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nature In addition to primary research, Nature Materials

also publishes review articles, news and views,

materials research highlights about important papers published


in other journals, commentaries, correspondence,
interviews and analysis of the broader materials
picture. In this way, the journal aims to be the voice
of the worldwide materials science community.
Nature Materials offers readers and authors high
Guide to Authors visibility, access to a broad readership, high
standards of copy editing and production, rigorous
peer review, rapid publication, and independence
from academic societies and other vested interests.

About the Journal Editors and contact information


Like the other Nature titles, Nature Materials has no
Aims and scope of the journal external editorial board. Instead, all editorial
Nature Materials is a monthly multi-disciplinary decisions are made by a team of full-time
journal aimed at bringing together cutting-edge professional editors, who are PhD-level scientists.
research across the entire spectrum of materials Click here for information about the scientific
science and engineering. Materials research is a background of the editors
diverse and fast-growing discipline, which has moved General editorial inquiries and correspondence
from a largely applied, engineering focus to a should be addressed to the Editor, at
position where it has an increasing impact on other materials@nature.com.
classical disciplines such as physics, chemistry and Inquiries about the status of a manuscript should
biology. Nature Materials covers all applied and be addressed to the Editorial Assistant, at
fundamental aspects of the synthesis/processing, materials@nature.com.
structure/composition, properties and performance of
materials, where "materials" are identified as Relationship to other Nature journals
substances in the condensed states (liquid, solid, Nature Materials is editorially independent, and its
colloidal) designed or manipulated for technological editors make their own decisions, independent of the
ends. other Nature journals.It is for authors alone to decide
Nature Materials provides a forum for the where to submit their manuscripts. Nature will
development of a common identity among materials continue to publish the most significant advances in
scientists while encouraging researchers to cross science, including materials science. Nature Materials
established subdisciplinary divides. To achieve this, publishes landmark papers within the field of
and strengthen the cohesion of the community, the materials science alone. Topics covered by other
journal takes an interdisciplinary, integrated and Nature journals (such as physics, nanotechnology
balanced approach to all areas of materials research and photonics) may feature in Nature Materials when
while fostering the exchange of ideas between the work centres on some new development in
scientists involved in the different disciplines. Nature materials science; otherwise these topics will be the
Materials is an invaluable resource for all scientists, remit of the other relevant journal. For papers that
in both academia and industry, who are active in the could satisfy the scope of more than one Nature
process of discovering and developing materials and journal, the choice of which journal to submit first
materials-related concepts. lies with the authors.
Nature Materials offers an engaging, informative If a paper is rejected from one Nature journal,
and accessible product including papers of the authors can use an automated manuscript
exceptional significance and quality in a discipline transfer service to submit the paper to Nature
which promises to have great influence on the Materials via a link sent to them by the editor
development of society in years to come. handling the manuscript. Authors should note that
Research areas covered in the journal include: referees' comments (including any confidential
• Engineering and structural materials comments to the editor) and identities are
(metals, alloys, ceramics, composites) transferred to the editor of the second journal along
• Organic and soft materials (glasses, colloids, with the manuscript. The journal editors will take the
liquid crystals, polymers) previous reviews into account when making their
• Bio-inspired, biomedical and biomolecular decision, although in some cases the editors may
materials choose to take advice from additional referees. For
• Optical, photonic and optoelectronic more information, please consult the following:
materials • Details of the manuscript transfer service
• Magnetic materials • Listing of all NPG journals and subject areas
• Materials for electronics
• Superconducting materials
• A general explanation of the relationships
• Catalytic and separation materials between Nature titles
• Materials for energy
Editorial and publishing policies
• Nanoscale materials and processes
Please see authors and referees @ npg for detailed
• Computation, modelling and materials
information about author and referee services and
theory
publication policies at the Nature family of journals.
• Surfaces and thin films
These journals, including Nature Materials, share a
• Design, synthesis, processing and
number of common policies including the following:
characterization techniques

