Submission checklist

Preparing a manuscript for submission to Scientific Reports

Accepted file types:

  • For article text: txt, doc, docx, tex
  • For figures: eps, tiff, jpg

A submission template is available in the Overleaf template gallery to help you prepare a LaTeX manuscript within the Scientific Reports formatting criteria.

Cover letter

All submissions must be accompanied by a cover letter.

Scientific Reports sections and ordering of manuscripts

We recommend that your manuscript is structured as follows.


The title must be no longer than 20 words.

Author list and affiliations

The corresponding author should be identified with an asterisk.

Abstract (heading not used)

The abstract must be no longer than 200 words, and must not have a heading. The Abstract should serve both as a general introduction to the topic and as a brief, non-technical summary of the main results and their implications. Abstracts must not contain references or subheadings.

Main body

Scientific Reports has no explicit requirements for section organization. According to the authors' preferences, the main body of the text can be organized as best suits the research. In some cases, it may be appropriate to combine relevant sections. As a guideline, we recommend that your manuscript contains the following sections:


The introduction section of the main text expands on the background of the work (some overlap with the Abstract is acceptable). The background should put your paper into context and must be clear so that readers are able to understand the aims, purpose and significance of your research.


With topical subheadings


The Discussion should be succinct and may not contain subheadings.


Subheadings are recommended. We recommend that authors limit their Methods section to 1,500 words.

A data availability statement must be included.

The recommended maximum length for the main body of your manuscript is 4,500 words.


We recommend that references are limited to 60 (this is not strictly enforced). References should be numbered sequentially, first throughout the text, then in tables, followed by figures. Scientific Reports uses the standard Nature referencing style, for example:

Published papers:

Printed journals
Schott, D. H., Collins, R. N. & Bretscher, A. Secretory vesicle transport velocity in living cells depends on the myosin V lever arm length. J. Cell Biol. 156, 35-39 (2002).

Online only
Bellin, D. L. et al. Electrochemical camera chip for simultaneous imaging of multiple metabolites in biofilms. Nat. Commun. 7, 10535; 10.1038/ncomms10535 (2016).

For papers with more than five authors include only the first author’s name followed by ‘et al.’.

Smith, J. Syntax of referencing in How to reference books (ed. Smith, S.) 180-181 (Macmillan, 2013).

Online material:
Babichev, S. A., Ries, J. & Lvovsky, A. I. Quantum scissors: teleportation of single-mode optical states by means of a nonlocal single photon. Preprint at (2002).

Manaster, J. Sloth squeak. Scientific American Blog Network (2014).

Hao, Z., AghaKouchak, A., Nakhjiri, N. & Farahmand, A. Global integrated drought monitoring and prediction system (GIDMaPS) data sets. figshare (2014).


Acknowledgements should be brief, and should not include effusive comments. Grant or contribution numbers may be acknowledged.

Author Contributions Statement

All manuscripts must include an Author Contributions Statement detailing the contribution of each author. Author names must be listed as initials. For example, "A.B and C.D wrote the main manuscript text and E.F prepared figures 1-3. All authors reviewed the manuscript."

Additional Information

To include Competing financial interests (mandatory statement).

The corresponding author is responsible for submitting a competing financial interests statement on behalf of all authors of the paper. This statement must be included in the submitted article file.

Figure Legends

Each figure legend must be no longer than 350 words. Text for figure legends should be provided in numerical order after the references.

Display Items

We suggest that articles contain no more than 8 display items (figures and/or tables). In addition, a limited number of uncaptioned molecular structure graphics and numbered mathematical equations may be included if necessary. To enable typesetting of papers, the number of display items should be commensurate with the word length — we suggest that for articles with word counts less than 2,000, no more than 4 figures/tables should be included. Please note that schemes are not used; these should be presented as figures.


Please submit tables at the end of your text document (in Word or TeX/LaTeX, as appropriate).


Figures should be uploaded upon submission via our online submission system, in one of our accepted formats (eps, tiff, jpg). For first submissions (i.e. not revised manuscripts), authors may choose to incorporate the manuscript text and figures into a single file up to 3 MB in size - the figures may be inserted within the text at the appropriate positions, or grouped at the end.

Authors submitting revised manuscripts, or final version figures should see our figure guidelines.

Supplementary Information

Multiple pieces of supplementary information can be combined and supplied as a single file, or supplied separately (e.g. supplementary videos, spreadsheets [.csv or .xlsx] or data files). Supplementary information must be clearly labelled with the manuscript title and author list. 

Submissions should not include: running titles, keywords, columns or footnotes.