Content Types

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

  • Article​
  • Brief Communication
  • Resource
  • Analysis
  • Correspondence*
  • Review*
  • Perspective*
  • Comment*
  • Matters Arising – see specialist submission process here.

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

  • News and Views*    
  • Points of Significance*

*These content types should not include original (previously unpublished) research findings and may only contain minimal new supporting data.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 report describing a novel method or tool. Articles should provide full technical descriptions of the new method or tool and include strong validation data to demonstrate performance, reproducibility, general applicability, and potential for discovering new biology.

Format

  • Abstract – up to 150 words, unreferenced. 
  • Main text – 3,000 words (up to 5,000 words with editorial discretion), excluding abstract, Methods, references and figure legends.
  • Display items – up to 6 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.

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Brief Communication

A Brief Communication is a concise report describing potentially groundbreaking yet preliminary method or tool developments, highly practical tweaks to an existing method or tool, software platforms, resources of broad interest, and technical critiques of widely used methodologies.

Format

  • Abstract – up to 70 words, unreferenced.
  • Main text – 1,200 words (up to 1600 words with editorial discretion), including abstract, references and figure legends.
  • The main text should not contain sections nor subheadings. 
  • Display items – maximum 2 figures and/or tables (up to 3 items with editorial discretion).
  • Online Methods section should be included and should contain subheadings.
  • References – as a guideline, we typically recommend up to 20. 
  • Brief Communications include received/accepted dates. 
  • Brief Communications may be accompanied by supplementary information. 
  • Brief Communications are peer reviewed.

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Resource

A Resource is a report describing a collection of tools or a large dataset of broad utility, interest and significance to a field of research. 

Format

  • Abstract – up to 150 words, unreferenced. 
  • Main text – 3,000 words (up to 5000 words with editorial discretion), excluding abstract, Methods, references and figure legends.
  • Display items – up to 6 figures and/or tables. 
  • Resources 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.
  • Resources include received/accepted dates. 
  • Resources may be accompanied by supplementary information. 
  • Resources are peer reviewed.

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Analysis

An Analysis is a report presenting comprehensive performance comparisons of established, related methods or tools, of key importance to a field of research.

Format

  • Abstract – up to 150 words, unreferenced. 
  • Main text – 3,000 words (up to 5,000 words with editorial discretion), excluding abstract, Methods, references and figure legends.
  • Display items – up to 6 figures and/or tables. 
  • Analyses 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.
  • Analyses include received/accepted dates. 
  • Analyses may be accompanied by supplementary information. 
  • Analyses are peer reviewed.

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Correspondence

The Correspondence section provides a forum for brief announcements of broadly interesting tools, resources, initiatives, news, and opinions on issues relevant to the journal’s readership. Correspondence should not include new research data or analysis. 

Format

  • Main text – up to 800 words. No abstract or online Methods section is included.
  • Display items – 1 figure or table.
  • 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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Review

A Review is an authoritative, in-depth, balanced and scholarly survey of an established technology or class of methods. 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.

Reviews should have a strong functional component, providing practical advice for researchers applying the technologies or methods described.

Reviews are often commissioned by the journal, but the editors also welcome presubmission inquiries proposing Review topics.

Format

  • Main text – up to 8,000 words.
  • Display items – up to 6 illustrations, figures, and/or tables 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 similar format to a Review but differs in that it will describe a relatively new technology, such as one developed mainly in a few labs, be narrowly focused on a particular topic, or that may advocate strong author opinions.

Perspectives are often commissioned by the journal, but the editors also welcome presubmission inquiries proposing Perspective topics.

Format

  • Main text – up to 6,000 words. 
  • Display items – up to 6 illustrations, figures, and/or tables are strongly encouraged.
  • References – up to 50 (exceptions are possible in special cases).
  • Perspectives include received/accepted dates.
  • Perspectives are peer reviewed.

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Comment

A Comment is an opinion piece on a topic of broad interest. This flexible format provides a platform for authors to discuss scientific, commercial, ethical, legal, societal, or political issues surrounding methods development in life sciences research. Comments may also propose community guidelines for performing experiments or data reporting and sharing. Comments should be topical, readable, provocative and introduce new concepts/points of view, providing a personal perspective on a matter of public or scientific importance. Comments should not contain primary research data, although they may present 'sociological' data (funding trends, demographics, bibliographic data, etc.). 

Comments are often commissioned by the journal, but the editors also welcome presubmission inquiries proposing Comment topics.

Format

  • Length – varies, but typically no more than 2,000 words.
  • Subheadings are encouraged but not required.
  • 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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Matters Arising

Matters Arising are exceptionally interesting and timely scientific comments and clarifications on original research papers published in Nature Methods. 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, which highlight new methods developments within the context of prior work, discuss limitations and future applications, are by prior arrangement only. They may be linked to articles in Nature Methods, or they may focus on papers of exceptional significance that are published elsewhere. Unsolicited contributions will not normally be considered for publication.

News & Views are not peer reviewed.

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Point of Significance

Points of Significance is a regular column that is commissioned by the editorial team. This column is intended to educate readers about core statistical approaches commonly used in biological research.  

This column is commissioned by prior arrangement only, but proposals for topics that may suit the column may be directed to the editorial team by email (methods@us.nature.com).

Points of Significance are not peer reviewed.