Content Types


An Article is a substantial, novel research study of high quality and general interest to the food community. Articles often draw on several techniques or approaches. The main text (excluding the abstract, Methods section, references, tables and figure legends) is 3,000 words. Articles can have up to 8 display items (figures and/or tables). As a guideline, Articles allow up to 50 references (excluding those cited exclusively in Methods). The maximum title length is 150 characters (including spaces). The abstract should be no more than 150 words and is unreferenced; it contains a brief account of the background and rationale of the work, followed by a statement of the main conclusions introduced by the phrase "Here we show" or some equivalent. An introduction (without heading) of up to 500 words of referenced text expands on the background to the work (some overlap with the abstract is acceptable), and is followed by a concise, focused account of the findings, ending with one or two short paragraphs of discussion. The main text should be divided by succinct topical headings of no more than 60 characters (including spaces) to aid readers. Methods can be up to 3,000 words. It can include equations but should not include figures and tables; references in the Methods are unlimited.

Articles include received/accepted dates and may be accompanied by Supplementary Information. Articles are peer reviewed.

Brief Communication

A Brief Communication reports a concise study of high quality and broad interest to the various fields contributing to food research. Brief Communications begin with a brief unreferenced abstract (3 sentences, no more than 70 words), which will appear on abstracting services. The main text is no longer than 1,500 words, including abstract, references and figure legends, and contains no headings. Brief Communications normally have no more than 2 display items, although this may be flexible at the discretion of the editor, provided the page limit is observed. Brief Communications include a Methods section which should not exceed 500 words. As a guideline, Brief Communications allow up to 20 references. Footnotes are not used. 

Brief Communications include received/accepted dates and may be accompanied by Supplementary Information. Brief Communications are peer reviewed.


A Review is an authoritative, balanced survey of recent developments in a research field. Although Reviews should be recognized as scholarly by specialists in the field, they should be written with a view to informing non-specialist readers. Thus, Reviews should be presented using straightforward prose, avoiding excessive jargon and technical detail. Reviews should be no more than 6,000 words long and typically include no more than 8 display items (figures, tables or boxes). As a guideline, Reviews allow up to 100 references; citations should be selective. Footnotes are not used. The scope of a Review should be broad enough that it is not dominated by the work of a single research institution, and particularly not by the authors’ own work.

Reviews include received/accepted dates. Reviews are always peer reviewed to ensure factual accuracy, appropriate citations and scholarly balance.


A Perspective is intended to provide a forum for authors to discuss models and ideas from a personal viewpoint. They are more forward looking and/or speculative than Reviews and may take a narrower field of view. They may be opinionated but should remain balanced and are intended to stimulate discussion and new approaches. Perspectives may also advocate a controversial position or present a speculative hypothesis. Two articles advocating opposite sides in a research controversy are normally published as Perspectives.Perspectives should not normally exceed 3,000 words. As a guideline, Perspectives allow up to 50 references; citations should be selective. Perspectives should include no more than 4 display items (figures, tables and/or boxes). As with Reviews, many Perspectives are invited by the editors, so it is advisable to send a pre-submission enquiry including a synopsis before preparing a manuscript for formal submission.

Perspectives include received/accepted dates. Perspectives are always peer reviewed and edited by the editors in consultation with the author.


Comment articles can focus on policy, science and society or other issues related to food. Single-author articles are preferred as this is an ‘opinion’ section of the journal. Comments are usually commissioned by the editors, but proposals are welcome. They should be of immediate interest to a broad readership and should be written in an accessible, non-technical style. Figures and diagrams are encouraged, but are not a requirement. Comments are typically no longer than 2,000 words and include up to 20 references. Article titles are omitted from the reference list.

Comments may be peer-reviewed at the editors’ discretion.

Matters Arising

Matters Arising are exceptionally interesting and timely scientific comments and clarifications on original research papers published in Nature Food. These comments should ideally be based on knowledge contemporaneous with the original paper, rather than subsequent scientific developments.

For detailed information on how to submit a Matters Arising, please follow instructions here.

News & Views

News & Views articles inform readers about the latest advances in food, as reported in recently published papers (in Nature Food or elsewhere) or at scientific meetings. Unsolicited contributions will not normally be considered, although prospective authors are welcome to make proposals. News & Views articles are not peer reviewed, but undergo editing in consultation with the author.


These sections are written and invited by the journal editors. They do not contain unsolicited material. We are, however, keen to accept freelance pitches of exclusive stories, particularly conference coverage from locations where we do not have staff, or reports from interesting field work. All of our Features are written with a lively, proactive tone, using language that is clear even to readers for whom English is not their native tongue. Stories should be accessible to those with a general interest and background in academic research.

For details on how to pitch to Nature Food, contact the editor at


In addition to more traditional content types such as Articles, Brief Communications, Reviews, Perspectives and Matters Arising, the journal will also contain:

  • Analyses
  • Comments
  • Roadmaps and Consensus Statements
  • Research Highlights