Submission guidelines

Online submission

All submissions must be made via our online submission system. Using this system, authors can upload manuscript files (text, figures, videos) directly to our office and check on the status of their manuscripts during the review process. In addition, reviewers can access the manuscript online, which speeds up the review process. Revised manuscripts should be uploaded via the link provided in the editor's decision letter. Please do not submit revisions as new manuscripts.

Before a manuscript is submitted, please review our editorial policies, and ensure that the submission complies with our policy requirements.

Large Language Models (LLMs), such as ChatGPT, do not currently satisfy our authorship criteria. Notably an attribution of authorship carries with it accountability for the work, which cannot be effectively applied to LLMs. Use of an LLM should be properly documented in the Methods section (and if a Methods section is not available, in a suitable alternative part) of the manuscript. In response to emerging information, advice, guidance and policy around artificial intelligence (AI), we have created a dedicated AI section in our Editorial Policy page. Please familiarize yourself with this content and comply with relevant policies.

We encourage all authors to register for an ORCID iD (ORCiD) and include their ORCiD in their author profile at or before manuscript submission. For more details on Springer Nature’s support of ORCiD, please follow this link.

Submission policies

Submission to Communications Psychology is taken to imply that there is no significant overlap between the submitted manuscript and any other papers from the same authors under consideration or in press elsewhere. (Abstracts or unrefereed web preprints do not compromise novelty). The authors must include copies of all related manuscripts with any overlap in authorship that are under consideration or in press elsewhere. If a related manuscript is submitted elsewhere while the manuscript is under consideration at Communications Psychology, a copy of the related manuscript must be sent to the editor.

The primary affiliation for each author should be the institution where the majority of their work was done. If an author has subsequently moved, the current address may also be stated.

If the manuscript includes personal communications, please provide a written statement of permission from any person who is quoted. E-mail permission messages are acceptable.

Follow this link for further information on the review process and how editors make decisions.

After acceptance, changes to the manuscript may be made so that papers conform to our style. The corresponding author is sent proofs and is welcome to discuss changes with the editors, but Communications Psychology reserves the right to make the final decision about matters of style and the size of figures.

The editors also reserve the right to reject a paper even after it has been accepted if it becomes apparent that there are serious problems with the scientific content or with violations of our publishing policies.


Communications Psychology does not charge submission fees or page charges. However, authors submitting to Communications Psychology are required to publish their work open access, through payment of an article processing charge (APC), in the case of eventual acceptance.

Please see the pages on open access and article processing charges for APC pricing and details of our free funding support service.

Cover Letter

Authors should provide a cover letter that includes the affiliation and contact information for the corresponding author. The cover letter is an excellent opportunity to briefly discuss the context and importance of the submitted work and why it is appropriate for the journal. Please avoid repeating information that is already present in the abstract and introduction.

The cover letter is not shared with the referees, and should be used to provide confidential information, such as conflicts of interest, and to declare any related work that is in press or submitted elsewhere. It is also appropriate to include suggested or excluded referees in the cover letter.

We strive to ensure that the diversity of our reviewers reflects that of the broad scientific community, in terms of gender, ethnicity/race, geographic location and career stage. We ask that you keep this in mind when suggesting potential reviewers.

Transparent peer review

Communications Psychology uses a transparent peer review system, where we are publishing the editorial decision letters including the reviewer comments to the authors and the authors' rebuttal letters of revised versions of our published research articles. The peer review file is published online as a supplementary peer review file. 

Reviewer names will only be published in the peer reviewer files if the reviewer comments to the authors are signed by the reviewer, or if reviewers explicitly agree to release their name.

In some cases, the editors may redact information from the reviewer reports if they are deemed to contain confidential data. Authors may request redactions on the basis of protecting specific confidential information. Please note that we cannot incorporate redactions for other reasons.

General information for preparing manuscripts

This guide outlines key points for preparing primary research manuscripts for submission to Communications Psychology.

The corresponding author should be familiar with the journal’s editorial policies and is solely responsible for communicating with the journal and managing communication between coauthors. Before submission, the corresponding author ensures that all authors are included in the author list and agree with its order, and that they are aware the manuscript is to be submitted.