Nature Materials March 2007 1


• Licence agreement and author copyright have 4-6 display items (figures and/or tables).
References are limited to 50.
• Embargo policy and press releases
The maximum title length is 15 words. The
• Use of experimental animals and human abstract is typically 150 words and is unreferenced;
subjects it contains a brief account of the background and
• Competing financial interests rationale of the work, followed by a statement of the
• Availability of materials and data main conclusions introduced by the phrase "Here we
show" or some equivalent. An introduction (without
• Digital image integrity and standards
heading) of up to 500 words of referenced text
• Security concerns expands on the background of the work (some
• Refutations, complaints and corrections overlap with the summary is acceptable), followed by
• Duplicate publication a concise, focused account of the findings, ending
with one or two short paragraphs of discussion.
• Confidentiality and pre-publicity
Articles include a competing financial interests
• Plagiarism and fabrication statement and received/accepted dates. They may
be accompanied by supplementary information.
Impact factor Articles are peer-reviewed.
The 2007 ISI impact factor for Nature Materials is
19.782, according to the ISI Journal Citation Reports. Other formats
This places Nature Materials not only first among A Review is an authoritative, balanced survey of
materials science journals but also across all the recent developments in a research field. Although
primary research journals in physics and chemistry. reviews should be recognized as scholarly by
The 2007 impact factor represents the average specialists in the field, they should be written with a
number of citations per paper in 2007 and is view to informing nonspecialist readers. Thus,
calculated on the basis of the previous two years' reviews should be presented using simple prose,
worth of a particular journal's publications. A more avoiding excessive jargon and technical detail.
detailed explanation of impact factors appears on the Reviews are approximately 5,000-6,000 words and
ISI web site. typically include 6-8 display items (figures, tables or
boxes). References are limited to 100; citations
Abbreviation should be selective. Footnotes are not used. The
The correct abbreviation for abstracting and indexing scope of a Review should be broad enough that it is
purposes is Nature Mater. not dominated by the work of a single laboratory,
and particularly not by the authors' own work.
ISSN
The international standard serial number (ISSN) for When the discussion is focused on a developing field
Nature Materials is 1476-1122, and the electronic that might not yet be mature enough for review, a
international standard serial number (EISSN) is Progress article is more appropriate. Progress
1476-4660. articles are up to 4,000 words in length, with up to 5
display items (figures, tables or boxes). References
Content Types are limited to 80.

Primary research formats Reviews and Progress articles are commissioned by


A Letter reports an important novel research study, the editors, but proposals including a short synopsis
but is less substantial than an Article. Letters are welcome.
typically occupy four printed journal pages. The text Reviews and Progress articles include a
is limited to 2,000 words, excluding the introductory competing financial interests statement.
paragraph, Methods, references and figure legends. Received/accepted dates are not included. These
Letters should have no more than 3-5 display items articles are always peer-reviewed to ensure factual
(figures and/or tables). References are limited to 30. accuracy, appropriate citations and scholarly balance.
This format begins with a title of, at most, 15
words, followed by an introductory paragraph (not News and Views articles inform readers about the
abstract) of approximately 150 words, summarizing latest advances in materials research, as reported in
the background, rationale, main results (introduced recently published papers (in Nature Materials or
by "Here we show" or some equivalent phrase) and elsewhere) or at scientific meetings. Most articles are
implications of the study. This paragraph should be commissioned, but proposals can be made to the
referenced, as in Nature style, and should be Editor in advance of publication of the paper or well
considered part of the main text, so that any before the meeting is held. News and Views articles
subsequent introductory material avoids too much are not peer-reviewed, but undergo editing in
redundancy with the introductory paragraph. consultation with the author.
Letters include a competing financial interests
statement and received/accepted dates. They may Correspondence provides readers with a forum for
be accompanied by supplementary information. comment on papers published in a previous issue of
Letters are peer-reviewed. the journal or to discuss issues relevant to materials
science. A Correspondence is never more than one
An Article is a substantial novel research study that printed page and typically is 250-500 words; it is
often involves several techniques or approaches. The limited to one display item and 10 references. Article
main text (excluding abstract, Methods, references titles are omitted from the reference list. Titles for
and figure legends) is 2,000-3,000 words. Articles correspondence are supplied by the editors.

