Content Types

On this page: Letter | Article | Review | Perspective | News & Views | Correspondence | Matters Arising | Commentary | Books & Arts


A Letter reports an important novel research study, but is less substantial than an Article. Letters typically occupy four printed journal pages. The text is limited to 2000 words, excluding the introductory paragraph, Methods, references and figure legends. Letters should have no more than 3–5 display items (figures and/or tables). As a guideline, Letters allow up to 30 references.

This format begins with a title of, at most, 15 words, followed by an introductory paragraph (not abstract) of approximately 150 words, summarizing the background, rationale, main results (introduced by "Here we show" or some equivalent phrase) and implications of the study. This paragraph should be referenced, as in Nature style, and should be considered part of the main text, so that any subsequent introductory material avoids too much redundancy with the introductory paragraph.

Letters include received/accepted dates and may be accompanied by supplementary information. Letters are peer reviewed.


An Article is a substantial novel research study that often involves several techniques or approaches. The main text (excluding abstract, Methods, references and figure legends) is 2,000–3,000 words. Articles have 4–6 display items (figures and/or tables). As a guideline, Articles allow up to 50 references.

The maximum title length is 15 words. The abstract is typically 150 words and is unreferenced; it contains a brief account of the background and rationale of the work, followed by a statement of the main conclusions introduced by the phrase "Here we show" or some equivalent. An introduction (without heading) of up to 500 words of referenced text expands on the background of the work (some overlap with the summary is acceptable), followed by a concise, focused account of the findings, ending with one or two short paragraphs of discussion.

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


A Review is an authoritative, balanced 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 nonspecialist readers. Thus, reviews should be presented using simple prose, avoiding excessive jargon and technical detail. Reviews are approximately 3,000–5,000 words and typically include 4–6 display items (figures, tables or boxes). As a guideline, Reviews allow up to 100 references, citations should be selective. Footnotes are not used. 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.


When the discussion is focused on a developing field that might not yet be mature enough for review, a Perspective article is more appropriate. Perspective articles are up to 3,000 words in length, with up to 4 display items (figures, tables or boxes). References are limited to 50.

Reviews and Perspective articles are commissioned by the editors, but proposals including a short synopsis are welcome.

Reviews and Perspective articles are always peer-reviewed to ensure factual accuracy, appropriate citations and scholarly balance. They do not include received/accepted dates.

News and Views

News and Views articles inform readers about the latest advances in nanotechnology, as reported in recently published papers (in Nature Nanotechnology or elsewhere) or at scientific meetings. Most articles are commissioned, but proposals can be made to the Editor in advance of publication of the paper or well before the meeting is held. News and Views articles are not peer-reviewed, but undergo editing in consultation with the author.


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 Nanotechnology. 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.


Commentary articles focus on policy, science and society or purely scientific issues related to nanotechnology. Single-author articles are preferred as this is an 'opinion' section of the journal. Commentaries are usually commissioned by the editors, but proposals are welcome. They should be of immediate interest to a broad readership and should be written in an accessible, non-technical style. Figures and diagrams are encouraged, but are not a requirement. Commentaries are typically no longer than 1,500 words and include up to 25 references. Article titles are omitted from the reference list.

Commentaries may be peer-reviewed at the editors' discretion.

Books and Arts

The Books and Arts section publishes timely reviews of books and other technological or cultural resources of interest to scientists and engineers working in the field of nanotechnology. These pieces are generally limited to one page in the journal. Reviews and articles in this section are commissioned, and unsolicited contributions are not accepted, though suggestions for appropriate books are welcome.