Since the launch of Nature Genetics in 1992, the number of Nature research journals has grown to 16 — the most recent, Nature Chemistry, was launched a year ago. This month sees the launch of the seventeenth: Nature Communications.
All of the previous Nature research journals have focused on a particular discipline or community of research interests. Their aim is to publish the most original and scientifically impact-making research appropriate to those particular audiences. Their high ranking in the citation league tables would suggest that this goal is generally being fulfilled.
Nature Communications differs in being multidisciplinary. It aims not to compete with the established Nature journals, but to publish rigorous and comprehensive papers that represent advances of significance to specialists within each field. In addition, it welcomes submissions in fields that are not represented by a dedicated Nature research journal — for example, developmental biology, plant science, microbiology, ecology and evolution, palaeontology, astronomy and high-energy physics (see http://go.nature.com/xJzuY5). Readers will find in the launch issue papers on topics including classical and quantum correlations under decoherence; a candidate gene for mechanoreception in Drosophila sensory cilia; a strategy to obtain sequence-regulated vinyl copolymers using metal-catalysed step-growth radical polymerization; how a ritualized vibratory signal evolved from locomotion in territorial caterpillars; and more besides.
Like all Nature journals, it is editorially independent. It is also the first Nature research journal to be funded in hybrid fashion: by both subscriptions and optional authors' fees that allow instant free access to their published papers. (It is our publishers' policy to keep subscription rates of hybrid journals under review to reflect the volume of content that is behind the subscription firewall.) Furthermore, it is the first Nature journal to be launched entirely without a print edition: its content is available only online.
Nature welcomes this distinctive new sibling publication — this time, serving the whole research community.