Submission guidelines

Instructions for Authors

Style Sheet for Authors

Please find the abbreviated Author Instructions Style Sheet at the download below:

Style Sheet (english) (Download pdf, 186 kB)

Style Sheet (deutsch) (Download pdf, 172 kB)

Types of Papers

Articles for NTM may be submitted in the following formats (characters including blanks):

• scientific articles (ca. 75.000 characters)

• Presentation of historical finds (ca. 25.000 characters)

• In the category “Forum” contributions to the discussion, experience/field Reports and interviews (ca. 15.000 characters)

Competition for space in The Science of Nature is keen, and the journal receives many more good manuscripts than can be accepted for publication. Current rejection rate reaches about 50% of all submitted work. Preference is thus given to scholarly works that present a compelling case for significant advances in a subject area or are of broader interest because of their interdisciplinary nature. Preliminary reports or work that just confirms previous findings, as well as articles that are likely to interest small specialist group only, will not be considered. All manuscripts received are checked for an initial suitability by an Editorial Board member and returned to the authors without in-depth peer review if the work is unlikely to match the scope of the journal. Prior to appearance in the print journal, all manuscripts are published online within ten days from receiving the corrected proofs from the authors.

The following article types are accepted:

  • Original Articles

    must present scientific results that are essentially new and that have not been published or are being considered for publication elsewhere.

    The length of Original Articles should ideally not exceed ten printed pages, which corresponds to about 30 to 35 manuscript pages (double-spaced, including everything from the title page to the last figure). For the publication of unusually long methodological descriptions and data or figures that are not core to the message of the publication, the publication of Electronic Supplementary Material is encouraged. It is generally acknowledged that the range of research areas covered by the journal may require variable article lengths; in the end manuscript length must be justified by contents! However, preference is given to concise manuscripts that are preferably even shorter than 10 print pages.

  • Reviews

    are usually commissioned by the Editor or an Editorial Board member, but the submission of proposals for Reviews is very much encouraged. The initial submission of a proposal rather than a full manuscript is preferred. Proposals should not exceed 1500 words in length, provide a list of a few key supporting references, and advocate for the significance and timeliness of the topic. There is a general inflation of Reviews in the recent literature and the journal does not wish to support high-frequency publication of reviews from within the same research area. Proposals should be sent to the Editor-in-Chief via email (Matthias Waltert; email: nawi@uni-goettingen.de).

    Reviews should cover a topic of current interest and present novel insights or conclusions for directing the respective research area(s). Manuscript length should not exceed 50 manuscript pages (double-spaced, including everything from the title page to the last figure). A Review may include up to seven figures and/or tables. The use of Electronic Supplementary Material is encouraged.

  • Concepts & Synthesis

    comprise a new manuscript type in The Science of Nature, which aims to promote the conceptual advance of ideas across the natural sciences. Concepts & Synthesis articles present an evidence-supported opinion by established scientists on a research topic of ideally cross-disciplinary nature. This paper format should not be confused with a Review and does therefore not aim at a balanced revision of the topic. Concepts & Synthesis articles should stimulate thought on a controversial or widely ignored topic/problem, and at the same time develop and/or direct new ideas for the research area(s) involved.

    Concepts & Synthesis manuscripts should not exceed 30 manuscript pages (double-spaced, including everything from the title page to references) in length. Up to three additional figures or tables are allowed for this paper format explaining relevant theories and/or discuss outstanding questions in support of the manuscript’s body text. Legends to figures/tables can be longer than in a standard article format but should be no longer than 300 words.

    The reference list should not be review-like and Review articles should preferably be cited to reduce the number of references required. No more than 50 references are allowed; simply refer to key literature to raise awareness for the complexity of the subject rather than excessively reviewing the same.

  • Short Communications

    are short papers that present significant new observations. Short Communications may present results that are often not sufficiently elaborated to justify an Original Article but provide compelling evidence for their potential significance. This paper format is not to promote minimal or otherwise insufficient data sets that do not justify an Original Article. Short Communications should be no longer than 2500 words. This includes everything from cover page, abstract, references, acknowledgements to figure/table legends. The length limit will be strictly enforced. The journal allows a maximum of three displays of which only two can be figures. No more than 30 references are allowed. The use of Electronic Supplementary Material is encouraged (see link).