If you wish to participate in double-anonymized peer review, please prepare your manuscript in a way that conceals the identities of all the authors and tick the appropriate box during online submission. We recommend that authors refer to our double-anonymized peer review guidelines when preparing a double-anonymized peer review manuscript. Please note that editors do not ensure that the paper is properly anonymised; that is the responsibility of the authors.

Reporting summary and editorial policy checklist

If you are notified that your manuscript will be sent to review at Communications Psychology, you will be asked to complete the Nature Portfolio Reporting Summary. Please see our editorial policies page for details and to download the Reporting Summary document. 

If your manuscript is sent for review, you will also be asked to complete the Nature Portfolio Editorial Policy Checklist. This checklist is not sent to the reviewers but must be received by the editors before the paper can be sent for review. A copy of the checklist can also be downloaded on our policies page.

For health and life sciences, the following checklists must be completed and submitted with your manuscript before peer review, and made available to the Editors and reviewers.

  • Randomized controlled trials (CONSORT)

  • Systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA or appropriate extension version for other types of systematic review)

We strongly recommend that authors refer to the minimum reporting guidelines for health research hosted by the EQUATOR Network when preparing their manuscript, where applicable. We strongly encourage the use of the following checklists and reporting guidelines:

  • Protocols for randomized controlled protocols (SPIRIT)

  • Observational studies (STROBE)

  • Case reports (CARE)

  • Qualitative research (COREQ or SRQR)

  • Diagnostic/prognostic studies (STARD and TRIPOD)

  • Economic evaluations (CHEERS)

  • Pre-clinical animal studies (ARRIVE)

Format of manuscripts

Manuscripts submitted to Communications Psychology do not need to adhere to our formatting requirements at the point of initial submission; formatting requirements only apply at the time of acceptance. For information on formatting non-primary research manuscripts, please consult the page on Communications Psychology content types.

We encourage authors to incorporate the manuscript text and figures into a single PDF or Microsoft Word file. Suitably high-resolution figures may be inserted within the text at appropriate positions or grouped at the end. Each figure legend should be presented on the same page as its figure. We can accept LaTeX files at the acceptance stage, but before then please supply compiled PDFs.

Manuscripts published in Communications Psychology are not subject to in-depth copy editing as part of the production process. Authors are encouraged to seek copy editing or language editing services for their manuscripts, either before submission, or at the revision stage, should they feel it would benefit their manuscript. Such services include those provided by our affiliates Nature Research Editing Service and American Journal Experts. Please note that the use of Nature Research Editing Service is at the author's own expense and in no way implies that the article will be selected for peer review or accepted for publication.


Authors must ensure that their Methods section includes adequate experimental and characterization data necessary for others in the field to reproduce their work. Descriptions of standard protocols and experimental procedures should be given. Commercial suppliers of reagents or instrumentation should be identified. Sources for kits should be identified. Experimental protocols that describe the synthesis of compounds should be included. Authors should describe the experimental protocol in detail, referring to amounts of reagents in parentheses, when possible (e.g. 1.03 g, 0.100 mmol). Standard abbreviations for reagents and solvents are encouraged. Safety hazards posed by reagents or protocols should be identified clearly. Isolated mass and percent yields should be reported at the end of each protocol.

Statistical guidelines

All statistical analyses used must be described comprehensively in the paper. The Methods must include a statistics section with the following information.

Data sets should be summarized with descriptive statistics, which should include the n value for each data set, a clearly labelled measure of centre (such as the mean or the median), and a clearly labelled measure of variability (such as standard deviation or range). Ranges are more appropriate than standard deviations or standard errors for small data sets. Graphs should include clearly labelled error bars. Authors must state whether a number that follows the ± sign is a standard error (s.e.m.) or a standard deviation (s.d.).

When plotting data, we strongly encourage authors to use violin plots, box-and-whisker plots, or dot plots in order to fully show data distribution. If using a bar chart, please note that individual data points must be overlaid on the bars.

