Publishing with Elsevier: step-by-step

Learn about the publication process and how to submit your manuscript. This tutorial will help you find the right journal and maximize the chance to be published.

  • Find a Journal
  • Prepare your paper
  • Submit and revise
  • Track your paper
  • Share and promote

The Nature journals strive to provide authors with an outstandingly efficient, fair and thoughtful submission, peer-review and publishing experience. Authors can expect all manuscripts that are published to be scrutinized for peer-review with the utmost professional rigor and care by expert referees who are selected by the editors for their ability to provide incisive and useful analysis. 


Prepare a working thesis before you actually organize your research because it will guide your investigation and will help you stay focused on your subject. Your thesis statement should be concise and reflect the type of paper you are writing. All research papers can be divided into 3 categories:
  • argumentative or persuasive if you are arguing the conclusion;
  • expository when you explain information;
  • analytical when you present your analysis of certain information.

Preparing your Text, Tables, and Figure Legends

  • Collate all text, references, figure and table captions, and tables into one .docx file.

  • Do not include the figures themselves.

  • Supplementary text, figures, and tables should be prepared as a separate .docx file.

  • Use double spacing throughout the text, tables, figure legends, and references and notes.

  • Use Times and Symbol fonts only.

  • Format files for U.S. letter paper.

  • Define technical terms, symbols, abbreviations, and acronyms the first time that they are used.

  • Cite all tables and figures in numerical order.

  • If requested by your editor, please provide a version with the changes either tracked or highlighted in some way.

Acceptable formats for text. Text files must be .docx (Macintosh or Windows).

Naming your text file. Our manuscript handling system will rename your .docx file once it is uploaded, so there are no file naming requirements.

All data must be shown. Please remove all reference to data not shown and provide in the main manuscript or the Supplementary Materials all data as indicated by the editor.

Organization of Research Articles. All Research Articles follow the same format whether long or short.

  • Title (should not exceed 135 characters including spaces)

  • Authors (include affiliations linked by superscript numbers and indicate the corresponding author and provide email address)

  • Abstract (ideal length is 125 words or fewer, may not exceed 250 words)

  • One-sentence summary (should not exceed 150 characters including spaces)

  • Introduction

  • Results (may be divided into subheadings to delineate different experimental themes. Subheadings should either be all phrases or all complete sentences.)

  • Discussion

  • Materials and Methods, including sections on Experimental Design and Statistical Analysis

  • List of Supplementary Materials (this is not the complete Supplementary Materials, just a list of the titles of all Supplementary Materials items, if any)

  • References and Notes (numbered in the order in which they are cited, first through the text, and then through the figure and table legends; see details regarding format of the reference section in the Citation Style section)

  • Acknowledgements in a paragraph after the last numbered reference that also includes complete funding information, authors' contributions to the study, competing interests, and information about data and material access, including accession numbers and MTAs.

  • Tables (Tables should be included after the references. The first sentence of the table legend should be a brief descriptive title. Every vertical column should have a heading, consisting of a title with the unit of measure in parentheses. Units should not change within a column.)

  • Figure legends (Provide double-spaced in numerical order at the end of the manuscript. The figure title should be given as the first line of the legend. No single legend should be longer than 200 words. Nomenclature, abbreviations, symbols, and units used in a figure should match those used in the text.)

Track your research

Track your submitted paper

You can track the status of your submitted paper online. The system you use to track your submission will be the same system to which you submitted. Use the reference number you received after submission to track your submission.

In case of any problems contact the Support Center

Track your accepted paper

Once your paper is accepted for publication, you will receive a reference number and a direct link that lets you follow its publication status via Elsevier’s "Track Your Accepted Article" service.


Now that your article is published, you can promote it to achieve a bigger impact for your research. Sharing research, accomplishments and ambitions with a wider audience makes you more visible in your field. This helps you get cited more, enabling you to cultivate a stronger reputation, promote your research and move forward in your career.