Content Types

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

Article

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. The abstract is 150 words maximum, and is unreferenced. Articles have 4–6 display items (figures and/or tables). An introduction (of up to 500 words) is followed by sections headed Results, Discussion, and Methods. The Results and Methods should be divided by topical subheadings; the Discussion does not contain subheadings. As a guideline, Articles allow up to 50 references.

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

Letter

A Letter reports an important novel research result, but is less substantial than an Article. Letters typically occupy four printed journal pages. This format begins with an introductory paragraph (not abstract) of 150 words maximum, summarizing the background, rationale, main results and implications. 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 repetition of the introductory paragraph. The text is limited to 1500 words, excluding the introductory paragraph, Methods, references and figure legends. As a guideline, Letters allow up to 30 references. Letters should have no more than 3–5 display items (figures and/or tables). Letters are not divided by headings, except for the Methods section. Letters include received/accepted dates and may be accompanied by supplementary information. Letters are peer reviewed.

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. 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 Photonics. 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 are by prior arrangement only, although prospective authors are welcome to make proposals. They may be linked to articles in Nature Photonics or they may focus on papers of exceptional significance that are published elsewhere. News and Views are not peer-reviewed.

Books & Arts

The Books & Arts section features short summaries of new books deemed of interest to scientists and engineers working in photonics and related fields. if you wish for a book to be considered for inclusion in this section, please contact us by email, naturephoton@nature.com.

Review

A Review article 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 begin with an unreferenced abstract of no more than 120 words. They are normally 4,000–5,000 words long, and typically include 4–6 display items (figures, tables or boxes); illustrations are strongly encouraged. As a guideline, Reviews allow up to 100 references, with exceptions possible in special cases. Citations should be selective. 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 articles are always peer-reviewed to ensure factual accuracy, appropriate citations and scholarly balance. They include received/accepted dates.

Progress

Progress articles are commissioned to cover developing fields that might not yet be mature enough for a review article. Progress articles begin with an unreferenced abstract of no more than 120 words. They are shorter than Reviews, being up to 3,500 words in length, with up to five display items (figures, tables or boxes). As a guideline, Progress articles allow up to 80 references.

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

Commentary

Commentary is a very flexible format; Commentaries may be on policy, science and society or purely scientific issues. 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. Their length is typically 1–3 pages, although some may be longer. 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.). References are limited to 25, and article titles are omitted from the reference list.

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