  • Comments & Replies

    give corrections, new analyses, provide critique or stimulate a more general oversight on contributions previously published in the journal. Comments should not refer to articles older than one year. Comments are usually not exceeding 600 words in length, with a maximum of 10 references. They should present a simple message that requires only one small figure or table if any. Comments do not function as a Corrigendum to an article. This article type does not include an Abstract, but the title page should contain a footnote, providing an explicit reference to the criticized article "This is a comment to Authors (Year) Title. The Science of Nature, Volume: pages or DOI”.

    Upon receipt of a Comment the authors of Original Articles are given the opportunity to reply. A Reply is usually published alongside the comment. Both Comments & Replies are subject to peer review, usually by the referees of the article to which they refer.

Title Page

Please make sure your title page contains the following information.

Title

The title should be concise and informative.

Author information

  • The name(s) of the author(s)
  • The affiliation(s) of the author(s), i.e. institution, (department), city, (state), country
  • A clear indication and an active e-mail address of the corresponding author
  • If available, the 16-digit ORCID of the author(s)

If address information is provided with the affiliation(s) it will also be published.

For authors that are (temporarily) unaffiliated we will only capture their city and country of residence, not their e-mail address unless specifically requested.

Abstract

Please provide an abstract of 150 to 250 words. The abstract should not contain any undefined abbreviations or unspecified references.

Please note: For some articles (particularly, systematic reviews and original research articles), 250 words may not be sufficient to provide all necessary information in the abstract. Therefore, the abstract length can be increased from the 250-word limit (to up to 450 words) if the topic dictates, and to allow full compliance with the relevant reporting guidelines.

For life science journals only (when applicable)

  • Trial registration number and date of registration for prospectively registered trials
  • Trial registration number and date of registration, followed by “retrospectively registered”, for retrospectively registered trials

Keywords

Please provide 4 to 6 keywords which can be used for indexing purposes.

Acknowledgements

An Acknowledgment section may be included to acknowledge, for example, people who have assisted with aspects of the work (but who do not qualify as authors), disclaimers, collaborations, etc.

Statements and Declarations

The following statements should be included under the heading "Statements and Declarations" for inclusion in the published paper. Please note that submissions that do not include relevant declarations will be returned as incomplete.

  • Competing Interests: Authors are required to disclose financial or non-financial interests that are directly or indirectly related to the work submitted for publication. Please refer to “Competing Interests and Funding” below for more information on how to complete this section.

Text

Text Formatting

Manuscripts should be submitted in Word.

  • Use a normal, plain font (e.g., 10-point Times Roman) for text.
  • Use italics for emphasis.
  • Use the automatic page numbering function to number the pages.
  • Do not use field functions.
  • Use tab stops or other commands for indents, not the space bar.
  • Use the table function, not spreadsheets, to make tables.
  • Use the equation editor or MathType for equations.
  • Save your file in docx format (Word 2007 or higher) or doc format (older Word versions).

Manuscripts with mathematical content can also be submitted in LaTeX. We recommend using Springer Nature’s LaTeX template.

Headings

Please use no more than three levels of displayed headings.

Abbreviations

Abbreviations should be defined at first mention and used consistently thereafter.

Footnotes

Footnotes can be used to give additional information, which may include the citation of a reference included in the reference list. They should not consist solely of a reference citation, and they should never include the bibliographic details of a reference. They should also not contain any figures or tables.

Footnotes to the text are numbered consecutively; those to tables should be indicated by superscript lower-case letters (or asterisks for significance values and other statistical data). Footnotes to the title or the authors of the article are not given reference symbols.

Always use footnotes instead of endnotes.

Acknowledgments

Acknowledgments of people, grants, funds, etc. should be placed in a separate section on the title page. The names of funding organizations should be written in full.

