Nature Communications publishes original research in one format, Articles, which may range in length from short communications through to more in-depth studies. Regardless of the length, an Article is a novel and important research study of high quality and of interest to that specific research community. Please see our brief guide to manuscript submission in PDF format for an overview of key information on submitting primary research for publication in Nature Communications.

As we are committed to making prompt and informed decisions about publication, we do not consider pre-submission enquiries. Instead, we prefer to make decisions with all relevant material at hand, and therefore encourage you to submit your full manuscript to us.

The main text (not including abstract, Methods, References and figure legends) is limited to 5,000 words. The maximum title length is 15 words. The abstract — which should be no more than 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 a section headed Introduction of referenced text that expands on the background of the work (some overlap with the abstract is acceptable), followed by sections headed Results, Discussion (if appropriate) and Methods (if appropriate). The Results and Methods sections should be divided by topical subheadings; the Discussion should be succinct and may not contain subheadings. Methods are typically less than 3000 words. Figure legends are limited to 350 words each. As a guide, references should not exceed 70. Footnotes are not used.

Depending on the word count, Articles may have up to 10 display items (figures and/or tables). In addition, a limited number of uncaptioned molecular structure graphics and numbered mathematical equations may be included if necessary. To enable typesetting of papers, 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 are peer-reviewed and include received/accepted dates. Authors must provide competing interests and author contributions statements before publication.