Nature-Nurture Publisher (NNP) is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).Nature-Nurture Publisher (NNP) also endorses the American Psychological Association (APA) Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Natural and Social Sciences Journals.
Submission of a manuscript to a Nature-Nurture Publisher (NNP) journals implies that all authors have read and agreed to its content and that the manuscript conforms to the journal’s policies.
Nature-Nurture Publisher (NNP)remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
Ethics and consent
Research involving human participants, human material, or human data, must have been performed in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki or APA and must have been approved by an appropriate ethics committee. A statement detailing this, including the name of the ethics committee and the reference number where appropriate, must appear in all manuscripts reporting such research. If a study has been granted an exemption from requiring ethics approval, this should also be detailed in the manuscript (including the name of the ethics committee that granted the exemption). Further information and documentation to support this should be made available to the Editor on request. Manuscripts may be rejected if the Editor considers that the research has not been carried out within an appropriate ethical framework. In rare cases, the Editor may contact the ethics committee for further information.
Retrospective ethics approval
If a study has not been granted ethics committee approval prior to commencing, retrospective ethics approval usually cannot be obtained and it may not be possible to consider the manuscript for peer review. The decision on whether to proceed to peer review in such cases is at the Editor's discretion.
Consent to participate
For all research involving human participants, informed consent to participate in the study should be obtained from participants (or their parent or legal guardian in the case of children under 16) and a statement to this effect should appear in the manuscript. For manuscripts reporting studies involving vulnerable groups (for example, unconscious patients) where there is the potential for coercion (for example prisoners) or where consent may not have been fully informed, manuscripts will be considered at the editor’s discretion and may be referred to an internal editorial oversight group for further scrutiny. Consent must be obtained for all forms of personally identifiable data including biomedical, clinical, and biometric data. In the case of articles describing human transplantation studies, authors must include a statement declaring that no organs/tissues were obtained from prisoners and must also name the institution(s)/clinic(s)/department(s) via which organs/tissues were obtained. Documentary evidence of consent must be supplied if requested.
Sex and gender in research (SAGER)
We encourage our authors to follow the ‘Sex and Gender Equity in Research – SAGER – guidelines’ and to include sex and gender considerations where relevant. Authors should use the terms sex (biological attribute) and gender (shaped by social and cultural circumstances) carefully in order to avoid confusing both terms. Article titles and/or abstracts should indicate clearly what sex(es) the study applies to. Authors should also describe in the background, whether sex and/or gender differences may be expected; report how sex and/or gender were accounted for in the design of the study; provide disaggregated data by sex and/or gender, where appropriate; and discuss respective results. If a sex and/or gender analysis was not conducted, the rationale should be given in the Discussion. We suggest that our authors consult the full guidelines before submission.
- Definition of Sex and Gender (taken from Office of Research in Women’s Health, NIH).
- Sex - refers to biological differences between females and males, including chromosomes, sex organs, and endogenous hormonal profiles.
- Gender- refers to socially constructed and enacted roles and behaviors which occur in a historical and cultural context and vary across societies and over time.
- Applications of the guidelines: These guidelines apply to studies involving humans, vertebrate animal and cell lines.
Research involving animals
Experimental research on vertebrates or any regulated invertebrates must comply with institutional, national, or international guidelines, and where available should have been approved by an appropriate ethics committee. The APA outlines fundamental principles to adhere to when conducting research in animals and the International Council for Laboratory Animal Science (ICLAS) has also published ethical guidelines.
Field studies and other non-experimental research on animals must comply with institutional, national, or international guidelines, and where available should have been approved by an appropriate ethics committee. A statement detailing compliance with relevant guidelines and/or appropriate permissions or licences must be included in the manuscript. We recommend that authors comply with the IUCN Policy Statement on Research Involving Species at Risk of Extinction and the Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
Consent for publication
For all manuscripts that include details, images, or videos relating to an individual person, written informed consent for the publication of these details must be obtained from that person (or their parent or legal guardian in the case of children under 18). The consent must be for publication of their details under the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (such that they will be freely available on the internet). If the person has died, consent for publication must be obtained from their next of kin. The manuscript must include a statement that written informed consent for publication was obtained.
