10 Tips to write an effective cover letter for journal submission (Download - cover letter template)
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in 2013 and has been refreshed.
Most journals require that a cover letter be submitted along with each manuscript submitted for publication. Unfortunately, few authors are aware of the actual impact that a cover letter can have: it provides an excellent opportunity to communicate with the journal editor and draw his or her interest to the submitted manuscript.
As is common knowledge, journal editors are swamped with hundreds of submissions, and it’s important to make a good first impression. This editorial in Nature Immunology talks about how a cover letter “initiates a dialog between the authors and the editors” and “serves to whet the appetite of the editors.” So a brief, hurriedly written cover letter with just the basic information—title of the paper, journal name, and contact details of the corresponding author—adds little value to the submission. Here are some additional important points to mention in your cover letter for journal submission:
1. Title of the paper and corresponding author details : Although mentioning these details seems obvious, you should ensure that these are included in your cover letter.
2. A short summary of your findings : In just 3-4 sentences, you should summarize the most important findings of your study. It would be best to avoid technical details here. The objective should be to place your findings in the context of the current literature. Ask yourself the following questions to arrive at the major strengths of your study:
- How does my study add to the present knowledge?
- Does my paper refute or complement the findings of a key paper in the field? What is novel about this study?
- Does this study offer any remarkable future implications?
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3. Motivation for submitting to the journal : After the short summary, add a sentence regarding the suitability of your study for the journal. Write about how it matches the journal scope and why the readers will find it interesting.
4. Ethical approval : The cover letter for your research paper should mention whether the study was approved by the institutional review board, in case of any possible ethical concerns. In case of clinical trials, mention that informed consent was obtained, and provide the registration/approval number (some journals especially ask for this).
5. Conflict of interest : Mention whether there are any potential conflicts of interests.
6. Originality and author agreement: Finally, state that the manuscript is not under consideration for publication by another journal and that all the authors have read the manuscript and agreed to submit it to that journal.
7. Additional information : Apart from all the above essential information, some journals require additional information to be provided, which could assist the editors in reviewing the manuscript. Ensure that you check your journal formatting guidelines carefully in this regard.
8. Preferred and non-preferred reviewers : Most journals encourage authors to mention their preferred and non-preferred reviewers because this may help to expedite the review process. Authors should choose reviewers wisely, ensuring that they have no conflicts of interest and will be able to provide an unbiased and valuable assessment. Also mention any reviewers who should definitely not be appointed because of an existing conflict of interest. Note that the final choice of reviewers rests entirely with the journal editor, who may or may not accept your suggestions.
9. Prior interaction with any of the editors of that journal : If any of the journal editors has expressed interest in your work during a prior interaction (for example, on social media or at a conference), mention this in your cover letter. Under certain circumstances and with special permission from the journal, you may even address the cover letter to this editor.
10. Similar competing work: If you think your work is truly groundbreaking and think that another research group may be submitting similar results elsewhere, you can request the editors for a fast-track review process. However, use this option with caution, as it may make journal editors wary.
So that’s all there is to a cover letter for journal submission.
But what about the letter you need to provide at the time of resubmission (after addressing reviewers’ comments)? In this case, the resubmission cover letter need not repeat the information that was provided on initial submission. Instead, you should thank the journal editor for his or her assessment and the reviewers’ time and comments. Mention whether you agree with all the reviewer’s comments/suggestions. In case of those you don’t agree with, you need to offer a logical point-by-point rebuttal.
To summarize, remember that the cover letter may be your best and only chance to market your manuscript. A well-drafted impressive cover letter may be a key factor in your manuscript being given serious consideration.
You can download the attached template to write a cover letter for your submission.
- Dos and don'ts for a great cover letter
- Scientific communication: Using "Dear Mr." or "Dear Ms." in letters
- How to write a great rebuttal letter
Cover Letter Template for Journal Submissions.pdf
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Published on: Apr 18, 2018
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Tips for authors submitting a revised manuscript
Editorial decision-making: what are the possible outcomes for a…
Dos and don'ts for a great cover letter
10 Tips to write an effective cover letter for journal submission (Download - cover letter template) 5 min read
How to write a great rebuttal letter 7 min read
Dos and don'ts for a great cover letter 2 min read
How to communicate with the journal editor 11 min read
Peer review process and editorial decision making at journals 8 min read
- Statement of the problem
- Background of study
- Scope of the study
- Types of qualitative research
- Rationale of the study
- Concept paper
- Literature review
- Introduction in research
- Under "Editor Evaluation"
- Ethics in research
- Review paper
- Responding to reviewer comments
- Predatory publishers
- Scope and delimitations
- Open access
- Plagiarism in research
- Journal selection tips
- Editor assigned
- Types of articles
- "Reject and Resubmit" status
- Decision in process
- Conflict of interest
Sample Cover Letter For Journal Paper Submission
sample cover letter for journal submission
Sample cover letter for journal submission- the perfect format to opt for.
Are you an aspiring author and you are planning to submit your journal with the editor or a publisher? In those instances, the cover letter will be playing a crucial role to impress the editor or the publisher. Remember, this document will act as the preface of the following documents and if it fails to impress the editor or the publisher, there are hardly any chances for the journal to get considered for publication. Thus, a convincing cover letter is extremely important to decide the fate of the journal. The sample cover letter for journal submission will help you to draft a convincing and compelling cover letter.