References

Citation

Cite references in the text by name and year in parentheses. Some examples:

  • Negotiation research spans many disciplines (Thompson 1990).
  • This result was later contradicted by Becker and Seligman (1996).
  • This effect has been widely studied (Abbott 1991; Barakat et al. 1995; Kelso and Smith 1998; Medvec et al. 1999).

Reference list

The list of references should only include works that are cited in the text and that have been published or accepted for publication. Personal communications and unpublished works should only be mentioned in the text.

Reference list entries should be alphabetized by the last names of the first author of each work.

Journal names and book titles should be italicized.

If available, please always include DOIs as full DOI links in your reference list (e.g. “https://doi.org/abc”).

  • Journal article

    Alber, John, Daniel C. O’Connell, and Sabine Kowal. 2002. Personal perspective in TV interviews. Pragmatics 12: 257–271.

  • Article by DOI

    Suleiman, Camelia, Daniel C. O’Connell, and Sabine Kowal. 2002. ‘If you and I, if we, in this later day, lose that sacred fire...’: Perspective in political interviews. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1015592129296

  • Book

    Cameron, Deborah. 1985. Feminism and linguistic theory. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

  • Book chapter

    Cameron, Deborah. 1997. Theoretical debates in feminist linguistics: Questions of sex and gender. In Gender and discourse, ed. Ruth Wodak, 99-119. London: Sage Publications.

  • Online document

    Frisch, Mathias. 2007. Does a low-entropy constraint prevent us from influencing the past? PhilSci archive. http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/archive/00003390. Accessed 26 June 2007.

Tables

  • All tables are to be numbered using Arabic numerals.
  • Tables should always be cited in text in consecutive numerical order.
  • For each table, please supply a table caption (title) explaining the components of the table.
  • Identify any previously published material by giving the original source in the form of a reference at the end of the table caption.
  • Footnotes to tables should be indicated by superscript lower-case letters (or asterisks for significance values and other statistical data) and included beneath the table body.

Artwork and Illustrations Guidelines

Electronic Figure Submission

  • Supply all figures electronically.
  • Indicate what graphics program was used to create the artwork.
  • For vector graphics, the preferred format is EPS; for halftones, please use TIFF format. MSOffice files are also acceptable.
  • Vector graphics containing fonts must have the fonts embedded in the files.
  • Name your figure files with "Fig" and the figure number, e.g., Fig1.eps.

Line Art

  • Definition: Black and white graphic with no shading.
  • Do not use faint lines and/or lettering and check that all lines and lettering within the figures are legible at final size.
  • All lines should be at least 0.1 mm (0.3 pt) wide.
  • Scanned line drawings and line drawings in bitmap format should have a minimum resolution of 1200 dpi.
  • Vector graphics containing fonts must have the fonts embedded in the files.

Halftone Art

  • Definition: Photographs, drawings, or paintings with fine shading, etc.
  • If any magnification is used in the photographs, indicate this by using scale bars within the figures themselves.
  • Halftones should have a minimum resolution of 300 dpi.

Combination Art

  • Definition: a combination of halftone and line art, e.g., halftones containing line drawing, extensive lettering, color diagrams, etc.
  • Combination artwork should have a minimum resolution of 600 dpi.

Color Art

  • Color art is free of charge for online publication.
  • If black and white will be shown in the print version, make sure that the main information will still be visible. Many colors are not distinguishable from one another when converted to black and white. A simple way to check this is to make a xerographic copy to see if the necessary distinctions between the different colors are still apparent.
  • If the figures will be printed in black and white, do not refer to color in the captions.
  • Color illustrations should be submitted as RGB (8 bits per channel).

Figure Lettering

  • To add lettering, it is best to use Helvetica or Arial (sans serif fonts).
  • Keep lettering consistently sized throughout your final-sized artwork, usually about 2–3 mm (8–12 pt).
  • Variance of type size within an illustration should be minimal, e.g., do not use 8-pt type on an axis and 20-pt type for the axis label.
  • Avoid effects such as shading, outline letters, etc.
  • Do not include titles or captions within your illustrations.

