Nature Research journals' authorship policy
On this page
- Consortia authorship
- Author contribution statements
- Author identification
- Nature Research journals' editorials
Authorship provides credit for a researcher's contributions to a study and carries accountability. Authors are expected to fulfil the criteria below (adapted from McNutt et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,Feb 2018, 201715374; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1715374115; licensed under CC BY 4.0):
Each author is expected to have made substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data; or the creation of new software used in the work; or have drafted the work or substantively revised it
AND to have approved the submitted version (and any substantially modified version that involves the author's contribution to the study);
AND to have agreed both to be personally accountable for the author's own contributions and to ensure that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work, even ones in which the author was not personally involved, are appropriately investigated, resolved, and the resolution documented in the literature.
Nature Research journals do not require all authors of a research paper to sign the letter of submission, nor do they impose an order on the list of authors. Submission to a Nature Research journal is taken by the journal to mean that all the listed authors have agreed all of the contents, including the author list and author contribution statements. The corresponding author is responsible for having ensured that this agreement has been reached that all authors have agreed to be so listed,and have approved the manuscript submission to the journal, and for managing all communication between the journal and all co-authors, before and after publication. The corresponding author is also responsible for submitting a competing interests' statement on behalf of all authors of the paper; please refer to our competing interests' policy for more information.
It is expected that the corresponding author (and on multi-group collaborations, at least one member of each collaborating group, usually the most senior member of each submitting group or team, who accepts responsibility for the contributions to the manuscript from that team) will be responsible forthe following with respect to data, code and materials: (adapted from McNutt et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Feb 2018, 201715374; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1715374115; licensed under CC BY 4.0):
- ensuring that data, materials, and code comply with transparency and reproducibility standards of the field and journal;
- ensuring that original data/materials/code upon which the submission is based are preserved following best practices in the field so that they are retrievable for reanalysis;
- confirming that data/materials/code presentation accurately reflects the original;
- foreseeing and minimizing obstacles to the sharing of data/materials/code described in the work
- ensuring that all authors (or group leaders in multi-lab collaborations) have certified the author list and author contributions
At submission, the corresponding author must include written permission from the authors of the work concerned for mention of any unpublished material cited in the manuscript (for example others' data, in press manuscripts, personal communications or work in preparation). The corresponding author also must clearly identify at submission any material within the manuscript (such as figures) that has been published previously elsewhere and provide written permission from authors of the prior work and/or publishers, as appropriate, for the re-use of such material.
After acceptance, the corresponding author is responsible for the accuracy of all content in the proof, including the names of coauthors, addresses and affiliations.
After publication, the corresponding author is the point of contact for queries about the published paper. It is their responsibility to inform all co-authors of any matters arising in relation to the published paper and to ensure such matters are dealt with promptly. Authors of published material have a responsibility to inform the journal immediately if they become aware of any aspects that requires correction.
Any changes to the author list after submission, such as a change in the order of the authors or the deletion or addition of authors, must be approved by every author. Nature Research journal editors are not in a position to investigate or adjudicate authorship disputes before or after publication. Such disagreements, if they cannot be resolved amongst authors, should be directed to the relevant institutional authority.
The primary affiliation for each author should be the institution where the majority of their work was done. If an author has subsequently moved, the current address may also be stated. Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
If a consortium is listed as a collective of authors, all members of the consortium are considered authors and must be listed in the published article as such. If not all members of the consortium agree to the responsibilities of authorship, the members that are authors will be listed separately from those who are not. To facilitate submission of manuscripts with large author lists, please consult the journal editor before submission.
Author contribution statements
Nature Research journals encourage transparency by publishing author contribution statements. Authors are required to include a statement of responsibility in the manuscript, including review-type articles, that specifies the contribution of every author. The level of detail varies; some disciplines produce manuscripts that comprise discrete efforts readily articulated in detail, whereas other fields operate as group efforts at all stages. Author contribution statements are included in the published paper. This Nature Editorial describes the policy in more detail.
Nature Research journals also allow one set of up to six co-authors to be specified as having contributed equally to the work or having jointly supervised the work. Other equal contributions are best described in author contribution statements. Corresponding authors have specific responsibilities (described above) and are usually limited to three.
As part of our efforts to improve transparency and unambiguous attribution of scholarly contributions, corresponding authors of published papers must provide their Open Researcher and Contributor Identifier (ORCID) iD; co-authors are encouraged to provide ORCiD iDs. More information about Springer Nature’s support for ORCiD iDs and journals participating in the ORCiD mandate can be found here.
Nature Research journals' editorials:
- Corresponding authors should not neglect their responsibility to a journal or their co-authors. Nature Nanotechnology. A matter of duty, December 2012.
- Why do we need statements to define the contributions made by each author? Nature Photonics. Contributors, guests, and ghosts, June 2012.
- Announcing "author contributions" statements, 2009:
- Individual contributions should be carefully evaluated when compiling the author list of a scientific paper. Nature Materials. Authorship matters, February 2008.
- How the responsibilities of co-authors for a scientific paper's integrity could be made more explicit. Nature. Who is accountable? 1 November 2007.
- The problems of unjustified authorship. Nature Materials. Authorship without authorization, November 2004.
- Nature is encouraging authors of papers to say who did what. Nature. Author contributions, 3 June 1999.