Publishing your work in an influential journal begins with good research, but there is much more to it. This talk aims to demystify the editorial process from the perspective of an editor at a Nature Portfolio journal. What takes a paper from new submission to accepted article? We will begin discussing what our editors look for in potential papers — and how best to communicate your work to the editor and reviewers to ensure that the point gets across. We will then walk through all stages of the peer review process, from how editors select referees, to how we make decisions from a set of reports. You will also learn the keys to fashioning a convincing cover letter, convincing response letters, and putting together a successful appeal. Finally, we will discuss critical points in ensuring accessibility, reproducibility and transparency of research and the initiatives undertaken at Nature Communications.