An Article is an in-depth study that represents a major advance of broad interest, often employing several techniques or approaches. The main text (excluding abstract, online Methods, references and figure legends) is up to 4,500 words. The abstract is up to 150 words, unreferenced. Articles can have 5–8 display items (which includes both figures and tables). A short introduction (without heading) of ~500 words of referenced text expands on the background of the work. It is followed by a concise, focused account of the findings in a 'Results' section and typically one or two short paragraphs of discussion (headed 'Discussion'). The Results and Methods sections should be divided by topical subheadings. Clinical and public health research Articles may have longer abstracts to accommodate statistical information and should include a paragraph on limitations in the Discussion section. As a guideline, Articles allow up to 60 references (excluding those cited exclusively in Methods).
A Letter reports an important set of novel research results, but is based on a study that is less substantial in scope than an Article. This format typically begins with an introductory paragraph (rather than an abstract) of approximately 150 words, summarizing the background, rationale, main results and implications. This paragraph should be referenced, as in Nature style, and should be considered part of the main text, so that any subsequent introductory material avoids too much redundancy with the introductory paragraph. The text is limited to approximately 2,500 words, excluding the introductory paragraph, online Methods, references and figure legends. Letters should typically have 3–4 display items (figures and/or tables) although this and the text length may be flexible at the discretion of the editor. Letters are not divided by headings, except for the Methods headings. Clinical and public health research Letters may have longer abstracts to accommodate statistical information and should include a paragraph on limitations in the Discussion section. As a guideline, Letters allow up to 40 references (excluding those cited exclusively in Methods).
A Brief Communication reports a concise, definitive study of high quality and broad interest that may not exceed three printed pages. The format is typically used to present provocative findings that may not be understood in as much detail as a regular Article or Letter but that have a strong potential to stimulate new areas of research so that rapid dissemination would be beneficial to the scientific community. Brief Communications begin with a brief unreferenced abstract (3 sentences, up to 70 words). The main text is typically less than 1,500 words, including abstract, references and figure legends, and contains no headings. Brief Communications typically feature 2–3 main display items (tables/figures) but additional figures and tables can be presented as supplementary information. As a guideline, Brief Communications allow up to 20 references (excluding those cited exclusively in Methods).
A Resource presents a large and newly-generated dataset, a new data platform or library, or a collection of reagents or tools, of broad utility, interest and significance to the community. The manuscript should ideally include some demonstration of novel insights that can be derived from these resources. The main text (excluding abstract, Methods, references and figure legends) is approximately 4,500 words. The abstract is 150 words, unreferenced. Resources have no more than 5–8 display items (figures and/or tables). An introduction (without heading) is followed by sections headed Results, Discussion and Online Methods. The Results and Methods should be divided by topical subheadings; the Discussion does not contain subheadings. As a guideline, Resources typically allow up to 60 references (excluding those cited exclusively in the Methods).
A Technical Report presents primary research data on a new technique, reagent or disease model that is likely to be influential, facilitates new research and/or represents a substantial advance or improvement over existing technologies. This format is not a review of technology, but its primary report in the literature. It may feature a new biological discovery to prove the utility of the technique or reagent, but this is not necessarily a requirement. Technical Reports have a format broadly similar to that of Articles with up to 4,500 words for the main text. They begin with an unreferenced abstract (up to 150 words) followed by separate sections for Introduction, Results, Discussion (with optional subheadings) and Methods. Up to 8 display items are allowed. As a guideline, Technical Reports allow up to 50 references (excluding those cited exclusively in Methods).
An Analysis is a new analysis of existing data or new data obtained in a comparative analysis of technologies that leads to novel and arresting conclusions of importance to a broad audience. Systematic reviews or meta-analyses of primary research literature in the public health and biomedical fields, or in the social sciences, can also be accommodated by this format. The main text (excluding abstract, Methods, references and figure legends) is approximately 4,000 words. The abstract is typically 100–150 words, unreferenced. Analyses usually have no more than 6 display items (figures and/or tables). An introduction (without heading) is followed by sections headed Results, Discussion and Methods. The Results and Methods should be divided by topical subheadings; the Discussion does not contain subheadings. As a guideline, Analyses allow up to 50 references (excluding those cited exclusively in Methods).
All primary research articles include received/accepted dates. They may be accompanied by supplementary information. All are peer-reviewed and authors must provide a competing interests statement before publication.
Additional formatting guidelines and guidance on how to prepare your primary research submission can be found here.
Reviews, news and opinion articles
A Review is an authoritative, balanced survey of recent developments in a research field. Although Reviews should be recognized as scholarly by specialists in the field, they should be written with a view to informing non-specialist readers. Reviews should therefore be written using simple prose, avoiding excessive jargon and technical detail. The scope of a Review should be broad enough that it is not dominated by the work of a single research institution, and particularly not by the authors' own work.
Reviews are approximately 5,000 words long and typically include 4–6 display items (figures, tables or boxes). Boxes can be used to provide definitions, explain key concepts or theories, address technical issues or present important knowledge that does not easily fit into the narrative of the piece. As a guideline, Reviews can contain up to 150 references; citations should be selective. Footnotes are not used.
A Perspective is a review of a topic from a personal viewpoint. Perspectives may be more forward-looking and/or speculative than Reviews and typically have a narrower scope. Despite being opinionated, they should be balanced; they are intended to stimulate discussion and new approaches. Perspectives should not be dominated by the work of a single research institution, and particularly not by the authors' own work.
Perspectives are approximately 4,000 words long and typically include 2–4 display items (figures, tables or boxes). As a guideline, Perspectives can contain up to 100 references; citations should be selective. Footnotes are not used.
News & Views
News & Views usually discuss recent results from papers published in Nature Aging but can also cover work published elsewhere; they provide context and analysis. News & Views articles are no more than 1,500 words long, feature one display item and may contain a maximum of 15 references. News & Views articles are not peer-reviewed but undergo substantial editing in consultation with their author.
Comments are short opinion articles that can focus on policy, science and society or purely scientific issues relevant to the communities working on aging, longevity or age-related diseases. Comment articles should be of high and immediate interest to a broad readership and should be written in an accessible, non-technical style. A single display item is strongly encouraged. Comments are typically no longer than 1,500 words and may have up to 15 references. Article titles are omitted from the reference list. Comments may be peer-reviewed at the editor’s discretion.
The Correspondence section provides a forum for short remarks, views and ideas on issues relevant to the journal’s community. This format may not be used for presentation of research data or analysis. A Correspondence should not exceed more than two printed pages and typically ranges from 300–800 words; it is limited to one display item and up to 10 references. Article titles are omitted from the reference list. Correspondence may be peer-reviewed at the editors’ discretion. Note that Correspondence pieces are not technical comments on peer-reviewed research papers, which would be considered Matters Arising.
Matters Arising are exceptionally interesting and timely scientific comments and clarifications on original research papers published in Nature Aging. These comments should ideally be based on knowledge contemporaneous with the original paper, rather than subsequent scientific developments. All Matters Arising are peer-reviewed.