Model format for cover letter for Journal submission
Dear Mr/Ms/Mrs. (Last name),
Start with the introduction of the author and give an excerpt of the journal. It should include the purpose of writing the journal, its objective as well as the probable outcome.
This paragraph should cover the journal topic. The description should be given in maximum of 5 to 6 sentences that will come with a title and then explains the topic, list the specific data/material covered, the theoretical approach for the journal as well as the core argument for the journal.
This paragraph should include 3 to 4 sentences and describe the contribution that the journal is likely to make to the domain that the journal targets. You need to provide references to other scholarly works, published in the journal in recent times.
This part of the letter should include a few reviews on the journal and should thank the editor for taking time out to go through the document and considering it. You can include your contact details here.
Closing salutation and Signature
Tricks and tips for writing a compelling cover letter for journal submission
- You should preferably draft the letter on your letterhead
- The cover letter has to reflect the key points in the following documents, but, you should not get into unnecessary detailing.
- Include the key points that make the journal unique and engaging.
- Illustrate how this journal is likely to benefit the readers.
- Give a strong value proposition about your profile that will make you credible as an author.
- Give references of journals and articles that have been published previously in other publications.
- The cover letter has to be professionally written and it should be presented in a style that it triggers interest in the mind of the editor/publisher.
You can refer to the templates for the sample cover letter for journal submission that will give you an idea about the structure and the content of the letter. In this regard, it will be wise to draft separate letters for each submission will make your cover letter more appealing to the editor/publisher. Likewise, ensure that you are not just copying and pasting the cover letter format as it would make the document cliché. Follow these tips to make the cover letter the most effective and impacting.
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Covering Letter For Journal Article Submission Sample
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WHAT A COVER LETTER FOR JOURNAL SUBMISSION SHOULD INCLUDE
When you have been editing, re-editing and proof-reading your manuscript multiple times, it’s easy to forget that there is another thing you should do before you submit it: writing a cover letter. A question that my clients often ask me is: What should cover letters for journal submissions include and what do journal editors absolutely not see in there?
To answer these common questions, I chatted about cover letters with a friend of mine, Dr. Paul Woods. He is an editor with the journal Nature Astronomy and receives cover letters every day.
Paul, why are cover letters for journals so important?
Cover letters are a place for direct communication to the editor dealing with your paper, and they are not seen by reviewers, so they're a perfect place for frank and open communication.
That sounds like an opportunity one shouldn’t miss out on. What mistakes do authors make in their cover letters?
There are no really critical mistakes, but, for instance, I don’t need to see the abstract, I can read it in the manuscript. Same holds for an author list with their list of affiliations (unless the authors have opted for double-blind peer review). Never ever just copy-paste the entire paper in the cover letter… Yes, some people do this.
How to write a cover letter for journal submission
It’s good to know what not to do. So, how can authors do it right and use the space in a cover letter in the best way?
I would like to see a concise summary of the work that has been performed. One or two paragraphs are ideal. In Nature Astronomy, the author is also required to indicate how the work or the results make an improvement over previous work, that is, other refereed papers in the literature. More specialist journals might not have this strict requirement. The authors can be explicit here - I appreciate things like "Our results are more robust than XXX et al. because they didn't do any completeness tests, whereas we perform these in a couple of ways (see Methods section)."
Cover letters are a place for direct communication to the editor
Why do you recommend to point this out?
Knowing these things not only helps me to assess the impact of the work, but also to spot whether the reviewers have fully appreciated the level of advance that the current paper makes.
Is there anything else authors should write in their cover letter?
I like to see suggestions for good referees who will appreciate the topic and importance of the work. But don’t give a list of colleagues and collaborators… Editors do check! On this note, I also welcome suggestions for referees to avoid because of some professional conflict.
The cover letter is also the right place to communicate relevant information of organisational nature. For example, if there are time pressures or restrictions on the publication of the manuscript. Do mention if there is a companion manuscript with which publication has to be synchronised. Nature Astronomy doesn’t do series, but if your manuscript is part of one, it might be useful to tell the editor in the cover letter.
Thank you very much for all these insights, Paul.
For more tips to increase your chances to get accepted in a high-impact journal, click here .
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A cover letter is the first point of contact between you and the target journal's editors. As such, your cover letter functions as a sales pitch to the journal editors. In other words, you cover letter needs to sell the notion of why your manuscript deserves to be published in and how it matches the scope of the target journal. This presentation will tell you everything you need to know to write a great cover letter for your submission. This includes: 1. What is a cover letter? 2. Differences between a cover letter and a title page 3. Why are cover letters important? 4. Basic information a cover letter should contain 5. Additional details you could include 6. References for further reading
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Sample cover letter for journal submission- the perfect format to opt for. Are you an aspiring author and you are planning to submit your journal with the editor or a publisher?
Securing print journal templates available for the corresponding author journal submission must make a covering letter journal submission sample a prelude, when your goals
ANNOTATED TEMPLATE Journal Submissions Cover Letter. Begin your cover letter with a paragraph that.With prompts from Robert Lee Brewer's popular.I n cl u d e y ou r man u scri p t's ti tl e an d th e n ame of th
He is an editor with the journal Nature Astronomy and receives cover letters every day. Cover letters are a place for direct communication to the journal editor dealing with your paper so they're a perfect place for frank and open communication
A cover letter is the first point of contact between you and the target journal's editors. As such, your cover letter functions as a sales pitch to the journal editors. This presentation will tell you everything