Every article that contains statistical testing should state the name of the statistical test, the n value for each statistical analysis, the comparisons of interest, and a justification for the use of that test (including, for example, a discussion of the normality of the data when the test is appropriate only for normal data), the alpha level for all tests, whether the tests were one-tailed or two-tailed, and the actual P value for each test (unless p< 0.001). 

All statements or interpretations of the results should be supported by appropriate, fully reported statistics. In detail, frequentist inferential statistics should be reported as follows wherever they occur (main text, Figure captions, Tables, SI):  statistic(degrees of freedom) = value, p = value, effect size statistic = value, % Confidence Intervals = values.  

Comparisons of relationships between variables – for example, interpretations pertaining to a difference in differences –  must also be supported by appropriate statistics, rather than rhetoric comparisons (see Gelman, A. & Stern, H. The difference between “significant” and “not significant” is not itself statistically significant. Am. Stat. 60, 328–331 (2006)).

Specific policies apply to the interpretation of null results. 

To be able to interpret null results, there must be statistical evidence that the study is sufficiently powered to detect the smallest theoretically or pragmatically meaningful effect. It is not permissible to interpret the absence of evidence as evidence of absence (in the case of null results). Support for the null hypothesis over the alternative hypothesis cannot therefore be inferred through a null finding using NHST. Instead, appropriate statistical tests (e.g., Bayes Factors or equivalence tests) must form the basis of any interpretation. Statements such as ‘There is no difference between x and y.’ or ‘X does not affect Y.’ must be revised to read ‘We found [no/little] credible evidence of a difference between x and y.’ or ‘We found [no/little] credible evidence that X affects Y.’  

Marginally significant statistical results can be mentioned as such, but should not be discussed as theoretically informative for the hypotheses tested.



Communications Psychology uses standard Nature referencing style.

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:
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. Assistance from proof-readers and editors not affiliated with the journal should also be acknowledged here.

Funding information should be placed in the Acknowledgement section. When declaring funding, our recommended best practice is that authors should acknowledge funders and grants on publications when the activities that contributed to that publication are within scope of the acknowledged grant and arise directly from a specific grant. An appropriate format for acknowledgement of grant funding is: A.B.C. discloses support for the research of this work from Funder [grant number xxxx], Funder [grant number xxxx] and Funder [grant number xxxx]. D.E.F. discloses support for publication of this work from Funder [grant number xxxx], Funder [grant number xxxx] and Funder [grant number xxxx].

Author contributions

Communications Psychology requires an Author Contribution Statement that specifies the individual contributions of each co-author. 

Authorship provides credit for a researcher's contributions to a study and carries accountability. Guidance and criteria for authorship can be found in our editorial policies. The individual contributions of authors to the manuscript should be specified in this section, as well as any equal contributions or shared supervision.  Please use initials to refer to each author's contribution in this section. For example: "A.P.M. 'contributed' Y and Z; B.T.R. 'contributed' Y," etc.

Competing Interests

A competing interests statement is required for all accepted papers published in Communications Psychology. If there is no conflict of interest, a statement declaring this will still be included in the paper.

In the interests of transparency and to help readers form their own judgements of potential bias, Nature Portfolio journals' require authors to declare any competing financial and/or non-financial interests in relation to the work described. The corresponding author is responsible for submitting a mandatory, signed, competing interests' statement on behalf of all authors of the paper upon submission. Competing interests are defined as financial and non-financial interests that could directly undermine, or be perceived to undermine the objectivity, integrity and value of a publication, through a potential influence on the judgements and actions of authors with regard to objective data presentation, analysis and interpretation. Please read the full policy for guidance, which gives more information on how competing interests are defined and how it applies to authors, peer reviewers, editors, external editors and editorial board members. All such interests have to be declared and if no such interest exists, this must also be declared upon submission.


