Content Types

On this page: Article | Technical Report | Brief Communication | Resource | Correspondence | Matters Arising | News and Views | Review | Commentary | Perspective


An Article is a novel and in-depth study that presents a major advance of broad interest, often employing several techniques or approaches. The main text (excluding abstract, online Methods, references and figure legends) is up to 4,500 words. The abstract is up to 150 words, unreferenced. Articles have no more than 8 display items (which includes both figures and tables). An Introduction is followed by Results, Discussion and Online Methods. The Results and Online Methods should be divided by topical subheadings; the Discussion may contain subheadings at the editors' discretion. Articles allow up to 50 references (excluding Methods-only references).

Articles include received/accepted dates. They may be accompanied by supplementary information. Articles are peer reviewed.

Technical Report

A Technical Report presents primary research data on a new technique that is likely to be influential, facilitates new research and represents a substantial advance or improvement over existing technologies. This format is not a review of technology, but its primary report in the literature. It may involve a new biological discovery to prove the usefulness of the technique, but this is not a requirement. Technical Reports have a format broadly similar to that of Articles. They begin with an unreferenced abstract (typically 150 words) followed by separate sections for Introduction, Results, Discussion (with optional subheadings) and online Methods. Up to 8 display items are allowed. As a guideline, Technical Reports allow up to 50 references.

Technical Reports include received/accepted dates. They may be accompanied by supplementary information. Technical Reports are peer reviewed.

Brief Communication

A Brief Communication is a format intended to concisely report provocative findings. While the depth of the analyses may not be as extensive as that of a full Article, the findings must be robust, of high quality, and of broad interest. Brief Communications begin with a brief unreferenced abstract (up to 70 words). The main text is typically 1,000-1,500 words, includes an abstract, references and figure legends, and contains no headings. Brief Communications normally have no more than 3 display items, although this may be flexible at the discretion of the editor, provided the page limit is observed. Brief Communications include an online Methods section. As a guideline, Brief Communications allow up to 20 references, which include titles and should be formatted as outlined here.

Brief Communications include received/accepted dates. They may be accompanied by supplementary information. Brief Communications are peer reviewed.


A Resource presents a large data set of broad utility, interest, and significance to the community. The manuscript should ideally include some demonstration of novel biological insights that can be derived from these data. The main text (excluding Abstract, Online Methods, References and Figure Legends) is approximately 4,500 words. The Abstract is typically 150 words, unreferenced. Resources have no more than 8 display items (including figures and tables). An Introduction (without heading) is followed by sections headed Results, Discussion and Online Methods. The Results and Online Methods should be divided by topical subheadings; the Discussion does not contain subheadings. As a guideline, Resources allow up to 50 references.

Resources include received/accepted dates. They may be accompanied by supplementary information. Resources are peer reviewed.


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. 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 exceptionally interesting and timely scientific comments and clarifications on original research papers published in Nature Neuroscience. These comments should ideally be based on knowledge contemporaneous with the original paper, rather than subsequent scientific developments.

For detailed information on how to submit a Matters Arising, please follow instructions here.

News and Views

News and Views articles inform readers about the latest advances in neuroscience, as reported in recently published papers (in Nature Neuroscience or elsewhere). Unsolicited contributions will not normally be considered, although prospective authors are welcome to make proposals. News and Views articles are not peer-reviewed, but undergo editing in consultation with the author.


A Review is an authoritative, balanced and scholarly survey of recent developments in a research field. The requirement for balance need not prevent authors from proposing a specific viewpoint, but if there are controversies in the field, the authors must treat them in an even-handed way. Reviews are normally 4,000-5,000 words, and illustrations (maximum of 8 display items, including Figures, Tables and Boxes) are strongly encouraged. As a guideline, Reviews allow up to 150 references, with exceptions possible in special cases. Citations should be selective and, in the case of particularly important studies (≤ 10% of all the references), we encourage authors to provide short annotations explaining why these are key contributions. The scope of a Review should be broad enough that it is not dominated by the work of a single laboratory, and particularly not by the authors' own work.

Reviews include received/accepted dates. Reviews are always peer reviewed to ensure factual accuracy, appropriate citations and scholarly balance.


Commentary is a very flexible format; Commentaries may be on purely scientific issues, policy, or science and society. The main criteria are that they should be of immediate interest to a broad readership. Because the content is variable, the format is also flexible. Commentaries do not normally contain primary research data, although they may present 'sociological' data (funding trends, demographics, bibliographic data, etc.).

The related format Historical Commentary is a comprehensive history of a particular discovery or technical development.

Commentaries may be peer reviewed at the editors' discretion.


Perspective is a format for scholarly reviews and discussions of the primary research literature that does not meet the criteria for a comprehensive Review—either because the scope is too narrow, or because the author is advocating a controversial position or a speculative hypothesis or discussing work primarily from one position. The text should not normally exceed 4,000 words. As a guideline, Perspectives allow up to 100 references and 8 display items.

Two pieces advocating opposite sides in a research controversy are normally published as Perspectives.

Perspectives include received/accepted dates and are always peer reviewed.