For Referees

On this page: Online Manuscript Review | About Nature Reviews Microbiology | Criteria for Publication | Confidentiality | Timing | Anonymity | Competing Interests

Online Manuscript Review

We strongly encourage referees to submit their comments via our online submission system by following the link provided in the editor's email.

For help with this system, click here, or contact the contact the helpdesk.

About Nature Reviews Microbiology

Nature Reviews Microbiology is an international monthly review journal, which aims to provide timely, authoritative reviews that are of broad interest and of exceptional quality. More information about Nature Reviews Microbiology, including the scope of the journal, can be found here.

Criteria for Publication

To be published in Nature Reviews Microbiology a manuscript should meet the following criteria:

  • Timely, accurate and balanced
  • Important to scientists in the specific field
  • Interesting and accessible to researchers in other areas of microbiology


We ask referees to treat the review process as strictly confidential, and not to discuss the manuscript with anyone not directly involved in the review. It is acceptable to consult with laboratory colleagues, but please identify them to the editors.


Nature Reviews Microbiology is committed to rapid editorial decisions and timely publication, and we believe that an efficient editorial process is a valuable service both to our authors and to the readers. We therefore ask referees to respond promptly (normally within 10-14 days of receiving a manuscript, although this may be either longer or shorter by prior arrangement). If referees anticipate a longer delay, we ask them to let us know so we can keep the authors informed and, where necessary, find alternative referees.


We do not release referees' identities to authors or to other referees, except when referees grant permission to be identified.

Competing Interests

In the interests of transparency, the Nature Reviews journals have a competing financial interests policy. A detailed explanation of the policy can be found in A Guide to Nature Reviews Microbiology. Referees are requested to exclude themselves in cases where there is a significant conflict of interest, financial or otherwise. However, financial interests do not necessarily disqualify a referee from evaluating a paper. Referees are asked to inform the editor of any interest which might be perceived as relevant — editors will then consider these statements when weighing referees' recommendations.