Figure Numbering

  • All figures are to be numbered using Arabic numerals.
  • Figures should always be cited in text in consecutive numerical order.
  • Figure parts should be denoted by lowercase letters (a, b, c, etc.).
  • If an appendix appears in your article and it contains one or more figures, continue the consecutive numbering of the main text. Do not number the appendix figures,"A1, A2, A3, etc." Figures in online appendices [Supplementary Information (SI)] should, however, be numbered separately.

Figure Captions

  • Each figure should have a concise caption describing accurately what the figure depicts. Include the captions in the text file of the manuscript, not in the figure file.
  • Figure captions begin with the term Fig. in bold type, followed by the figure number, also in bold type.
  • No punctuation is to be included after the number, nor is any punctuation to be placed at the end of the caption.
  • Identify all elements found in the figure in the figure caption; and use boxes, circles, etc., as coordinate points in graphs.
  • Identify previously published material by giving the original source in the form of a reference citation at the end of the figure caption.

Figure Placement and Size

  • Figures should be submitted within the body of the text. Only if the file size of the manuscript causes problems in uploading it, the large figures should be submitted separately from the text.
  • When preparing your figures, size figures to fit in the column width.
  • For large-sized journals the figures should be 84 mm (for double-column text areas), or 174 mm (for single-column text areas) wide and not higher than 234 mm.
  • For small-sized journals, the figures should be 119 mm wide and not higher than 195 mm.

Permissions

If you include figures that have already been published elsewhere, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner(s) for both the print and online format. Please be aware that some publishers do not grant electronic rights for free and that Springer will not be able to refund any costs that may have occurred to receive these permissions. In such cases, material from other sources should be used.

Accessibility

In order to give people of all abilities and disabilities access to the content of your figures, please make sure that

  • All figures have descriptive captions (blind users could then use a text-to-speech software or a text-to-Braille hardware)
  • Patterns are used instead of or in addition to colors for conveying information (colorblind users would then be able to distinguish the visual elements)
  • Any figure lettering has a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1

Supplementary Information (SI)

Springer accepts electronic multimedia files (animations, movies, audio, etc.) and other supplementary files to be published online along with an article or a book chapter. This feature can add dimension to the author's article, as certain information cannot be printed or is more convenient in electronic form.

Before submitting research datasets as Supplementary Information, authors should read the journal’s Research data policy. We encourage research data to be archived in data repositories wherever possible.

Submission

  • Supply all supplementary material in standard file formats.
  • Please include in each file the following information: article title, journal name, author names; affiliation and e-mail address of the corresponding author.
  • To accommodate user downloads, please keep in mind that larger-sized files may require very long download times and that some users may experience other problems during downloading.
  • High resolution (streamable quality) videos can be submitted up to a maximum of 25GB; low resolution videos should not be larger than 5GB.

Audio, Video, and Animations

  • Aspect ratio: 16:9 or 4:3
  • Maximum file size: 25 GB for high resolution files; 5 GB for low resolution files
  • Minimum video duration: 1 sec
  • Supported file formats: avi, wmv, mp4, mov, m2p, mp2, mpg, mpeg, flv, mxf, mts, m4v, 3gp

Text and Presentations

  • Submit your material in PDF format; .doc or .ppt files are not suitable for long-term viability.
  • A collection of figures may also be combined in a PDF file.

Spreadsheets

  • Spreadsheets should be submitted as .csv or .xlsx files (MS Excel).

Specialized Formats

  • Specialized format such as .pdb (chemical), .wrl (VRML), .nb (Mathematica notebook), and .tex can also be supplied.

Collecting Multiple Files

  • It is possible to collect multiple files in a .zip or .gz file.

Numbering

  • If supplying any supplementary material, the text must make specific mention of the material as a citation, similar to that of figures and tables.
  • Refer to the supplementary files as “Online Resource”, e.g., "... as shown in the animation (Online Resource 3)", “... additional data are given in Online Resource 4”.
  • Name the files consecutively, e.g. “ESM_3.mpg”, “ESM_4.pdf”.

Captions

  • For each supplementary material, please supply a concise caption describing the content of the file.

