Q: Dear Nature: I am considering sending a presubmission enquiry for a Letter, and in the process, noticed your comment that, “The editors would prefer to read the full paper even if it isn’t in journal format, than to read a presub.” If, (hypothetically!) I had a paper written in the format of another journal which that journal has not offered to publish, is there a mechanism by which I could submit this paper, rather than a presubmission enquiry, to Nature with the understanding that it would be rewritten to conform to your format if it were to be formally submitted? Would this be preferable? It would certainly be easier for me, and presumably would give you better information.
A: Thank you for your message. Yes, you can submit a paper to Nature in the same format that you’ve used for another journal. We aren’t too concerned about the precise details of format at the submission stage as long as the manuscript is not excessively over-length. As you say, a full manuscript that isn’t quite in the journal format is more informative for the editors than a brief presubmission enquiry.
All manuscripts that are sent for peer-review go through at least two rounds of revision, so there is opportunity at the first revision stage for format issues to be addressed. The editor will send specific guidelines then.
We recommend to authors who wish to submit a manuscript that has previously been formatted for another journal that that they note in their covering letter that their manuscript is currently not in Nature‘s precise format as specified in our guidelines, and that they are willing to revise the manuscript to Nature’s format during the peer-review process.