Content Types

Nature Water will publish the following articles:

  • Article
  • Analysis 
  • Correspondence*
  • Review*
  • Perspective*
  • Comment*
  • Matters Arising – see specialist submission process here (link).
  • News & Views*
  • Policy Brief*
  • Feature*
  • Q&A*
  • World view

For more information on these content types, please contact Nature Water.

*These content types should not include original (previously unpublished) research findings and may only contain minimal new supporting data.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.

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Article

Nature Water 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 should report a substantial advance in fundamental understanding, technological capability or societal implication of water-related research.

Articles are peer-reviewed and include received/accepted dates.

Format

  • Length – up to 3,000 words, excluding abstract, Methods, references and figure legends.
  • Abstract – up to 150 words, unreferenced. 
  • Display items – up to 8 items (figures and/or tables). 
  • Article should be divided as follows: 
    • Introduction (without heading) 
    • Main text
    • Discussion/Conclusions
    • Methods. ​
  • Main text and Methods should be divided by topical subheadings; the Discussion/Conclusions 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.

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Analysis

An Analysis is a new analysis of existing data, describes new data obtained in a comparative analysis or introduces a new simulation or model that leads to novel and arresting conclusions of importance to a broad audience. Systematic reviews or meta-analyses of primary research literature can also be accommodated by this format.

Format

  • Length – up to 4,000 words (excluding abstract, online Methods, references and figure legends)
  • Abstract – 100-150 words, unreferenced. 
  • Display items – up to 8 items (figures and/or tables). 
  • Analyses should be divided as follows: 
    • Introduction (without heading) 
    • Main text
    • Discussion/Conclusions
    • Methods. ​
  • Main text and Methods should be divided by topical subheadings; the Discussion does not contain subheadings. 
  • References – as a guideline, we typically recommend up to 50.
  • Analyses include received/accepted dates. 
  • Analyses may be accompanied by supplementary information. 
  • Analyses are peer reviewed.

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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. 

Format

  • 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.

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Review

A Review is an authoritative, balanced and scholarly 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 include received/accepted dates. Reviews are 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.

Format

  • Abstract – up to 150 words, unreferenced.
  • Main text – up to 6,000 words (excluding abstract, references, figure/table captions and boxes).
  • Display items – up to 8 (either figures, tables or boxes).
  • References – up to 120.

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Perspective

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 peer-reviewed to ensure factual accuracy, appropriate citations and scholarly balance; they are edited in consultation with the editorial team.

Format

  • Abstract – up to 150 words, unreferenced.
  • Main text – up to 4,000 words (excluding abstract, references, figure/table captions and boxes). 
  • Display items – up to 5 (either figures, tables or boxes)
  • References - up to 100.

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Comment

A Comment is a flexible format, focusing on the scientific, commercial, ethical, legal, societal, or political issues surrounding research, or on other matters of policy, science and society related to water. 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. 

Format

  • Length – up to 2,000 words.
  • There are no specific structural guidelines.
  • Commentaries do not normally contain primary research data, although they may present 'sociological' data (funding trends, demographics, bibliographic data, etc.). 
  • References should be used sparingly, usually between 10-25.
  • Article titles are omitted from the reference list.
  • Peer review is at the editors' discretion.

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Matters Arising

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

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News & Views

News & Views articles inform readers about the latest advances, as reported in recently published papers (in Nature Water 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 shortly thereafter) to ensure our coverage is as timely as possible.

News & Views articles are not peer reviewed.

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Policy Brief

Policy Briefs are arranged by invitation only. They provide a summary of the policy implications of a paper published in Nature Water for a policy audience.

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Feature

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 Water welcomes ideas for topics and proposals can be sent by email.

Format

  • 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. 

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News Feature

News Features are commissioned by the editors and cover a wide range of topics, including scientific, commercial, ethical, legal, societal, or political issues surrounding research on water resources and relationship between water and society.

Nature Water welcomes ideas for future topics. Writers interested in pitching News Features should contact the Chief Editor directly by email.

Format

  • 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. 

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Q&A

Q&A pieces are interviews with individuals on topics that will be of interest to the wider community. The vast majority of Q&A articles are commissioned, but proposals can be made to the editorial team.

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World View

World view articles draw on personal experience or expertise to make a call for action to improve science, address injustice, reduce misery, or fulfil some other societal goal.