Nature Materials March 2007 2


In cases where a correspondence is critical of a the other editors, and decides whether it should be
previous research paper, the authors of the criticized sent for peer review. The author should identify
paper are given the opportunity to publish a brief whether the work described in the manuscript has
reply. Criticism of opinions or other secondary matter been discussed with a specific Nature Materials editor
does not involve an automatic right of reply before submission. Many papers describing solid
Refutations are always peer-reviewed. Other studies of interest to those in the field are
types of Correspondence may be peer-reviewed at nonetheless judged to be unlikely to compete
the editors' discretion. successfully with the best work submitted to the
journal.
Commentary articles focus on policy, science and Like other journals in the Nature family, Nature
society or purely scientific issues related to materials Materials has no external editorial board. However, if
research. Single-author articles are preferred as this a paper's importance within the field is unclear, an
is an 'opinion' section of the journal. Commentaries editor may request advice from outside experts in
are usually commissioned by the editors, but deciding whether to review it. The novelty of a
proposals are welcome. The main criteria are that submitted paper is considered to be compromised if
they should be of immediate interest to a broad it has significant conceptual overlap with a published
readership and should be written in an accessible, paper or one accepted for publication by Nature
non-technical style. Because the content is variable, Materials. Preprint archives do not compromise
the format is also flexible. Figures and diagrams are novelty.
encouraged, but are not a requirement. If a paper was previously reviewed at another
Commentaries are typically no longer than 1,500 Nature journal, the authors can use an automated
words and include up to 25 references. Article titles manuscript transfer service to transfer the referees'
are omitted from the reference list. reports to Nature Materials via a link sent by the
Commentaries do not include a formal editor who handled the manuscript. In that case, the
competing financial interests statement, but authors journal editors will take the previous reviews into
should note in the text any competing financial account when making their decision, although in
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Commentaries may be peer-reviewed at the editors' from additional or alternative referees.
discretion. If the authors ask the editors to consider the
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Book Reviews are by prior arrangement only. explaining the relationship between the submitted
Suggestions for appropriate books are welcome. manuscript and the previous submission and
Book reviews are not peer-reviewed. (assuming it has been revised in light of the referees'
criticisms) giving a point-by-point response to the
referees. In cases where the work was felt to be of
Editorial Process high quality, papers can sometimes be accepted
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Presubmission enquiries criticisms, the editors will consider them in making
Researchers may request informal feedback from the the decision. In the event of publication, the received
editors on the journal's interest in a particular date is the date of submission to Nature Materials.
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work is made on the basis of partial information. same editorial standards as far as possible, and so
Papers that were invited after a presubmission they are often sent to the same referees. However,
inquiry will occasionally be rejected without review, each of the co-submitted manuscripts must meet the
particularly if the degree of novelty, point of the criteria for publication without reference to the other
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clear. complete or convincing than the other, it may be
The presubmission process is designed as a rejected, even if the papers reach the same
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Initial submission editors may request a revised manuscript that
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primary editor, who reads the paper, consults with referees for re-review. The decision letter will specify

Nature Materials March 2007 3


a deadline (typically a few weeks), and revisions that may be merited if a referee made substantial errors
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original submission date. reversal of that referee's opinion would have changed
In cases where the referees' concerns are more the original decision. Similarly, disputes on factual
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interest to the journal, however, they may express the authors' points, most appeals are rejected by the
interest in seeing a future resubmission. The editors.
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An invited revision should be submitted via the
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Owing to the volume of manuscripts we receive, we
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Even in cases where editors did not invite correspondence is addressed after publication.) The
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revtex.cls or amsart.cls. Non-standard fonts should Eigler, D. M. & Schweizer, E. K. Positioning single
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Nature Materials March 2007 6


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Nature Materials March 2007 7


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and abbreviations, please see the Appendix at the
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Manuscripts reporting new structures should contain
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password: allsci statistical analysis, the comparisons of interest, a
justification for the use of that test (including, for
example, a discussion of the normality of the data

