Guide to authors

Manuscript submissions

Communications Biology is an open access journal from Nature Portfolio publishing high-quality research, reviews and commentary in all areas of the biological sciences. Research papers published by the journal represent significant advances bringing new biological insight to a specialized area of research. See our Aims & Scope page for more information.

Please see our submission guidelines for key information on submitting primary research for publication in Communications Biology. Authors are encouraged to include completed reporting summaries and editorial policy checklists at the time of submission. To submit your manuscript, please use our online submission system.

Editorial and Publishing policies

As part of Nature Portfolio, Communications Biology follows common policies as detailed on our editorial policies pages that our authors and prospective authors must follow.

In particular, when you submit a manuscript to Communications Biology its content must not significantly overlap with any other papers from you or your co-authors’ groups that are under consideration or in press at other journals, with the exception of conference abstracts. We do, however, support the posting of preprints.

If you submit a related manuscript to any other journals while the submission to Communications Biology is under consideration, you must send us a copy of the related manuscript and details of its progress towards publication. We reserve the right to decline publication of a paper even after it has been accepted if it becomes apparent that there are serious problems with the scientific content or violations of our publishing policies.

Open Access

Communications Biology is a fully open access journal. More information can be found on our open access page. Details on our article processing charges can be found on this page.

Editors and contact information

Our editorial team includes both in-house professional editors and active researchers who are members of our Editorial Board. Our in-house editors and Editorial Board Members work closely together to develop the editorial standards of the journal. Information about our editors can be found at the links above. To learn more about our collaborative editorial model, we recommend this editorial.

For general editorial enquiries, including manuscript submission queries, please contact commsbio@nature.com.

Contact details for other enquiries, including advertising and sponsorship opportunities, can be found here.

Relationship to other Nature Portfolio journals

Communications Biology is editorially independent, and its editors make their own decisions, independently of the other Nature Portfolio journals. It is for authors alone to decide where to submit their manuscripts. For papers that could satisfy the scope of more than one Nature Portfolio journal, the choice of which journal to submit to lies with the authors. Nature and the Nature Portfolio hybrid journals apply the highest level of editorial selectivity for impact and significance. Nature Communications is the premier multidisciplinary open access journal within the portfolio, applies high editorial selectivity and publishes important advances of significance to specialists within the field. Communications Biology complements Nature Communications by publishing significant advances that may be of interest to a more specialized community within the biological sciences or that otherwise do not meet the high editorial threshold for broad impact and significance at the Nature-branded journals, including Nature Communications. All Nature Portfolio journals, including Communications Biology, apply the same criteria for technical validity and adherence to ethical standards. More information about editorial policies at Nature Portfolio can be found at http://www.nature.com/authors/policies/index.html.

If a paper is rejected from another Nature Portfolio journal, the authors can use an automated manuscript transfer service to submit the paper to Communications Biology via a link sent to them by the editor handling the manuscript. For transfers after review, authors should note that the editor's decision letter, the reviewers' identities, and the reviewers' reports (including any confidential comments to the editor) 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.

In cases where manuscripts are rejected from Communications Biology, authors may wish to use the same manuscript transfer service to submit their paper to Scientific Reports or another in-house journal. Scientific Reports is an open-access journal covering all areas of the natural and clinical sciences and offering rapid publication on nature.com; more information can be found here. Please note that manuscripts transferred to Scientific Reports must satisfy the policy requirements outlined here before being assigned to an editor.

For more information, please consult the following:
The Nature Portfolio home page
Listing of all Nature Portfolio journals and subject areas
A general explanation of the relationships between Nature Portfolio titles