Guide to Authors

Manuscript submissions

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.

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 Photonics.

Aims and scope of the journal

Photonics — the scientific study and application of light — has evolved to become a key technology behind many devices found in the modern home, factory and research lab. Today, the field is both a Nobel-prize-winning science and a billion-dollar industry, underpinning applications such as fibre-optic communication, data storage, flat-panel displays and materials processing.

Nature Photonics is a new monthly journal dedicated to this exciting field that will publish top-quality, peer-reviewed research in all areas of light generation, manipulation and detection.

Coverage extends from research into the fundamental properties of light and how it interacts with matter through to the latest designs of optoelectronic device and emerging applications that exploit photons.

The journal covers topics including:

  • Lasers, LEDs and other light sources
  • Imaging, detectors and sensors
  • Optoelectronic devices and components
  • Novel materials and engineered structures
  • Physics of light propagation, interaction and behaviour
  • Quantum optics and cryptography
  • Ultrafast photonics
  • Biophotonics
  • Optical data storage
  • Spectroscopy
  • Fibre optics and optical communications
  • Solar energy and photovoltaics
  • Displays
  • Terahertz technology
  • Nonlinear optics
  • Plasmonics
  • Nanophotonics
  • X-rays

In common with other Nature Publishing Group (NPG) journals in the physical sciences, Nature Photonics publishes review articles, research papers, News and Views pieces and research highlights summarizing the latest scientific findings in optoelectronics. This is complemented by a unique mix of articles dedicated to the business side of the industry covering areas such as technology commercialization and market analysis.

Editors and contact information

Like the other Nature titles, Nature Photonics has no external editorial board. Instead, all editorial decisions are made by a team of full-time professional editors, who are PhD-level physicists. Information about the scientific background of the editors can be found here.

General editorial inquiries and correspondence should be addressed to the Editor, at

Inquiries about the status of a manuscript should be addressed to the Editorial Assistant, at

Relationship to other Nature journals

Nature Publishing Group (NPG) has a rich history in publishing prestigious photonics research. For example, over the past 50 years Nature has featured seminal papers on topics such as the first experimental LASER (Maiman, 1960) and the first polymer LED (Burroughs, 1990): see photonics highlights.

Launched in January 2007, Nature Photonics is a peer-reviewed journal that publishes original research of the highest quality and combines this with in-depth analysis of important emerging optical technologies, their applications and status of commercialization. In essence, Nature Photonics publishes leading photonics research that will help enable the applications of tomorrow. The result is a unique publication that will be an invaluable information resource for scientists in both academia and industry.

Alongside Nature Photonics, Nature will continue to publish photonics papers of exceptional quality that appeal to its wide and multidisciplinary readership. Nature Physics will focus on those photonics papers which deal with fundamental science; Nature Materials those which address the underlying properties of optical and photonics-related materials; and Nature Nanotechnology those which involve engineered structures on the nanoscale.

If a paper is rejected from one Nature journal, the authors can use an automated manuscript transfer service to submit the paper to Nature Photonics 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. 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 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. For more information, please consult the following:

Editorial and publishing policies

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

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 Photonics are as follows:

  • Submission to first editorial decision: 11
  • Submission to first post-review decision: 48
  • Submission to Accept: 135

The 2016 journal metrics for Nature Photonics are as follows:

  • 2-year Impact Factor: 37.852
  • 5-year Impact Factor: 38.910
  • Immediacy index: 6.826
  • Eigenfactor ® score: 0.12607
  • Article Influence Score: 14.637
  • 2-year Median: 21

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.


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


The international standard serial number (ISSN) for Nature Photonics are 1749-4885, and the electronic international standard serial number (EISSN) is 1749-4893.


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