Nature-Nurture Publisher (NNP) supports initiatives to improve reporting of clinical trials. This includes prospective registration of clinical trials in suitable publicly available databases. In line with APA or ICMJE guidelines, Nature-Nurture Publisher (NNP) requires registration of all clinical trials that are reported in manuscripts submitted to its journals.
The APA uses the World Health Organization (WHO) definition of a clinical trial, which is "any research study that prospectively assigns human participants or groups of humans to one or more health-related interventions to evaluate the effects on health outcomes". This definition includes phase I to IV trials. The ICMJE defines health-related interventions as "any intervention used to modify a biomedical or health-related outcome" and health-related outcomes as "any biomedical or health-related measures obtained in patients or participants". Authors who are unsure whether their trial needs registering should consult the ICMJE FAQs for further information.
Suitable publicly available registries are those listed on the ICMJE website as well as any of the primary registries that participate in the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform, including the ISRCTN registry, which is administered and published by Nature-Nurture Publisher (NNP) .
The trial registration number (TRN) and date of registration should be included as the last line of the manuscript abstract.
For clinical trials that have not been registered prospectively, Nature-Nurture Publisher (NNP) encourages retrospective registration to ensure the complete publication of all results. Further information on retrospective registration is available from the All Trials campaign, the Public Accounts Committee and the Department of Health.
Many journals published by Nature-Nurture Publisher (NNP) will consider manuscripts describing retrospectively registered studies. The TRN, date of registration and the words 'retrospectively registered’ should be included as the last line of the manuscript abstract.
Registration of systematic reviews
Nature-Nurture Publisher (NNP) supports the prospective registration of systematic reviews and encourages authors to register their systematic reviews in a suitable registry (such as PROSPERO). Authors who have registered their systematic review should include the registration number as the last line of the manuscript abstract.
Availability of data and materials
Submission of a manuscript to a Nature-Nurture Publisher (NNP) journal implies that materials described in the manuscript, including all relevant raw data, will be freely available to any scientist wishing to use them for non-commercial purposes, without breaching participant confidentiality.
For all journals, Nature-Nurture Publisher (NNP) strongly encourages that all datasets on which the conclusions of the paper rely should be available to readers, and where there is a community established norm for data sharing, Nature-Nurture Publisher (NNP) mandates data deposition (for data types with required deposition, see below).
We encourage authors to ensure that their datasets are either deposited in publicly available repositories (where available and appropriate) or presented in the main manuscript or additional supporting files, in machine-readable format (such as spreadsheets rather than PDFs) whenever possible. Please see the list of recommended repositories. For several journals, deposition of the data on which the conclusions of the manuscript rely is required. Please check the individual journal’s Submission Guidelines for more information.
Standards of reporting
Nature-Nurture Publisher (NNP) advocates complete and transparent reporting of biological research. Please refer to the Minimum standards of reporting checklist when reporting your research (published in Nature-Nurture Publisher (NNP). Exact requirements may vary depending on the journal; please refer to the journal’s submission guidelines. We also strongly recommend that authors refer to the minimum reporting guidelines for health research hosted by the EQUATOR Network when preparing their manuscript, and FAIRsharing.org for reporting checklists for biological and biomedical research, where applicable. Authors should adhere to these guidelines when drafting their manuscript, and peer reviewers will be asked to refer to these checklists when evaluating such studies.
Checklists are available for a number of study designs, including:
- Randomized controlled trials (CONSORT) and protocols (SPIRIT)
- Systematic reviews and meta-analyses* (PRISMA) and protocols (PRISMA-P)
- Observational studies (STROBE)
- Case reports (CARE)
- Qualitative research (COREQ)
- Diagnostic/prognostic studies (STARD and TRIPOD)
- Economic evaluations (CHEERS)
- Pre-clinical animal studies (ARRIVE)
Authors should include full information on the statistical methods and measures used in their research, including justification of the appropriateness of the statistical test used (see the APA guidelines for more information). Reviewers will be asked to check the statistical methods, and the manuscript may be sent for specialist statistical review if considered necessary.
To enable effective tracking of the key resources used to produce the scientific findings reported in the biomedical literature, authors are expected to include a full description of all resources with enough information to allow them to be uniquely identified. In support of the Resource Identification Initiative (RII), we encourage authors to use unique Resource Identifiers (RRIDs) within their manuscript to identify their model organisms, antibodies, or tools.
