About the Journal

Nature Protocols publishes secondary research articles - predominantly Protocols (including Protocol Updates and Protocol Extensions), but also techniques-related Reviews, Perspectives, Correspondences, Matters Arising, Commentaries, and Consensus Statements - all of which are based on published primary research papers. We cover new techniques and technologies, as well as established methods, used in all fields of the biological, chemical and clinical sciences (see aims and scope for more info). Articles are commissioned by the editors or suggested by authors as Presubmission Enquiries.

Protocols are presented in a 'recipe' style, providing step-by-step descriptions of procedures that users can immediately apply in their own research. All of our Protocols have been proven to work already (used to generate data in published papers), with further validation provided by peer review of the Protocols themselves. As a supporting primary research paper is a requirement for publication, novelty is not a prerequisite. However, it is important that our Protocols add value to the published literature and expand significantly upon the information available in the supporting papers (for example, with additional detail relating to experimental design, troubleshooting, data analysis, etc.). 

As we are not a primary research journal, our articles do not include new (previously unpublished) research findings and should only contain minimal new supporting data relating specifically to development of the Protocol (e.g. validation, benchmarking, and troubleshooting data). To ensure we provide the most up-to-date version of a Protocol, the procedure may sometimes deviate slightly from the version used in the supporting paper, but all minor modifications must be clearly discussed. Any major improvements, adaptations, or extensions of a Protocol should be supported by the publication of an additional supporting primary research paper. 

Our articles can be accessed by searching or browsing the site. Each week, the Editors highlight a featured protocol, which is made freely available for one week. Readers can receive a monthly email alert by signing up for our e-toc. We invite researchers to comment on our articles and encourage you to follow our Nature Community Guidelines. All authors of articles and comments must agree to adhere to our terms and conditions.

Nature Protocols is associated with the Protocol Exchange, an open repository for protocols, which is completely free to use for authors (no article-processing fee) and readers (no subscription fee). Authors upload protocols, which are assigned a DOI for citation purposes and published under a CC-BY licence. They are not peer reviewed or edited. Protocols can be linked to any publications in which they are used. Protocol Exchange acts as a preprint server for protocols and sharing your protocol does not preclude publication in Nature Protocols should you wish to submit at a later date. Together, Nature Protocols and Protocol Exchange form an invaluable interactive resource for researchers.

Aims & Scope

Content Types

About the Editors



Additional information

Journal abbreviation

The correct abbreviation for abstracting and indexing purposes is Nat. Protoc.


Our international standard serial number (ISSN) is 1754-2189. Our electronic international standard serial number (EISSN) is 1750-2799.

Journal and article metrics

For articles published from 2010 to the present, article metrics such as citations and online attention are available from each article page, and provide an overview of the attention received by a paper.

The 2018 journal metrics for Nature Protocols are as follows:

  • 2-year Impact Factor: 11.334
  • 5-year Impact Factor: 15.086
  • Immediacy Index: 1.863
  • Eigenfactor® Score: 0.081330
  • Article Influence Score: 7.364
  • 2-year Median: 6

For a further description of these metrics and a summary of the metrics for all Nature journals (including metrics on peer review turnaround times), visit our journal metrics page. More information underlying our approach to journal metrics may be found here.