The founding editor-in-chief was Lesley Anson, followed by Joerg Heber,Magdalena Skipper, and Elisa De Ranieri. As of 2022, the editors are Nathalie Le Bot for health and clinical sciences, Stephane Larochelle for biological sciences, Enda Bergin for chemistry and biotechnology, and Prabhjot Saini for physics and earth sciences.
Starting October 2014, the journal only accepted submissions from authors willing to pay an article processing charge. Until the end of 2015, part of the published submissions were only available to subscribers. In January 2016, all content became freely accessible.
Starting from 2017, the journal offers a deposition service to authors for preprints of articles "under consideration" as part of the submission process.
These open-access journals offer a lower publication fee than Nature Communications, reflecting their more specialist remits. Manuscripts rejected by Nature Publishing Group journals can choose to transfer the manuscript together with reviewers' reports to the Communications-branded journals via an automated transfer service. Alternatively, authors may choose to request a fresh review.