Processing of supplementary files

  • Supplementary Information (SI) will be published as received from the author without any conversion, editing, or reformatting.

Accessibility

In order to give people of all abilities and disabilities access to the content of your supplementary files, please make sure that

  • The manuscript contains a descriptive caption for each supplementary material
  • Video files do not contain anything that flashes more than three times per second (so that users prone to seizures caused by such effects are not put at risk)

After acceptance

Upon acceptance, your article will be exported to Production to undergo typesetting. Once typesetting is complete, you will receive a link asking you to confirm your affiliation, choose the publishing model for your article as well as arrange rights and payment of any associated publication cost.

Once you have completed this, your article will be processed and you will receive the proofs.

Article publishing agreement

Depending on the ownership of the journal and its policies, you will either grant the Publisher an exclusive licence to publish the article or will be asked to transfer copyright of the article to the Publisher.

Offprints

Offprints can be ordered by the corresponding author.

Color illustrations

Online publication of color illustrations is free of charge. For color in the print version, authors will be expected to make a contribution towards the extra costs.

Proof reading

The purpose of the proof is to check for typesetting or conversion errors and the completeness and accuracy of the text, tables and figures. Substantial changes in content, e.g., new results, corrected values, title and authorship, are not allowed without the approval of the Editor.

After online publication, further changes can only be made in the form of an Erratum, which will be hyperlinked to the article.

Online First

The article will be published online after receipt of the corrected proofs. This is the official first publication citable with the DOI. After release of the printed version, the paper can also be cited by issue and page numbers.

Open Choice

Open Choice allows you to publish open access in more than 1850 Springer Nature journals, making your research more visible and accessible immediately on publication.

Article processing charges (APCs) vary by journal – view the full list

Benefits:

  • Increased researcher engagement: Open Choice enables access by anyone with an internet connection, immediately on publication.
  • Higher visibility and impact: In Springer hybrid journals, OA articles are accessed 4 times more often on average, and cited 1.7 more times on average*.

  • Easy compliance with funder and institutional mandates: Many funders require open access publishing, and some take compliance into account when assessing future grant applications.

It is easy to find funding to support open access – please see our funding and support pages for more information.

*) Within the first three years of publication. Springer Nature hybrid journal OA impact analysis, 2018.

Open Choice

Funding and Support pages

Copyright and license term – CC BY

Open Choice articles do not require transfer of copyright as the copyright remains with the author. In opting for open access, the author(s) agree to publish the article under the Creative Commons Attribution License.

Find more about the license agreement

Ethical Responsibilities of Authors

This journal is committed to upholding the integrity of the scientific record. As a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) the journal will follow the COPE guidelines on how to deal with potential acts of misconduct.

Authors should refrain from misrepresenting research results which could damage the trust in the journal, the professionalism of scientific authorship, and ultimately the entire scientific endeavour. Maintaining integrity of the research and its presentation is helped by following the rules of good scientific practice, which include*:

  • The manuscript should not be submitted to more than one journal for simultaneous consideration.
  • The submitted work should be original and should not have been published elsewhere in any form or language (partially or in full), unless the new work concerns an expansion of previous work. (Please provide transparency on the re-use of material to avoid the concerns about text-recycling (‘self-plagiarism’).
  • A single study should not be split up into several parts to increase the quantity of submissions and submitted to various journals or to one journal over time (i.e. ‘salami-slicing/publishing’).
  • Concurrent or secondary publication is sometimes justifiable, provided certain conditions are met. Examples include: translations or a manuscript that is intended for a different group of readers.
  • Results should be presented clearly, honestly, and without fabrication, falsification or inappropriate data manipulation (including image based manipulation). Authors should adhere to discipline-specific rules for acquiring, selecting and processing data.
  • No data, text, or theories by others are presented as if they were the author’s own (‘plagiarism’). Proper acknowledgements to other works must be given (this includes material that is closely copied (near verbatim), summarized and/or paraphrased), quotation marks (to indicate words taken from another source) are used for verbatim copying of material, and permissions secured for material that is copyrighted.

