Content Types

Nature Cancer publishes a range of content types including original research articles, and News & Views, Reviews, Perspectives, Comments, Features and Correspondence that elaborate on significant advances and topical issues in the field. The journal considers clinical work under all content types. More information on relevant policies can be found in the dedicated clinical research page.  

 

 

Primary research formats

 

Article

An Article is a substantial novel research study of high quality and general interest to the broad cancer community, often drawing on several techniques or approaches. The main text (including the abstract, but excluding the Methods section, references and figure legends) is approximately 4,000 words. Articles can have 5-8 display items (figures and/or tables). As a guideline, Articles typically have up to 60 references (excluding those cited only in Methods). The maximum title length is 150 characters including spaces. The abstract is typically 150 words and is unreferenced; it contains a brief account of the background and rationale of the work, followed by a statement of the main conclusions introduced by the phrase 'Here we show' or some equivalent. An introduction (without heading) of ~500 words of referenced text expands on the background of the work, and is followed by a concise, focused account of the findings (headed 'Results') and one or two short paragraphs of discussion (headed 'Discussion'). The Results and Methods should be divided by topical subheadings.

Articles include received/accepted dates and may be accompanied by supplementary information. Articles are peer reviewed, and authors must provide a competing interests statement before publication.

 

Resource

A Resource presents a large dataset (such as a comprehensive list of proteins in an organelle or tissue, a genome-wide antibody library, coordinated analysis of cells or reagents by several different laboratories) of broad utility, interest and significance to the community. The main text (excluding abstract, Methods, references and figure legends) is approximately 4,000 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 Methods. The Results and Methods should be divided by topical subheadings; the Discussion does not contain subheadings. As a guideline, Resources typically are allowed to include up to 60 references (excluding those cited exclusively in the Methods).

Resources include received/accepted dates and may be accompanied by supplementary information. Resources are peer reviewed, and authors must provide a competing interests statement before publication.

 

Technical Report

A Technical Report presents primary research data on a new technique that is likely to be influential. This format is not a review of technology, but rather its primary report in the literature. It may involve a new biological discovery to prove the usefulness of the technique, but this is not a requirement. Technical Reports have a format broadly similar to that of Articles, though many Technical Reports are shorter than a typical Article. They begin with an unreferenced abstract (typically 150 words) followed by separate sections for Introduction, Results, Discussion and Methods. Up to 5-8 display items (including figures and tables) are allowed. As a guideline, Technical Reports allow up to 60 references.

Technical Reports include received/accepted dates and may be accompanied by supplementary information. Technical Reports are peer reviewed, and authors must provide a competing interests statement before publication.

 

Analysis

An Analysis is a new analysis of existing data (typically large genomic, transcriptomic or proteomic datasets from arrays or other high-throughput platforms) or new data obtained in a comparative analysis of technologies that lead to novel and arresting conclusions of importance to a broad audience. The main text (excluding abstract, Methods, references and figure legends) is approximately 4,000 words. The abstract is typically 150 words, unreferenced. Analyses have 5-8 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 60 references.

Analyses include received/accepted dates and may be accompanied by supplementary information. Analyses are peer reviewed, and authors must provide a competing interests statement before publication.

 

Brief Communication

A Brief Communication reports a concise study of high quality and broad interest. Brief Communications begin with a brief, unreferenced abstract (~3 sentences; no more than 70 words), which will appear on abstracting services. The main text is typically 1,000–1,500 words, including abstract, references and figure legends, and contains no headings. Brief Communications normally have no more than 2 display items, although this may be flexible at the discretion of the editor, provided the page limit is observed. Brief Communications include a Methods section, which should not exceed 1,000 words. As a guideline, Brief Communications allow up to 20 references.

Brief Communications include received/accepted dates and may be accompanied by supplementary information. Brief Communications are peer reviewed, and authors must provide a competing interests statement before publication.

 

Other formats

Review

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 in simple prose, avoiding excessive jargon and technical detail. Reviews are approximately 3,500–6,000 words long and typically include 4–6 display items (figures, tables and boxes). As a guideline, Reviews allow up to 150 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 are typically invited by the editors, so it is advisable to send a pre-submission enquiry including a synopsis before preparing a manuscript for formal submission. Systematic Reviews must follow PRISMA guidelines.

Reviews include received/accepted dates. Reviews are always peer reviewed to ensure factual accuracy, appropriate citations and scholarly balance. Review authors must provide a competing interests statement before publication.

 

Perspective

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 Reviews 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 similar formatting guidelines as Reviews, with the text normally not exceeding 3,000–3,500 words, 2–4 display items (figures, tables and boxes) and up to 100 references. As with Reviews, 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. Perspective authors must provide a competing interests statement before publication.

 

News & Views

News & Views articles inform readers about the latest advances in cancer research as reported in recently published papers (in Nature Cancer or elsewhere) or at scientific meetings. Unsolicited contributions will not normally be considered, although prospective authors are welcome to make proposals.

News & Views are not peer reviewed, but they are edited in consultation with the author. News & Views authors must provide a competing interests statement before publication.

 

Correspondence

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

Matters Arising are exceptionally interesting and timely scientific comments on and clarifications of original research papers published in Nature Cancer. 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

Comment articles can focus on policy, science and society, or purely scientific issues related to cancer research. 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 a guideline, allow up to 15 references. Article titles are omitted from the reference list.

Comments may be peer reviewed at the editors' discretion. Comment authors must provide a competing interests statement before publication.

 

Features and News Features

These sections are written or commissioned by the journal editors. They do not contain unsolicited material. We are, however, keen to accept freelance pitches of exclusive stories, particularly conference coverage from locations where we do not have staff, or reports from interesting field work. For details on how to pitch to Nature Cancer, contact the editor at cancer@nature.com.

All of our Features are written with a lively, proactive tone, using language that is clear even to readers for whom English is not their native tongue. Stories should be accessible to those with a general interest and background in science.

Feature/News Feature authors must provide a competing interests statement before publication.