Content Types

On this page: Article | Review | Perspective | News & Views | Comment | Correspondence | Matters Arising | Books & Arts | Feature or News Feature


Nature Synthesis publishes original research in one format, Article, which may range from what are typically considered to be short 'communications', through to more in-depth studies. Regardless of the length, an Article is a substantial novel research study of high quality and general interest to the broad synthesis community. The main text (excluding the abstract, Methods, references and figure legends) is limited to 3,000 words. The maximum title length is 15 words. The abstract — which should be 100–150 words long and contain no references — should serve both as a general introduction to the topic and as a brief, non-technical summary of the main results and their implications.

The main text of an Article should begin with an introduction (without heading) of referenced text that expands on the background of the work (some overlap with the abstract is acceptable), followed by sections headed Results, Discussion and Methods. The Results and Methods sections may be divided by topical subheadings; the Discussion section should be succinct and may not contain subheadings. The Methods section in the main text is limited to 800 words; additional experimental procedures and characterization data should be placed in the Supplementary Information. As a guideline, Articles allow up to 50 references. Footnotes are not used.

Depending on the word count, Articles may have up to 6 display items (figures and/or tables). The number of display items should be commensurate with the word length — those with word counts less than 2,000 should have no more than 4 figures/tables. Please note that schemes are not used — these should be presented as figures.

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.


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. Unpublished primary research data are not permitted in Reviews.

Reviews are approximately 6,000 words long and typically include 8 display items (figures, tables or boxes). As a guideline, Reviews can contain up to 100 references; citations should be selective. Footnotes are not used.

Reviews include received/accepted dates. Reviews are always peer-reviewed to ensure factual accuracy, appropriate citations and scholarly balance; they are edited by the journal editors in consultation with the authors.

Reviews are usually commissioned by the editors, so it is advisable to send a pre-submission enquiry including a synopsis before preparing a manuscript for formal submission.


A Perspective is a review of a topic from a personal viewpoint. They 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 may not contain primary research data.

Perspectives are approximately 4,000 words long and begin with a 100–150-word unreferenced abstract written for a general audience. Perspectives typically include 2–4 display items (figures, tables or boxes). As a guideline, Perspectives allow up to 50 references; citations should be selective. Footnotes are not used.

Perspectives include received/accepted dates. Perspectives are always peer-reviewed to ensure factual accuracy, appropriate citations and scholarly balance; they are edited in consultation with the editorial team.

News & Views

News & Views articles inform readers about the latest advances in chemical and materials synthesis research, as reported in recently published papers (in Nature Synthesis or elsewhere) or at scientific meetings. Most News & Views articles are commissioned, but proposals for papers or meetings to be covered in this section can be made to the editorial team. Suggestions must be received in advance of the paper being published or well before the meeting is held.  News & Views are not peer-reviewed, but undergo editing in consultation with the author.


Comment articles can focus on policy, science and society or purely scientific issues relevant to chemical and materials synthesis. Single-author articles are preferred because this is an 'opinion' section of the journal. Comments should be of immediate interest to a broad readership and should be written in an accessible, non-technical style. A single display item can be included but is not a requirement. Comments are typically no longer than 1,500 words and, as a guideline, may have up to 15 references. Article titles are omitted from the reference list. Comments may not contain primary research data, although they may present 'sociological' data; for example, funding trends, demographics and bibliographic data.

Comments may be peer reviewed at the editors’ discretion; they are edited by the journal editors in consultation with the authors.

Comment articles are usually commissioned by the editors, but proposals are welcome.


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 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 relevant and timely scientific comments and clarifications on original research papers published in Nature Synthesis. These comments should ideally be based on knowledge contemporaneous with the original paper, rather than subsequent scientific developments. All Matters Arising are peer-reviewed.

Books & Arts

The Books & Arts section comprises timely reviews of books and other cultural and pedagogical resources of interest to the chemistry or materials science communities. The pieces are limited to one page. Although they are usually commissioned, unsolicited contributions will be considered.

Feature or News Feature

These sections are written or commissioned by the journal editors. They do not contain unsolicited material; however, we are 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.

All of our Features are written with a lively, proactive tone. Stories should be accessible to those with a general interest and background in chemistry or materials science.

For details on how to pitch to Nature Synthesis, contact