Share your research story with our Nature Index audience

We welcome insights, advice and opinion from the scientific community on our core topics - authorship, publication and communication of natural sciences research, and research performance and assessment in general. Here’s the best way to reach us.

7 April 2020

Catherine Armitage, chief editor, Nature Index

vladwel/Getty

The Nature Index is many things. It’s a supplement to Nature showcasing research performance in the natural sciences. It’s a Nature Research database that tracks the affiliations of articles in leading science journals, with the data freely accessible at natureindex.com.

It’s also a news website run by Nature journalists that features data-rich news and opinion intended to serve the information needs of scientists and institutions. Our core topics are the authorship, publication and communication of natural sciences research, and research performance and assessment in general.

We welcome pitches from people with direct knowledge and experience around these topics from academia, industry and the health and public sectors. It doesn’t matter what your role is, whether you’re an early career researcher or a senior scientist, a librarian, a bibliometrician or a biotech entrepreneur. If you have a story to tell around your work that you think will be of interest and benefit to the Nature Index community of readers, we’d like to hear from you.

For example, we recently published this story from a group of early career researchers about how they changed the way their performance was assessed. An introverted assistant professor telling how he mastered the art of public speaking to communicate his research is one of our best-read stories, and this advice from a research scientist about how to avoid being star-struck when peer-reviewing also struck a chord with our readers.

If you’re interested in writing for us, here’s how:

Send us a pitch or a draft. Make any pitches as detailed as you can so we can properly assess your idea. Include your own experience and how you managed it, and how what you learnt might help others facing the same issue or problem. Remember, we, as stand-ins for your potential readers, need to understand why you’re the right person to share this story.

Read other Nature Index stories. It’s the easiest way to get a sense of the sorts of stories we’re looking for and the style and tone that works on our site. You’ll see that we don’t publish academic papers, that our tone is informal rather than academic, we don’t use footnotes and we avoid jargon.

Please don’t try to send us the perfect story. As editors it’s our job to make your writing look good. We’ll work with you to add value to the piece and smooth out any bumps. We’re here to take the pain away. Once your piece is published, we’ll work hard to promote it through our social media channels and our weekly newsletter. Nature Index content is also often included in the much-loved daily Nature Briefing; other media outlets regularly refer to our stories too.

Ask us if you’re not sure. The above guide is intended to apply to the majority of submissions, but there are always exceptions. If you’re unsure about anything, contact us: natureindex[at]nature.com.

Some technical details

  • Send your pitch or draft to natureindex[at]nature.com with a clear subject line.

  • Use a Word file or Google Doc where possible. Please do not send PDF files, because we can’t edit them readily.

  • Our contributed stories are usually around 600 to 800 words.

  • Accompanying graphs and data are especially welcome. Please supply all underlying data for graphs.

  • We publish only English language pieces.

  • There are no formatting requirements and we don’t have a style guide for authors.

  • We have a small team but we will try our best to respond to your pitch as quickly as possible (days rather than weeks). We look forward to hearing from you!

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