Editorial | Published:

Farewell to presubs

Nature Geoscience volume 2, page 229 (2009) | Download Citation

Presubmission enquiries have only rarely resolved the question of whether a paper is suitable for Nature Geoscience. We are now removing this option from our online submission system.

Until now, the online submission system for Nature Geoscience has allowed prospective authors to contact the editors formally with a 'presubmission enquiry', consisting of an abstract and a brief cover letter. A small fraction of our authors have taken up this option, which promises a fast evaluation of the suitability in principle of a piece of research for publication in Nature Geoscience. We are now closing down this option.

Presubmission enquiries are useful in fields where the interest of a manuscript is readily apparent from a brief summary. We have found that in the geosciences, such a shortcut assessment is almost always impossible: the novelty and importance of a study usually relies on factors that can only be fully appreciated by reading the whole paper and often previous publications in the field.

We would hate to miss an interesting paper because of a badly written abstract. In response to a large proportion of presubmission enquiries we have therefore simply asked to see the full manuscript. Furthermore, we have always carefully considered full submissions of manuscripts that had previously received a discouraging response on a presubmission enquiry.

We feel that our authors are best served by a careful assessment of the suitability of their paper, based on all the necessary information, therefore we now encourage authors to submit their full manuscripts right away. Of course, for any brief and informal enquiries — regarding a manuscript submission or anything else — we can always be contacted at geoscience@nature.com.

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