Guide to Authors

The editorial process

For a detailed description of the editorial process used by Nature Ecology & Evolution please see Editorial process.

Initial submission

For details about the initial submission process please see Initial submission. All submissions should be made via our online submission system. For a description of the types of contributions that may be submitted to the journal, along with their length and figure limits, please see Content types.

Peer review

We offer both traditional single-blind and double-blind peer review. Double-blind peer review allows authors to remain anonymous to referees. If you want to participate in double-blind peer review, 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-blind peer review guidelines when preparing a double-blind peer review manuscript. Note that editors do not ensure that the paper is properly anonymized; that is the authors' responsibility.

For further details about the peer review process and information for referees please see For referees.

Post-review

A priority of Nature Ecology & Evolution is that all papers be accessible to non-specialists. Manuscripts are subject to substantial editing to achieve this goal. The editor may perform or request substantial editing before acceptance. Likewise, after acceptance a copy editor will make further changes so that the text and figures are readable and clear to those outside the field, and so that papers conform to our style. Contributors are welcome to discuss proposed changes with the editors and are sent proofs before publication, but Nature Ecology & Evolution 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.

Editorial and publishing policies

Please see authors & referees for detailed information about author and referee services and publication policies at the Nature family of journals. These journals, including Nature Ecology & Evolution, share a number of common policies including the following:

  • Author responsibilities
  • Licence agreement and author copyright
  • Compliance with open access mandates
  • Embargo policy and press releases
  • Use of experimental animals and human subjects
  • Competing financial interests
  • Availability of materials and data
  • Reporting requirements for life sciences articles
  • Digital image integrity and standards
  • Security concerns
  • Refutations, complaints and corrections
  • Duplicate publications
  • Confidentiality and pre-publicity
  • Plagiarism and fabrication

Covers and other artwork

Authors of accepted papers are encouraged to submit images for consideration as a cover image. Cover images are normally linked to a specific paper in that issue, but we may also be able to use other images elsewhere in the journal, such as for the hero image (top of page) on the journal website or on the table of contents. Images are selected for their scientific interest and aesthetic appeal.  Please send electronic files along with a clear and concise legend explaining the image.