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 is guided by the Nature Portfolio editorial policies. Submission of a manuscript to Communications Biology implies that all authors have read and approved its content and that the manuscript conforms to our editorial policies. 


The Nature Portfolio journals' authorship policy (including Authorship: inclusion & ethics in global research).

Competing interests

Nature Portfolio journals' competing interests policies.

Ethics and Biosecurity

Nature Portfolio journals' editorial policies on publishing primary research reporting experiments on living organisms; and on biosecurity and bioethics.

Reporting standards and availability of data, materials, code and protocols

Nature Portfolio journals' policy on availability of materials and data, and reporting requirements for life sciences research articles.

Image integrity and standards

Nature Portfolio journals' policies and guidelines on digital images and their manipulation.

Plagiarism and duplicate publication

The Nature Portfolio journals' policies on plagiarism and on providing due credit for published and unpublished data.

Corrections, Retractions and Matters Arising

Nature Portfolio journals' policy on corrections, retractions and other amendments to published material.

Peer Review

Nature Portfolio journals' advice for peer-reviewers, and policies relevant to the peer-review process.


The Nature Portfolio journals' policies on confidentiality.


The Nature Portfolio journals’ acknowledgements policies.

Preprints & Conference Proceedings

Nature Portfolio journals' policy on preprints and conference proceedings.

Press and embargo policies

Nature Portfolio journals' policy on authors' communication with the media and at scientific meetings.

Self archiving and license to publish

Nature Portfolio license to publish policy, and conditions of re-use, for authors.

Please note that any additional or different policy requirements are stated in our submission guidelines, so it’s important to read and follow these instructions carefully before submitting your work. 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 editorial and publishing policies.

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.

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

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

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; 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