Data Availability

An inherent principle of publication is that others should be able to replicate and build upon the authors' published claims. Please note that all published manuscripts reporting original research in Nature Portfolio journals must include a data availability statement. The data availability statement must make the conditions of access to the “minimum dataset” that are necessary to interpret, verify and extend the research in the article, transparent to readers. This statement must be submitted with your manuscript. Please see the full policy for more information. Authors who need help understanding our data sharing policies, help finding a suitable data repository, or help organizing and sharing research data can access Springer Nature’s Author Support portal for additional guidance.

Communications Psychology advocates for the complete and transparent reporting of research. Please see our policies here and here for further information regarding our reporting requirements.


Code Availability

Any previously unreported custom computer code used to generate results reported in the manuscript that are central to the main claims must be made available to editors and referees upon request. Any practical issues preventing code sharing will be evaluated by the editors who reserve the right to decline the manuscript if important code is unavailable. At publication, Nature Portfolio journals consider it best practice to release custom computer code in a way that allows readers to repeat the published results. Where availability of custom computer code is deemed to be central to our editorial interest in the paper and the reader’s ability to make use of and reproduce the work, we may decline to review or publish the manuscript if authors indicate that they would be unable to release the computer code upon publication.

For all studies using custom code, a statement must be included in the Methods section, under the heading "Code availability", indicating whether and how the code can be accessed, including any restrictions. See the section on Availability and peer review of computer code in our Editorial Policies for more information.


We ask that authors indicate at the time of submission if any of the work reported in their manuscript was preregistered. If there was no preregistration of any study, this must be declared in the Methods section for transparency. Conversely, if any of the reported studies was preregistered, authors must provide an active link to the preregistration in the Methods section and state the date of preregistration. For more information, please visit our preregistration page here.

Supplementary information

Any Supplementary Information should be submitted with the manuscript and will be sent to referees during peer review. It is published online with accepted manuscripts. We request that authors avoid "data not shown" statements and instead make their data available via deposition in a public repository (see  Availability of data and code for more information). Any data necessary to evaluate the claims of the paper that are not available via a public depository should be provided as Supplementary Information.

Supplementary Information is not edited, typeset or proofed, so authors should ensure that it is clearly and succinctly presented at initial submission, and that the style and terminology conform to the rest of the paper. Please note that modification of Supplementary Information after the paper is published requires a formal correction, so authors are encouraged to check their Supplementary Information carefully before submitting the final version.

Further queries about submission and preparation of Supplementary Information should be directed to email:

It is a requirement of submission that you alert us to any related manuscripts with overlapping authorship that are under consideration (including under appeal) or in press at other journals (see our editorial policies on duplicate submissions for details). Copies of these manuscripts should be clearly marked and included as separate files with your submission. Abstracts or other unrefereed preprints do not compromise novelty.

General figure guidelines

Authors are responsible for obtaining permission to publish any figures or illustrations that are protected by copyright, including figures published elsewhere and pictures taken by professional photographers. The journal cannot publish images downloaded from the internet without appropriate permission.

Unnecessary figures should be avoided: data presented in small tables or histograms, for instance, can generally be stated briefly in the text instead. Figures should not contain more than one panel unless the parts are logically connected; each panel of a multipart figure should be sized so that the whole figure can be reduced by the same amount and reproduced at the smallest size at which essential details are visible.

Should your manuscript be accepted, you will receive more extensive instructions for final submission of display items. However, some guidelines for final figure preparation are included below if you wish to minimize later revisions and possible delays.

Figures should be numbered separately with Arabic numerals in the order of occurrence in the text of the manuscript. When appropriate, figures should include error bars. A description of the statistical treatment of error analysis should be included in the figure legend. Please note that schemes are not used; sequences of chemical reactions or experimental procedures should be submitted as figures, with appropriate captions. A limited number of uncaptioned graphics depicting chemical structures—each labelled with their name, by a defined abbreviation, or by the bold Arabic numeral—may be included in a manuscript.

Figure lettering should be in a clear, sans-serif typeface (for example, Helvetica); the same typeface in the same font size should be used for all figures in a paper. Use 'symbols' font for Greek letters. All display items should be on a white background, and should avoid excessive boxing, unnecessary colour, spurious decorative effects (such as three-dimensional 'skyscraper' histograms) and highly pixelated computer drawings. The vertical axis of histograms should not be truncated to exaggerate small differences. Labelling must be of sufficient size and contrast to be readable, even after appropriate reduction. The thinnest lines in the final figure should be no smaller than one point wide. Authors will see a proof that will include figures.

