Guide to authors

Manuscript submissions

Nature Communications is an open access, multidisciplinary journal dedicated to publishing high-quality research in all areas of the biological, physical, chemical and Earth sciences. Papers published by the journal represent important advances of significance to specialists within each field.

Information about the common editorial policies of Nature journals, including Nature Communications, is available here.

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. 

Editors and contact information

Like other Nature titles, Nature Communications has no external editorial board; editorial decisions are made by a team of full-time professional editors, who are PhD-level scientists. Information about the scientific background of the editors can be found here

For general editorial enquiries, including manuscript submission queries, please contact

Contact details for other enquiries, including advertising and sponsorship opportunities, can be found here.

Relationship to other Nature journals

Nature Communications is editorially independent, and its editors make their own decisions, independently of the other Nature journals. It is for authors alone to decide where to submit their manuscripts. Nature will continue to publish the most significant advances in science and the Nature research journals will publish landmark papers of interest to their specific communities. Nature Communications will publish high-quality papers from all areas of science that represent important advances within specific scientific disciplines but that might not necessarily have the scientific reach of papers published in Nature and the Nature research journals. For papers that could satisfy the scope of more than one Nature journal, the choice of which journal to submit to lies with the authors.

If a paper is rejected from one Nature journal, the authors can use an automated manuscript transfer service to submit the paper to Nature Communications via a link sent to them by the editor handling the manuscript. Authors should note that referees' comments (including any confidential comments to the editor) and identities are transferred to the editor of the second journal along with the manuscript. The journal editors will take the previous reviews into account when making their decision, although in some cases the editors may choose to take advice from additional referees. Alternatively, authors may choose to request a fresh review, in which case they should not use the automated transfer link, and the editors will evaluate the paper without reference to the previous review process.

In cases where manuscripts are declined from Nature Communications, authors may wish to use the same manuscript transfer service to submit their paper to a journal in the Communications seriesScientific Reports or other in-house journals. The Communications journal series complements Nature Communications by publishing significant advances that may be of interest to a more specialized community or that otherwise do not meet the high editorial threshold for broad impact and significance at the Nature-branded journals, including Nature CommunicationsScientific Reports is an open-access journal covering all areas of the natural and clinical sciences and offering rapid publication on; more information can be found here. Please note that manuscripts transferred to Scientific Reports must satisfy the policy requirements outlined here before being assigned to an editor.

For more information, please consult the following:

Editorial and publishing policies

As part of Nature Portfolio, Nature Communications follows common policies as detailed on our editorial policies pages that our authors and prospective authors must follow.

In particular, when you submit a manuscript to Nature Communications its content must not significantly overlap with any other papers from you or your co-authors’ groups that are under consideration or in press at other journals, with the exception of conference abstracts. We do, however, support the posting of preprints.

If you submit a related manuscript to any other journals while the submission to Nature Communications is under consideration, you must send us a copy of the related manuscript and details of its progress towards publication. We reserve the right to decline publication of a paper even after it has been accepted if it becomes apparent that there are serious problems with the scientific content or violations of our publishing policies.