Content Types

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

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

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

  • News and Views*    
  • Q&As *

*These content types should not include original (previously unpublished) research findings and may only contain minimal new supporting data.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.

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Article

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

Format

  • Main text – up to 3,000 words, excluding abstract, Methods, references and figure legends.
  • Abstract – up to 150 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 – up to 50.
  • Articles include received/accepted dates. 
  • Articles may be accompanied by supplementary information. 
  • Articles are peer reviewed.

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Letter

A Letter discusses an important, novel research result, but is less substantial than an Article. 

Format

  • Introductory paragraph (not abstract) up to 150 words, summarizing the background, rationale, main results and implications. This paragraph should be referenced, and should be considered part of the main text.
  • Main text – up to 2,000 words, excluding the introductory paragraph, online Methods, references and figure legends. 
  • References – as a guideline, we typically recommend up to 30.
  • Display items – 3-4 items (figures and/or tables). 
  • Letters are not divided by headings, except for the online Methods headings.
  • Letters include received/accepted dates. 
  • Letters may be accompanied by supplementary information. 
  • Letters are peer reviewed.

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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. 

Format

  • 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.

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Comment

A Comment is a flexible format,  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. 

Format

  • 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, usually between 10-25.
  • Article titles are omitted from the reference list.
  • Peer review is at the editors' discretion.

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Review

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. 

Format

  • Main text – 5,000 - 6,000 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.

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Perspective

A Perspective is a new 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. 

Format

  • ​Length – up to 4,000 words. 
  • References – up to 80.
  • Perspectives include received/accepted dates.
  • Perspectives are peer reviewed.

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Matters Arising

Matters Arising are exceptionally interesting and timely scientific comments and clarifications on original research papers published in Nature Materials. 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.

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News & Views

News & Views are by prior arrangement only. They may be linked to articles in Nature Materials, 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.

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Q&A

Q&A pieces are interviews with individuals on topics that will be of interest to the wider materials research community.  The vast majority of Q&A articles are commissioned, but proposals can be made to the editorial team.