Aims & Scope

Nature Protocols publishes secondary research articles - predominantly Protocols (including Protocol Updates and Protocol Extensions), but also techniques-related ReviewsPerspectivesCorrespondencesMatters ArisingCommentaries, 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. Articles are commissioned by the editors. Authors are welcome to submit suggestions for articles as Presubmission Enquiries, which may then be formally commissioned by the editors.

Each Protocol contains a full list of reagents and equipment, timing information, and step-by-step procedures (instructions for performing the experiment), as well as information on designing and adapting the technique, its advantages and limitations compared to alternatives, troubleshooting, analysing data, and interpreting results. We also encourage authors to submit videos for steps that are technically challenging.

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As we are not a primary research journal, our articles do not include new (previously unpublished) research findings and should only contain minimal new supporting data relating specifically to development of the Protocol (e.g. validation, benchmarking, and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. 

In addition to Protocols, we also publish other types of techniques-related articles