Content Types

To submit one of the following content types, please read the formatting details below, then follow the submission guidelines:

  • Article
  • Registered Report
  • Brief Communication
  • Correspondence*
  • Review*
  • Perspective*
  • Comment*
  • Matters Arising – see specialist submission process here.

For more information on these content types, please contact Nature Ecology & Evolution:

  • News and Views*  
  • Book Review*
  • Feature*

*These content types should not include original (previously unpublished) research findings and may only contain minimal new supporting data. As they are non-primary articles they are not eligible for Open Access and can only be published using the subscription-based publishing route.



An Article is a substantial novel research study, with a complex story often involving several techniques or approaches. 


  • Main text – up to 3,500 words, excluding abstract, Methods, references and figure legends.
  • Abstract – up to 200 words, unreferenced. 
  • Display items – up to 6 items (figures and/or tables). 
  • Extended Data – up to 10 items (figures and/or tables, linked from the main text in the html version of the paper).
  • Article should be divided as follows: 
    • Introduction (without heading, up to 500 words of referenced text on the background of the work) 
    • Results (concise, focused account of the findings)
    • Discussion
    • Online Methods. ​
  • Results and Methods should be divided by topical subheadings; the Discussion does not contain subheadings.
  • References – as a guideline, we typically recommend up to 50.
  • Articles include received/accepted dates. 
  • Articles may be accompanied by supplementary information. 
  • Articles are peer reviewed.


Registered Reports

This format is designed to minimize publication bias and research bias in hypothesis-driven research, while also allowing the flexibility to conduct exploratory (unregistered) analyses and report serendipitous findings. 

Registered Reports are peer reviewed in two stages – before (Stage 1) and after (Stage 2) data collection.

Following Stage 1 peer review, manuscripts will either be rejected outright, offered the opportunity to revise, or accepted in principle (AIP).

An AIP decision indicates that the article will be published pending completion of the approved methods and analytic procedures, passing of all pre-specified quality checks, and a defensible interpretation of the results. Stage 1 protocols are not published in the journal following AIP. Instead they are registered by the authors in a recognised repository (either publicly or under embargo until Stage 2) and integrated into a single completed article following approval of the final Stage 2 manuscript. We have created a dedicated space on figshare to host Stage 1 protocols in-principle accepted at Nature Ecology & Evolution and offer to upload the protocol on the authors' behalf.

Detailed guidelines for authors and reviewers can be found here . Please use this template to prepare your Stage 1 submission.

Length and formatting guidelines for Stage 2 manuscripts are the same as for Articles. The Stage 2 manuscript must also contain a link to the registered protocol (deposited following AIP) in a standalone section entitled ‘Protocol Registration’.

Registered Reports are peer reviewed, include received/accepted dates and may be accompanied by supplementary information. Authors must provide competing interests and author contributions statements before publication.


Brief Communication

A Brief Communication reports a concise study of high quality and broad interest. 


  • Brief unreferenced abstract – 3 sentences, up to 100 words.
  • Title – up to 10 words (or 90 characters). 
  • Main text – 1,000-1,500 words, including abstract, references and figure legends, and contains no headings. 
  • Display items – up to 2 items, although this may be flexible at the discretion of the editor, provided the page limit is observed. 
  • Extended Data – up to 10 items (figures and/or tables, linked from the main text in the html version of the paper).
  • Online Methods section should be included.
  • References – as a guideline, we typically recommend up to 20. Article titles are omitted from the reference list.
  • Brief Communications should include received/accepted dates. 
  • Brief Communications may be accompanied by supplementary information. 
  • Brief Communications are peer reviewed.



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. 


  • Correspondence – between 300-800 words.
  • Display items – 1 item.
  • References – 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; these should be submitted as Matters Arising.



A Review is an authoritative, balanced and scholarly survey of recent developments in a research field. The requirement for balance need not prevent authors from proposing a specific viewpoint, but if there are controversies in the field, the authors must treat them in an even-handed way. 

The scope of a Review should be broad enough that it is not dominated by the work of a single laboratory, and particularly not by the authors' own work.


  • Main text – 3,000-4,000 words,
  • 4-6 display items (figures, tables or boxes).
  • No footnotes.
  • References – up to 100 (exceptions are possible in special cases). 
  • Reviews include received/accepted dates. 
  • Reviews are peer reviewed.



A Perspective is a format for scholarly reviews and discussions of the primary research literature that are too technical for a Comment (see below) but do not meet the criteria for a Review—either because the scope is too narrow, or because the author is advocating a controversial position or a speculative hypothesis or discussing work primarily from one group. Two reviews advocating opposite sides in a research controversy are normally published as Perspectives. 


  • Perspectives follow the same formatting guidelines as Reviews.
  • Perspectives include received/accepted dates.
  • Perspectives are peer reviewed.



A Comment is a very flexible format, focusing on the scientific, societal, or policy issues surrounding research. Comment articles should be topical, readable, provocative and introduce new concepts/points of view, providing a personal perspective on a matter of public or scientific importance. The main criteria are that they should be of immediate interest to a broad readership and should be written in an accessible, non-technical style. 


  • Length – varies but typically no longer than 1,500 words.
  • There are no specific structural guidelines.
  • Comments do not normally contain primary research data, although they may present 'sociological' data (funding trends, demographics, bibliographic data, etc.). 
  • References should be used sparingly – up to 15.
  • Article titles are omitted from the reference list.
  • Peer review is at the editors' discretion.


Matters Arising

Matters Arising are exceptionally interesting and timely scientific comments and clarifications on original research papers published in Nature Ecology & Evolution. These comments should ideally be based on contemporary knowledge rather than subsequent scientific developments.

For detailed information on how to submit a Matters Arising, please follow instructions here.


News & Views

News & Views articles inform readers about the latest advances in ecology and evolution research, as reported in recently published papers or at scientific meetings. They may be linked to articles in Nature Ecology & Evolution, or they may focus on papers of exceptional significance that are published elsewhere. Unsolicited contributions will not normally be considered, although prospective authors are welcome to make proposals.

News & Views are not peer reviewed.


Book Review

Book Reviews are by prior arrangement only, although suggestions are welcome. Book reviews are not peer reviewed.



A Feature encompasses both the technical and commercial aspects of any topic relevant to our readership. This format is intended to complement the emerging scientific developments reported in the research section, and also to provide a forum for regulatory and business topics that would otherwise not be covered in the journal. 

Nature Ecology & Evolution welcomes ideas for future topics.


  • Length - up to 3,000 words.
  • Use of tables and figures is strongly encouraged.
  • Written in a journalistic style, accessible to a wide range of non-specialist readers.