Nature-Nurture Publisher (NNP) requires authors to declare all competing interests in relation to their work. All submitted manuscripts must include a ‘competing interests’ section at the end of the manuscript listing all competing interests (financial and non-financial). Where authors have no competing interests, the statement should read “The author(s) declare(s) that they have no competing interests”. The Editor may ask for further information relating to competing interests.
Editors and reviewers are also required to declare any competing interests and may be excluded from the peer review process if a competing interest exists.
Financial competing interests
Financial competing interests include (but are not limited to):
- Receiving reimbursements, fees, funding, or salary from an organization that may in any way gain or lose financially from the publication of the manuscript, either now or in the future.
- Holding stocks or shares in an organization that may in any way gain or lose financially from the publication of the manuscript, either now or in the future.
- Holding, or currently applying for, patents relating to the content of the manuscript.
- Receiving reimbursements, fees, funding, or salary from an organization that holds or has applied for patents relating to the content of the manuscript.
Non-financial competing interests
Non-financial competing interests include (but are not limited to) political, personal, religious, ideological, academic, and intellectual competing interests. If, after reading these guidelines, you are unsure whether you have a competing interest.
Authors from pharmaceutical companies, or other commercial organizations that sponsor clinical trials, should declare these as competing interests on submission. They should also adhere to the Good Publication Practice guidelines for pharmaceutical companies (GPP3), which are designed to ensure that publications are produced in a responsible and ethical manner. The guidelines also apply to any companies or individuals that work on industry-sponsored publications, such as freelance writers, contract research organizations and communications companies. Nature-Nurture Publisher (NNP) will not publish advertorial content.
Authorship provides credit for a researcher’s contributions to a study and carries accountability. Authors are expected to fulfil the criteria below (adapted from McNutt et al.,Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Feb 2018, 201715374; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1715374115; licensed under CC BY 4.0):
Each author is expected to have made substantial contributions to the conception OR design of the work; OR the acquisition, analysis, OR interpretation of data; OR the creation of new software used in the work; OR have drafted the work or substantively revised it
AND to have approved the submitted version (and any substantially modified version that involves the author's contribution to the study);
AND to have agreed both to be personally accountable for the author's own contributions and to ensure that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work, even ones in which the author was not personally involved, are appropriately investigated, resolved, and the resolution documented in the literature.
Nature-Nurture Publisher (NNP) journals encourage collaboration with colleagues in the locations where the research is conducted, and expect their inclusion as co-authors when they fulfill all authorship criteria described above. Contributors who do not meet all criteria for authorship should be listed in the Acknowledgements section.
Please see individual journal's Submission Guidelines for information on the format for listing author contributions.
Authors wishing to make changes to authorship will be asked to complete our change of authorship form. Please note that changes to authorship cannot be made after acceptance of a manuscript.
Corresponding authors are responsible for ensuring that all listed authors have approved the manuscript before submission, including the names and order of authors, and that all authors receive the submission and all substantive correspondence with editors, as well as the full reviews, verifying that all data, figures, materials (including reagents), and code, even those developed or provided by other authors, comply with the transparency and reproducibility standards of both the field and journal.
This responsibility includes but is not limited to: (i) ensuring that original data/original figures/materials/code upon which the submission is based are preserved following best practices in the field so that they are retrievable for reanalysis; (ii) confirming that data/figures/materials/code presentation accurately reflects the original; and (iii) foreseeing and minimizing obstacles to the sharing of data/materials/code described in the work. The corresponding author should be responsible for managing these requirements across the author group and ensuring that the entire author group is fully aware of and in compliance with best practices in the discipline of publication.
To discourage ghost authorship, corresponding authors must reveal as appropriate whether the manuscript benefited from the use of editorial services that, if unacknowledged, might constitute an undisclosed conflict of interest. Examples include use of an editor from an organization that may have a vested interest in slanting the results or reliance on a technical writer at a level that would warrant authorship credit. These situations might variously be addressed by including a statement in the acknowledgments, by describing the effort in the methods section, or by adding an author.
The involvement of scientific (medical) writers or anyone else who assisted with the preparation of the manuscript content should be acknowledged, along with their source of funding, as described in the APA. The role of medical writers should be acknowledged explicitly in the ‘Acknowledgements’ or ‘Authors’ contributions’ section as appropriate.