Figures divided into parts should be labelled with a lower-case bold a, b, and so on, in the same type size as used elsewhere in the figure. Lettering in figures should be in lower-case type, with only the first letter of each label capitalized. Units should have a single space between the number and the unit, and follow SI nomenclature (for example, ms rather than msec) or the nomenclature common to a particular field. Thousands should be separated by commas (1,000). Unusual units or abbreviations should be spelled out in full or defined in the legend. Scale bars should be used rather than magnification factors, with the length of the bar defined. In legends, please use verbal explanations such as "open red triangles" rather than visual queues.

Figures for peer review

At the initial submission stage authors should incorporate figures into the main article file, ensuring that any inserted figures are of sufficient quality to be clearly legible. If this is not possible in a combined manuscript file, authors should either submit separate high-resolution figure files or deposit image data in a suitable repository (e.g. figshare) and use their option to provide a private sharing link for the referees to access it.

When submitting a final manuscript for publication, all figures must be uploaded as separate figure files ensuring that the image quality and formatting conforms to the specifications below.

Figures for publication

Each complete figure must be supplied as a separate file upload. Multi-part/panel figures must be prepared and arranged as a single image file (including all sub-parts; a, b, c, etc.). Please do not upload each panel individually.

Please read the digital images integrity and standards section of our editorial policies. When possible, we prefer to use original digital figures to ensure the highest-quality reproduction in the journal. For optimal results, prepare figures to fit A4 page-width. When creating and submitting digital files, please follow the guidelines below. Failure to do so, or to adhere to the following guidelines, can significantly delay publication of your work.

Authors are responsible for obtaining permission to publish any figures or illustrations that are protected by copyright, including figures published elsewhere and pictures taken by professional photographers. The journal cannot publish images downloaded from the internet without appropriate permission.

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Provide images in RGB color and at 300 dpi or higher resolution.
Use the same typeface (Arial or Helvetica) for all figures. Use symbol font for Greek letters.
Use distinct colors with comparable visibility and avoid the use of red and green for contrast. Recoloring primary data, such as fluorescence images, to color-safe combinations such as green and magenta or other accessible color palettes is strongly encouraged. Use of the rainbow color scale should be avoided.
Figures are best prepared at the size you would expect them to appear in print. At this size, the optimum font size is between 8pt.
We prefer vector files with editable layers. Acceptable formats are:
.ai, .eps, .pdf, .ps and .svg for fully editable vector-based art; layered .psd and .tif for editable layered art; .psd, .tif, .png and .jpg for bitmap images; .ppt if fully editable and without styling effects; ChemDraw (.cdx) for chemical structures.
Please refer to the Nature Research Style Guide for Chemical Structures for formatting of chemical structures.
If you would like to submit a suggestion for the featured image on our homepage with the final version of your manuscript, please also include the Image License to Publish form.

Gene nomenclature

Authors should use approved nomenclature for gene symbols, and use symbols rather than italicized full names (for example Ttn, not titin). Please consult the appropriate nomenclature databases for correct gene names and symbols. A useful resource is Entrez Gene, available from NCBI.

Approved human gene symbols are provided by HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee (HGNC), e-mail:; see also Approved mouse symbols are provided by The Jackson Laboratory, e-mail:; see also

For proposed gene names that are not already approved, please submit the gene symbols to the appropriate nomenclature committees as soon as possible, as these must be deposited and approved before publication of an article.

Avoid listing multiple names of genes (or proteins) separated by a slash, as in 'Oct4/Pou5f1', as this is ambiguous (it could mean a ratio, a complex, alternative names or different subunits). Use one name throughout and include any others at first mention: 'Oct4 (also known as Pou5f1)'.

For information about referencing human single-nucleotide variants, see this editorial from Nature Genetics.