Content Types

To submit one of the following content types, please read the formatting details below, then follow the submission guidelines:

  • Article
  • Correspondence*
  • Review*
  • Perspective*
  • Comment*
  • Consensus Statement*
  • Matters Arising – see specialist submission process here.

For more information on these content types, please contact Nature Photonics:

  • News & Views* 
  • Obituary

*These content types should not include original (previously unpublished) research findings and may only contain minimal new supporting data. As they are non-primary articles they are not eligible for Open Access and can only be published using the subscription-based publishing route.



An Article is a substantial novel research study, with a complex story often involving several techniques or approaches. 


  • Main text – up to 3,000 words, excluding abstract, Methods, references and figure legends.
  • Abstract – up to 200 words, unreferenced. 
  • Display items – up to 6 items (figures and/or tables). 
  • Article should be divided as follows: 
    • Introduction (without heading) 
    • Results
    • Discussion
    • Online Methods. ​
  • Results and Methods should be divided by topical subheadings; the Discussion does not contain subheadings.
  • References – as a guideline, we typically recommend up to 50.
  • Articles include received/accepted dates. 
  • Articles may be accompanied by supplementary information. 
  • Articles 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. 


  • Correspondence – between 300-800 words.
  • Display items – 1 item.
  • References – 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; these should be submitted as Matters Arising.



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. 

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.


  • Main text – 3,000-4,000 words.
  • Illustrations are strongly encouraged.
  • References – up to 100 (exceptions are possible in special cases). 
  • Citations – these 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.
  • Reviews include received/accepted dates. 

Reviews are peer reviewed.



A Perspective is a format for scholarly reviews and discussions of the primary research literature that are too technical for a Comment but do not meet the criteria for a 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 group. Two reviews advocating opposite sides in a research controversy are normally published as Perspectives. 

The related format Historical Perspective is a more technical account of a particular scientific development. Like other Perspectives, and in contrast to Historical Comment, Historical Perspectives are scholarly reviews, including citation of key references, aiming to present a balanced account of the historical events, not merely personal opinions or reminiscences.


  • Length – up to 3,000 words. 
  • References – up to 50.
  • Perspectives include received/accepted dates.
  • Perspectives are peer reviewed.



A Comment is a very flexible format, focusing on the scientific, commercial, ethical, legal, societal, or political issues surrounding research. Comment articles should be topical, readable, provocative and introduce new concepts/points of view, providing a personal perspective on a matter of public or scientific importance. 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. 

The related format ‘Historical Comment’ is a journalistic treatment of the history of a particular discovery or technical development. These pieces may be a personal account by one of the participants or may present strong personal opinions. This format does not necessarily seek scholarly balance, and it should be journalistic and accessible rather than scholarly in style.


  • Length – varies but typically 1-3 pages.
  • There are no specific structural guidelines.
  • Comments do not normally contain primary research data, although they may present 'sociological' data (funding trends, demographics, bibliographic data, etc.).
  • References should be used sparingly – up to 15.
  • Article titles are omitted from the reference list.
  • Peer review is at the editors' discretion.


Consensus Statements 

Consensus Statements provide a comprehensive analysis by a panel of experts of a scientific issue. The ideal Consensus Statement should synthesize a new set of procedures, recommendations or standards that the community will find useful and that will ideally stimulate further research, discussion or debate.


  • Length – up to 6,000 words (excluding abstract, online methods, references and figure legends).
  • Abstract – 100-150 words, unreferenced. 
  • Display items – up to 8 items (figures and/or tables).
  • Consensus Statements should be divided as follows:
    • Introduction (without heading) 
    • Main text
    • Discussion/Conclusions 
    • Methods
  • Main text and Methods should be divided by topical subheadings; the Discussion does not contain subheadings.
  • References – as a guideline, we typically recommend up to 100.
  • Consensus Statements include received/accepted dates.
  • Consensus Statements may be accompanied by supplementary information .
  • Consensus Statements are peer reviewed. 


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 contemporary knowledge rather than subsequent scientific developments.

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


News & Views

News & Views articles inform readers about the latest advances in photonics, as reported in recently published papers or at scientific meetings. They may be linked to articles in Nature Photonics, or they may focus on papers of exceptional significance that are published elsewhere. Unsolicited contributions will not normally be considered, although prospective authors are welcome to make proposals.

News & Views are not peer reviewed.



  • Commissioned articles celebrating the achievements and life of important figures in science. 
  • Length: typically 1-2pp, 1000-1600w.
  • Figures: 1-2.
  • References limited to < 10.
  • Not peer reviewed.