Important note: the journal may use software to screen for plagiarism.

  • Authors should make sure they have permissions for the use of software, questionnaires/(web) surveys and scales in their studies (if appropriate).
  • Research articles and non-research articles (e.g. Opinion, Review, and Commentary articles) must cite appropriate and relevant literature in support of the claims made. Excessive and inappropriate self-citation or coordinated efforts among several authors to collectively self-cite is strongly discouraged.
  • Authors should avoid untrue statements about an entity (who can be an individual person or a company) or descriptions of their behavior or actions that could potentially be seen as personal attacks or allegations about that person.
  • Research that may be misapplied to pose a threat to public health or national security should be clearly identified in the manuscript (e.g. dual use of research). Examples include creation of harmful consequences of biological agents or toxins, disruption of immunity of vaccines, unusual hazards in the use of chemicals, weaponization of research/technology (amongst others).
  • Authors are strongly advised to ensure the author group, the Corresponding Author, and the order of authors are all correct at submission. Adding and/or deleting authors during the revision stages is generally not permitted, but in some cases may be warranted. Reasons for changes in authorship should be explained in detail. Please note that changes to authorship cannot be made after acceptance of a manuscript.

*All of the above are guidelines and authors need to make sure to respect third parties rights such as copyright and/or moral rights.

Upon request authors should be prepared to send relevant documentation or data in order to verify the validity of the results presented. This could be in the form of raw data, samples, records, etc. Sensitive information in the form of confidential or proprietary data is excluded.

If there is suspicion of misbehavior or alleged fraud the Journal and/or Publisher will carry out an investigation following COPE guidelines. If, after investigation, there are valid concerns, the author(s) concerned will be contacted under their given e-mail address and given an opportunity to address the issue. Depending on the situation, this may result in the Journal’s and/or Publisher’s implementation of the following measures, including, but not limited to:

  • If the manuscript is still under consideration, it may be rejected and returned to the author.
  • If the article has already been published online, depending on the nature and severity of the infraction:

    - an erratum/correction may be placed with the article

    - an expression of concern may be placed with the article

    - or in severe cases retraction of the article may occur.

The reason will be given in the published erratum/correction, expression of concern or retraction note. Please note that retraction means that the article is maintained on the platform, watermarked “retracted” and the explanation for the retraction is provided in a note linked to the watermarked article.

  • The author’s institution may be informed
  • A notice of suspected transgression of ethical standards in the peer review system may be included as part of the author’s and article’s bibliographic record.

Fundamental errors

Authors have an obligation to correct mistakes once they discover a significant error or inaccuracy in their published article. The author(s) is/are requested to contact the journal and explain in what sense the error is impacting the article. A decision on how to correct the literature will depend on the nature of the error. This may be a correction or retraction. The retraction note should provide transparency which parts of the article are impacted by the error.

Suggesting / excluding reviewers

Authors are welcome to suggest suitable reviewers and/or request the exclusion of certain individuals when they submit their manuscripts. When suggesting reviewers, authors should make sure they are totally independent and not connected to the work in any way. It is strongly recommended to suggest a mix of reviewers from different countries and different institutions. When suggesting reviewers, the Corresponding Author must provide an institutional email address for each suggested reviewer, or, if this is not possible to include other means of verifying the identity such as a link to a personal homepage, a link to the publication record or a researcher or author ID in the submission letter. Please note that the Journal may not use the suggestions, but suggestions are appreciated and may help facilitate the peer review process.

Editorial procedure

Double-blind peer review

This journal follows a double-blind reviewing procedure. This means that the author will remain anonymous to the reviewers throughout peer review. It is the responsibility of the author to anonymize the manuscript and any associated materials.

  • Author names, affiliations and any other potentially identifying information should be removed from the manuscript text and any accompanying files (such as figures of supplementary material);
  • A separate Title Page should be submitted, containing title, author names, affiliations, and the contact information of the corresponding author. Any acknowledgements, disclosures, or funding information should also be included on this page;
  • Authors should avoid citing their own work in a way that could reveal their identity.

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