Corresponding authors should indicate whether any authors on earlier versions have been removed or new authors added and why. It is incumbent on the corresponding author to ensure that all authors (or group/laboratory leaders in large collaborations) have certified the author list and contribution description: that all authors who deserve to be credited on the manuscript are indeed identified, that no authors are listed who do not deserve authorship credit, and that author contributions, where they are provided, are expressed accurately.
Any potential authorship disputes brought to the editors’ attention will be handled in line with COPE guidelines.
All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an ‘Acknowledgements’ section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help or writing assistance, or a department chair who provided only general support.
Third party submissions
All manuscripts must be submitted by an author and may not be submitted by a third party.
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 consider the following guidelines when preparing their manuscript:
- Any statement in the manuscript that relies on external sources of information (i.e. not the authors' own new ideas or findings or general knowledge) should use a citation.
- Authors should avoid citing derivations of original work. For example, they should cite the original work rather than a review article that cites an original work.
- Authors should ensure that their citations are accurate (i.e. they should ensure the citation supports the statement made in their manuscript and should not misrepresent another work by citing it if it does not support the point the authors wish to make).
- Authors should not cite sources that they have not read.
- Authors should not preferentially cite their own or their friends’, peers’, or institution’s publications.
- Authors should avoid citing work solely from one country.
- Authors should not use an excessive number of citations to support one point.
- Ideally, authors should cite sources that have undergone peer review where possible.
- Authors should not cite advertisements or advertorial material.
Any manuscript submitted to a Nature-Nurture Publisher (NNP) journal must be original and the manuscript, or substantial parts of it, must not be under consideration by any other journal. In any case where there is the potential for overlap or duplication we require that authors are transparent. Authors should declare any potentially overlapping publications on submission. Any overlapping publications should be cited. Any ‘in press’ or unpublished manuscript cited, or relevant to the Editor’s and reviewers' assessment of the manuscript, should be made available if requested by the Editor. Nature-Nurture Publisher (NNP) reserves the right to judge potentially overlapping or redundant publications on a case-by-case basis. Nature-Nurture Publisher (NNP) endorses the policies of the APA and COPE in relation to overlapping publications.
Preprint servers and author/institutional repositories
Posting a manuscript on a preprint server or an author's personal or institutional website does not constitute previous publication. Please see our preprint sharing and citation policy for further information.
Nature-Nurture Publisher (NNP)encourages self-archiving by authors of manuscripts accepted for publication in its journals.
Nature-Nurture Publisher (NNP) will consider submissions containing material that has previously formed part of a PhD or other academic thesis including those that have been made publicly available according to the requirements of the institution awarding the qualification.
Translations into English
Authors should comply with the APA or COPE guidelines and seek approval from the original publisher to check that they do not breach the copyright terms of the original publication and that the original publisher gives permission for publication of the translation under the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0.
At the Editor's discretion, some Nature-Nurture Publisher’s journals will consider manuscripts that are substantially extended versions of articles that have previously been published in another peer-reviewed journal. In such cases the prior publication of an abridged version of the article would therefore not preclude publication, provided the new manuscript represents a substantially novel contribution to the scientific record. If applicable, the authors should seek approval from the original publisher before submitting the extended version of the manuscript.
Prior abstracts of up to 400 words and posters presented at, or published as part of, academic meetings do not preclude consideration for peer review of a full manuscript, as the full manuscript represents a formal advance to the citable scientific record. Published abstracts should be cited. Authors should be aware that many conference proceedings exceed the allowable word limit and constitute a citable form.
Making scientific data sets publicly available before associated manuscripts are submitted will not preclude consideration by a Nature-Nurture Publisher’s journal. Because an increasing number of research funding agencies require that their grant holders share the 'raw data' research outputs, such data sharing is encouraged by Nature-Nurture Publisher (NNP), provided appropriate safeguards are in place to protect personal or sensitive information. See the policy on publication of clinical datasets (above) for more information.
Authors of non-research articles (usually commissioned reviews and commentaries) can include figures and tables that have been previously published in other journals provided they confirm on submission that permission has been obtained from the original publisher (if applicable) and cite the original article. Documentary evidence to support this permission must be made available to the Editor on request.
In order to avoid the potential for self-plagiarism, inadvertently or otherwise, authors agreeing to write commissioned articles should notify the Editor of any recent publications or invitations to write on a similar topic.
