spelled out in full or 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. In legends, please use visual cues rather than verbal explanations, such as "open red triangles".

Unnecessary figures should be avoided: data presented in small tables or histograms, for instance, can generally be stated briefly in the text instead. 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.

When a manuscript is accepted for publication, we will ask for high-resolution figure files, possibly in a different electronic format. This information will be included in the acceptance letter. See below for details of digital image production and submission.

6.2.10 Equations

Equations and mathematical expressions should be provided in the main text of the paper. Equations that are referred to in the text are identified by parenthetical numbers, such as (1), and are referred to in the manuscript as "equation (1)".

6.2.11 Supplementary information

Supplementary information should be submitted with the manuscript and will be sent to referees during peer review. Supplementary information is not copy-edited by Nature Climate Change, so authors should ensure that it is clearly and succinctly presented, and that the style and terminology conform with the rest of the paper. The following guidelines detail the creation, citation and submission of supplementary information. Please note that modification of supplementary information after the paper is published requires a formal correction, so authors are encouraged to check their supplementary information carefully before submitting the final version.

Where there is supplementary information to be included exclusively in the online version of a paper published in Nature Climate Change, please follow these guidelines, or publication may be delayed.

Refer to each piece of supplementary information at least once within the text of the main article (the article that is published in the print issue of the journal), as follows:

  • Designate each item as Supplementary Table, Figure, Video, Audio, Note, Data, Discussion, Equations or Methods. Number Supplementary Tables and Figures as, for example, "Supplementary Table 1". This numbering should be separate from that used in tables and figures appearing in the main printed article. Supplementary Note or Methods should not be numbered; titles for these are optional.
  • Refer to each piece of supplementary material at the appropriate point(s) in the main article. Be sure to include the word "Supplementary" each time one is mentioned. Please do not refer to individual panels of supplementary figures.

Figure files should be submitted as web-ready files through the Nature Climate Change online submission system

With the exception of spreadsheet, audio and video files, please submit the supplementary information as a single combined PDF, if possible. If necessary, we can accept any of these formats:

  • .txt | Plain ASCII text
  • .gif | GIF image
  • .htm | HTML document
  • .doc | MS Word document
  • .jpg | JPEG image
  • .swf | Flash movie
  • .xls | MS Excel spreadsheet
  • .pdf | Adobe Acrobat file
  • .mov | QuickTime movie
  • .ppt | MS PowerPoint slide
  • .wav | Audio file

File sizes should be as small as possible, with a maximum size of 30 MB, so that they can be downloaded quickly. The combined total size of all files must not exceed 150 MB. All panels of a figure or table (for example, Fig. 1a, b and c) should be combined into one file; please do not send as separate files. Image files should be just large enough to view when the screen resolution is set to 640 x 480 pixels. Remember to include a brief title and legend (preferably incorporated into the image file to appear near the image) as part of every electronic figure submitted, and a title as part of every table.

Further queries about submission and preparation of supplementary information should be directed to nclimate@nature.com.

7. Figures for peer review

Figures should be uploaded upon submission via our online submission system in one of our preferred formats (see below), if possible. Please use the smallest file size that provides sufficient resolution for their content to be clearly legible, preferably less than 1 MB, so that referees do not have to download extremely large files. High-resolution images are not required at initial submission. When a paper is accepted, the editors will request high-resolution files suitable for publication.

8. Preparing figures for publication

It is important to supply production-quality figures when requested by the editor. Failure to do so, or to adhere to the following guidelines, can significantly delay publication of your work.

When possible, we prefer to use original digital figures to ensure the highest-quality reproduction in the journal. For optimal results, prepare figures at actual size for the printed journal. When creating and submitting digital files, please follow the guidelines below.

Authors are responsible for obtaining permission to publish any figures or illustrations that are protected by copyright, including figures published elsewhere and pictures taken by professional photographers. The journal cannot publish images downloaded from the internet without appropriate permission.

8.1 Formats

Line art, graphs, charts and schematics

All line art, graphs, charts and schematics should be supplied in vector format, such as Encapsulated PostScript (.EPS), Adobe Illustrator (.AI) or Portable Document Format (.PDF), and should be saved or exported as such directly from the application in which they were made. This allows us to restyle to our journal house style.

We prefer to work with Adobe Illustrator but can accept Word and PowerPoint files.

They should not be flattened, compressed, converted or saved as bitmaps, jpegs or other non-vector file types. If line-art figures cannot be supplied as vector files, they should be supplied at 1,200 dpi and as close to print size as possible.

Photographic and bitmapped images

All photographic and bitmapped images should be supplied in TIFF format at a minimum of 300 dpi and as close to print size as possible. For final print size, please use our column widths as a guide. A single column width measures 88 mm and a double column width measures 170 mm.

We can accept Word and PowerPoint files, but please supply any placed images as separate tiffs, prepared as above. If preparing in Adobe Photoshop, please type all text on separate text layers so that we can retype in our own house style. If this is not possible, please supply two sets of figures: one with labelling for our reference, and one without labelling.

Where possible, please supply colour photographic images in CMYK colour mode as colour detail may be lost in converting from RGB to CMYK.

Please do not scan laser printouts of figures and send them to us as digital files. The dot pattern on a laser print often creates a moiré pattern when scanned.

Figure files must be supplied at an appropriate resolution for print publication.

  • Colour: 300 dpi minimum; please convert all colour files into CMYK mode.
  • Greyscale: 600 dpi minimum for black-and-white photographs.
  • Line art: 1,200 dpi minimum for graphs and illustrations.

In practice, this means that the absolute width of full-colour single-column figures should be no less than 1,040 pixels wide, and double-column figures should be no less than 2,080 pixels wide (excluding peripheral white space). For greyscale images, these values should be doubled, and for line art doubled again (unless supplied in an appropriate vector format, as described above).

Figures that do not meet these standards will not reproduce well and may delay publication until we receive high-resolution images or high-quality printouts. We cannot be held responsible for assuming the cost of corrected reprints should poor-quality images need to be used.