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Nature’s “News and Views” articles summarize high-impact research published recently in other journals. The News & Views articles are typically not written by the authors of the research paper, but by other researchers in the same field.

However, the topic of News & Views articles are not covered at all in Nature’s information for authors. So, how are people writing the News & Views chosen? Is it only by invitation of the editor? And who chooses the articles written about in the first place?

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From the Nature guide on Other Submitted Material:

  1. News & Views
    These articles inform nonspecialist readers about new scientific advances, as reported in recently published papers (in Nature and elsewhere). This is a commission-only section.

So the articles are selected and commissioned by Nature editorial staff, and written by invited authors. A quick look through recent News & Views articles finds contributions from scientists and science writers (including former Nature writing / editorial staff).

  • I'm not sure about this would apply to a mega-publication like Nature specifically, but in smaller (i.e. less submissions) journals, the editor might still be happy to receive an e-mail saying "I'd be happy to write a news & views segment on paper X if you happen to be interested in that". – ThomasH Sep 10 '13 at 11:15
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In addition to EnergyNumbers' answer:

Many of the News & Views are about Nature papers published in the same issue. Sometimes the editors will ask one of the reviewers to write about the paper they reviewed. This makes some sense since they should be experts in the field and have already read the paper (which hasn't been published yet) thoroughly. There is a chance though that this will reveal their identity.

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