If authors have previously discussed or posted their own data in venues such as blogs, wikis, social networking websites, or online electronic lab notebooks, they are still able to submit their findings to The Nature-Nurture Publisher's journals. However, given the rapidly evolving nature of these resources, where discussion of data or manuscripts posted to these venues has subsequently been incorporated into the manuscript, the Editor will make their own assessment as to whether there may be duplication in the submitted manuscript.
Publication of study protocols reduces the risk of non-publication of research findings and facilitates methodological discussion, and is encouraged by a number of Nature-Nurture Publisher ’s journals. Therefore prior publication of a study protocol before submission of a manuscript reporting the results is not considered duplicate publication.
Summary clinical trial results in public registries
Posting of summary clinical trial results in publicly accessible databases is generally not considered duplicate publication. Nature-Nurture Publisher (NNP) requires authors of manuscripts reporting clinical trials to have registered their trial in a suitably accessible registry (see our Trial Registration policy for more information). In the US, submission of trial results to ClinicalTrials.gov is a statutory requirement.
Editors will treat all manuscripts submitted to all Nature-Nurture Publisher’s journals in confidence. The Nature-Nurture Publisher (NNP) adheres to COPE’s Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers. Reviewers are therefore required to respect the confidentiality of the peer review process and not reveal any details of a manuscript or its review, during or after the peer-review process, beyond the information released by the journal. If reviewers wish to involve a colleague in the review process they should first obtain permission from the journal. The Editor should be informed of the names of any individuals who assisted in the review process when the report is returned.
Nature-Nurture Publisher (NNP) will not share manuscripts with third parties outside of Nature-Nurture Publisher (NNP) except in cases of suspected misconduct. See our Misconduct policy for further information. Manuscripts may be shared with other Editors at Nature-Nurture Publisher (NNP), unless authors indicate on submission that they do not wish for their manuscript to be passed on beyond the journal they submitted to. See portability of peer review for more information.
Nature-Nurture Publisher (NNP) regularly undertakes research projects designed to help improve processes for authors, reviewers and editors, and how science is communicated in our journals. Participation in this research will not affect the editorial review of manuscripts, the consideration given to reviewer reports by Editors or the confidentiality of the submission and review process. Depending on the nature of the research project we may seek ethical approval and may need to contact you for consent to participate. Research may be undertaken retrospectively after the publication of manuscripts; in all cases details of manuscripts will be kept confidential.
Nature-Nurture Publisher (NNP) takes seriously all allegations of potential misconduct. As members of COPE, all Nature-Nurture Publisher ‘s journals will follow the COPE guidelines outlining how to deal with cases of suspected misconduct.
In cases of suspected research or publication misconduct, it may be necessary for the Editor to contact and share manuscripts with third parties, for example, author(s)’ institution(s) and ethics committee(s). Nature-Nurture Publisher (NNP) may also seek advice from COPE and discuss anonymized cases in the COPE Forum. The editor may also involve Nature-Nurture Publisher ’s independent ombudsman.
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.
All research involving humans (including human data and human material) and animals must have been carried out within an appropriate ethical framework (see our Ethics policy for further information). If there is suspicion that research has not taken place within an appropriate ethical framework, the Editor may reject a manuscript and may inform third parties, for example, author(s)’ institution(s) and ethics committee(s).
In cases of proven research misconduct involving published articles, or where the scientific integrity of the article is significantly undermined, articles may be retracted. See our Retraction policy for further information.
Data falsification and fabrication
Data falsification is manipulating research data with the intention of giving a false impression. This includes manipulating images, removing outliers or “inconvenient” results, changing, adding or omitting data points, etc. Data fabrication means the making up of research findings.
Any questions regarding data integrity raised during or after the peer review process will be referred to the Editor. The Editor may request (anonymised) underlying study data from the author(s) for inspection or verification. If the original data cannot be produced, the manuscript may be rejected or, in the case of a published article, retracted. Cases of suspected misconduct will be reported to the author(s)’ institution(s).
As members of COPE, all Nature-Nurture Publisher ’s journals will follow the COPE guidelines outlining how to deal with cases of potential publication misconduct.
Nature-Nurture Publisher (NNP)is followed the COPE guidelines related plagiarism.