Nature Astronomy is flexible with regard to the format of initial submissions so more details will not be required to prepare manuscripts for submission. Please use our online submission system to submit your work.
Primary research formats
A Letter reports an important and novel research study. The text is limited to 2,000 words, including the introductory paragraph, but excluding Methods, references and figure legends. Letters should have no more than four display items (figures and/or tables). As a guideline, Letters allow up to 30 references (excluding those cited exclusively in Methods). This format begins with a title of, at most, 90 characters (including spaces), followed by an introductory paragraph (not an abstract) of approximately 200 words, summarizing the background, rationale, main results (introduced by "Here we show" or some equivalent phrase) and implications of the study. This paragraph should be fully referenced and should be considered part of the main text, so that any subsequent introductory material avoids too much redundancy with the introductory paragraph. Letters are not divided by headings, except for the online Methods heading.
Letters include received/accepted dates and may be accompanied by Supplementary Information. Letters are peer reviewed.
An Article is a substantial novel research study of high quality and general interest to the astronomy community. Articles often draw on several techniques or approaches. The main text (excluding the abstract, Methods section, references and figure legends) is limited to 3,000—3,500 words. Articles can have 6-8 display items (figures and/or tables). As a guideline, Articles allow up to 50 references (excluding those cited exclusively in Methods). The maximum title length is 90 characters (including spaces). The abstract is no more than 150 words and is unreferenced. An introduction (without heading) of up to 500 words of referenced text expands on the background to the work (some overlap with the summary is acceptable), and is followed by a concise, focused account of the findings (headed 'Results'), and one or two short paragraphs of discussion (headed 'Discussion').
Articles include received/accepted dates and may be accompanied by supplementary information. Articles are peer reviewed.
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. Thus, Reviews should be presented using straightforward prose, avoiding excessive jargon and technical detail. Reviews are approximately 4,000 words long and typically include 4-6 display items (figures, tables or boxes). As a guideline, Reviews allow up to 100 references; citations should be selective. Footnotes are not used. 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 include received/accepted dates. Reviews are always peer reviewed to ensure factual accuracy, appropriate citations and scholarly balance.
Review articles are commissioned by the editors, but proposals including a short synopsis are welcome.
A Perspective is intended to provide a forum for authors to discuss models and ideas from a personal viewpoint. They are more forward looking and/or speculative than Review articles and may take a narrower field of view. They may be opinionated but should remain balanced and are intended to stimulate discussion and new experimental approaches. Perspectives follow the same formatting guidelines as Reviews. As with Review articles, many Perspectives are invited by the editors, so it is advisable to send a pre-submission enquiry including a synopsis before preparing a manuscript for formal submission.
Perspectives include received/accepted dates. Perspectives are always peer reviewed and edited by the editors in consultation with the author.
News & Views
News & Views articles inform readers about the latest advances in astronomy, as reported in recently published papers (in Nature Astronomy or elsewhere) or at scientific meetings. Unsolicited contributions will not normally be considered, although prospective authors are welcome to make proposals. News & Views articles are not peer reviewed, but undergo editing in consultation with the author.
The Correspondence section provides a forum for comment 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 can range 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 Astronomy. These comments should ideally be based on knowledge contemporaneous with the original paper, rather than subsequent scientific developments.
For detailed information on how to submit a Matters Arising, please follow instructions here.
Comment articles can focus on policy, science and society or purely scientific issues related to astronomy. Single-author articles are preferred as this is an 'opinion' section of the journal. Comments are usually commissioned by the editors, but proposals are welcome. They should be of immediate interest to a broad readership and should be written in an accessible, non-technical style. Figures and diagrams are encouraged, but are not a requirement. Comments are typically no longer than 1,500 words and, as guideline, allow up to 10 references. Article titles are omitted from the reference list.
Comments may be peer-reviewed at the editors' discretion.
Books & Arts
The Books & Arts section comprises timely reviews of books and other cultural and pedagogical resources of interest to the astronomy community. They are usually commissioned, though unsolicited contributions will be considered.