Nature Materials March 2007 8


when the test is appropriate only for normal data), Melting point ranges should be provided for
the alpha level for all tests, whether the tests were crystalline materials. Specific rotations should be
one-tailed or two-tailed, and the actual P value for reported for chiral compounds. Authors should
each test (not merely "significant" or "P < .05"). It provide references, rather than detailed procedures,
should be clear what statistical test was used to for known compounds, unless their protocols
generate every P value. represent a departure from or improvement on
Data sets should be summarized with descriptive published methods.
statistics, which should include the n for each data
set, a clearly labelled measure of centre (such as the Combinatorial compound libraries: Authors
mean or the median), and a clearly labelled measure describing the preparation of combinatorial libraries
of variability (such as standard deviation or range). should include standard characterization data for a
Ranges are more appropriate than standard diverse panel of library members.
deviations or standard errors for small data sets.
Graphs should include clearly labelled error bars. Biomolecular identity: For new biopolymeric
Authors must state whether a number that follows materials (oligosaccharides, peptides, nucleic acids,
the ± sign is a standard error (s.e.m.) or a standard etc.) direct structural analysis by NMR spectroscopic
deviation (s.d.). methods may not be possible. In these cases,
Authors must justify the use of a particular test authors must provide evidence of identity based on:
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sequencing or functional data which validates the
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fusion proteins, site-directed mutants, etc.) either in
statistical tests appropriate for multiple
the manuscript text or the Methods section, as
groups (such as ANOVA rather than a series
appropriate.
of t-tests).
• Normal distribution: Many statistical tests Sample purity: Evidence of sample purity is
require that the data be approximately requested for each new compound. Methods for
normally distributed; when using these purity analysis depend on the compound class. For
tests, authors should explain how they most organic and organometallic compounds, purity
tested their data for normality. If the data may be demonstrated by high field 1H-NMR or 13C-
do not meet the assumptions of the test, NMR spectroscopic data, although elemental analysis
then a non-parametric alternative should be (±0.4%) is encouraged for small molecules.
used instead. Quantitative analytical methods including
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• Small sample size: When the sample size
analyses may be used to demonstrate purity for
is small (less than about 10), authors should
small molecules and biopolymeric materials.
use tests appropriate to small samples or
justify their use of large-sample tests.
Preparation of Methods Section
A checklist to help authors minimize the chance of
Authors must ensure that their manuscripts include
statistical errors can be found at
adequate experimental and characterization data
www.mged.org/Workgroups/MIAME/miame_checklist
necessary for others in the field to reproduce their
.html.
work. For Articles and Letters, essential methods
should be reported in the Methods section. Authors of
Characterization of chemical and biomolecular
all content types are encouraged to include important
materials
additional protocols or data in Supplementary
Manuscripts submitted to Nature Materials that
Information, which will be peer reviewed.
report new chemical or biomolecular entities will be
held to rigorous standards with respect to
General methods: Descriptions of standard
experimental methods and characterization. Authors
protocols and experimental procedures should appear
must provide adequate data to support their
in Supplementary Information. Commercial suppliers
assignment of identity and purity for each new
of reagents or instrumentation should be identified
compound described in the manuscript.
only when the source is critical to the outcome of the
Chemical identity for most organic and
experiments. Sources for kits should be identified in
organometallic compounds should be established
the Methods section or Supplementary Information.
through spectroscopic analysis. Standard peak
listings (see preparation of methods section below)
Synthetic protocols: When appropriate,
for 1H-NMR and proton-decoupled 13C-NMR spectra
experimental protocols that describe the synthesis of
should be provided for all new compounds. Other
new compounds should be included. The systematic
NMR spectroscopic data should be reported (31P-NMR,
19 name of the compound and its bold, Arabic numeral
F-NMR, etc.) when appropriate. For new materials,
are used as the heading for the experimental
authors should also provide mass spectral data to
protocol. Thereafter, the compound is represented by
support molecular weight identity. High-Resolution
its assigned bold numeral. Authors should describe
Mass Spectral (HRMS) data are preferred. UV or IR
the experimental protocol in detail, referring to
spectral data may be reported for characteristic
amounts of reagents in parentheses, when possible
functional group identification when appropriate.

Nature Materials March 2007 9


(e.g., 1.03 g, 0.100 mmol). Standard abbreviations
for reagents and solvents are encouraged. Safety
hazards posed by reagents or protocols should be
identified clearly. Isolated mass and percent yields
should be reported at the end of each protocol.

Detailed spectral data for new compounds


should be provided in list form (see below). Figures
containing spectra generally will not be published as
a manuscript figure unless the data are directly
relevant to the central conclusions of the paper.
Authors are encouraged to include high-quality
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Supplementary Information. Specific NMR
spectroscopic assignments should be listed after
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or decoupling experiments. Authors should provide
information about how assignments were made in a
general Methods section.
Example format for compound characterization
data. mp: 100-102 °C (lit.ref 99-101 °C); TLC
(CHCl3:MeOH, 98:2 v/v): Rf = 0.23; αD20 = -21.5 (c =
0.1 in n-hexane); 1H-NMR (400 MHz, CDCl3): δ 9.30
(s, 1H), 7.55-7.41 (m, 6H), 5.61 (d, J = 5.5 Hz, 1H),
5.40 (d, J = 5.5 Hz, 1H), 4.93 (m, 1 H), 4.20 (q, J =
8.5 Hz, 2H), 2.11 (s, 3H), 1.25 (t, J = 8.5 Hz, 3H);
13
C-NMR (125 MHz, CDCl3): δ 165.4, 165.0, 140.5,
138.7, 131.5, 129.2, 118.6, 84.2, 75.8, 66.7, 37.9,
20.1; IR (Nujol): 1765 cm-1; UV/Vis: λmax 267 nm;
HRMS (m/z): [M]+ calcd for C20H15Cl2NO5, 420.0406;
found, 420.0412; Analysis (calcd, found for
C20H15Cl2NO5): C (57.16, 57.22), H (3.60, 3.61), Cl
(16.87, 16.88), N (3.33, 3.33), O (19.04, 19.09).

Crystallographic data for small molecules


Manuscripts reporting new three-dimensional
structures of small molecules from crystallographic
analysis should include a structural figure with
probability ellipsoids and a .cif file. Small molecular
crystallographic data should be submitted upon
publication to the Cambridge Structural Database.

Nomenclature and abbreviations


When possible, authors should refer to chemical
compounds and biomolecules using systematic
nomenclature, preferably using IUPAC and IUBMB
rules. Standard chemical and biological abbreviations
should be used. Unconventional or specialist
abbreviations should be defined at their first
occurrence in the text.

Nature Materials March 2007 1