The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Journal Article Publication Letters

What is this handout about.

This handout offers guidance on how to write a cover letter for submitting journal manuscripts for publication.

What is a journal publication letter?

A journal publication letter, also known as a journal article submission cover letter, is a cover letter written to a peer-reviewed journal to advocate for the publication of a manuscript. Not all journals ask for a publication letter. Some see publication letters as optional, but many peer-reviewed academic journals request or require them.

What do journal publication letters typically contain?

The most basic information included in a publication letter is contact information, the name of the author(s), the title of the manuscript, and either the assurance that the manuscript being submitted has not been submitted elsewhere or a statement regarding any places the manuscript may be available. Some journals may also expect you to briefly explain your argument, outline your methodology or theoretical commitments, discus permissions and funding, and explain how your manuscript fits into the overall aims of the journal. Journals may even request the names of two or three suggested reviewers for your manuscript. A journal may require all, none, or some of this additional information. The above list is not exhaustive, but it highlights the importance of knowing the journal’s conventions and expectations.

How should I prepare to write?

Just as with any other writing project, writing publication letters involves a process. Although you may finish in as little as a few hours or a day, you might take longer if you compose multiple drafts. This section is designed to help you think through the various steps of the writing process.

Previously, we mentioned the importance of knowing the journal’s standards, but you may not find those expectations laid out clearly on the journal’s website. In fact, most journals assume that the scholars who submit a letter are well-versed in the journal’s mission. Below are some strategies for helping you determine the expectations for journal article publication letters.

Consider the standards in your field:

  • See if your field’s top journals require a letter.
  • Ask your advisor or mentor about their standard practices.
  • Ask someone who has published recently in your field’s top journals whether a letter is standard or not.
  • If submitting a letter is standard practice, ask others in your field for examples of their publication letters to see what information is typically included.

Research the specific journal:

  • If you aren’t already very familiar with the journal, read a handful of recent articles to get a sense of the type and content of manuscripts the journal publishes.
  • Explore the journal’s website to see what you can learn about the journal in general.
  • Read the journal’s mission statement.
  • Read carefully any information the journal provides for potential authors.
  • If you still have questions, consider contacting one of the journal’s editors.

After completing your research, you should have a good sense of the journal’s audience and the sort of articles that appear in the journal.

Once you know the expectations for publication letters in your field and in a specific journal, revisit the reasons your manuscript is a good fit for the journal. Remember the journal has no obligation to publish your manuscript. Instead, you advocate for your scholarship and communicate why your manuscript is a good fit. Below are some questions to consider.

Consider how your manuscript fits into the publication:

  • How does it use a specific methodology or framework important to the journal?
  • How does it focus on themes that have been popular in recent issues?
  • How does it advance a new perspective on topics typically seen in the journal?
  • Does it fit with any proposed themed issues?

Consider the audience for your manuscript:

  • How does your subject or your approach to it intersect with the interests of the journal’s readers?
  • How does your manuscript appeal to readers outside your subfield?
  • Could your manuscript reach a broader audience that could expand the journal’s readership? If so, how?

Consider how your manuscript engages with the field at large:

  • How is it advancing new perspectives, approaches, or topics?
  • How is it critiquing previous or current scholarship?
  • How is it anticipating new directions in the field?
  • How is it using a common approach in a new way?

All these questions encourage you to consider how your manuscript contributes to the field in a way that is valuable enough for a journal to publish it. Make no mistake, the cover letter is an argument for why your manuscript should be published.

Writing a draft

This section addresses two aspects of composing a cover letter draft. The first aspect is the form, and the second is the content. Think about both of these aspects when composing your draft.

Consider the form

The structure of a document can be defined as the different sections of the document and the order in which they appear. There should be an addressee and addresser, as well as the proper contact information. If possible, it should be on departmental letterhead. The letter may be as short as three sentences or as long as multiple paragraphs. But unless the writer is a senior scholar, even a longer letter should be no more than one page. Some standard features you might consider:

Addressee. If you choose or are required to write a cover letter, follow the standard format for letters in the country in which the publication is based.

  • It is usually addressed to the editor unless otherwise specified.
  • If you cannot find the name of the editor, it is permissible to address it to the Editor-in-Chief or Managing Editor.
  • The address should be the journal’s, not the editor’s personal address or institutional address.

Font. While this category may seem trivial, font choice communicates a lot to readers.

  • The goal for a letter is readability, so avoid fonts and styles that are difficult to read.
  • Standard fonts include Arial or Times New Roman, usually in size 12.

Paragraphs. Again, the formatting of paragraphs aids in the readability of a letter, and an unusual paragraph format may appear unprofessional to some readers.

  • Make sure that paragraphs are not indented.
  • Single-space the text and justify it to the left.
  • Separate paragraphs with one line of space.

Closing. Letter closings solidify your presentation as a professional. Maintain the same formality as the rest of the letter.

  • Close with “sincerely,” “best regards,” or something comparably formal.
  • Type your name and provide your signature.
  • Include your contact information near the end.
  • For a dual-authored manuscript, include the contact information for both authors.
  • If the manuscript was composed by more than two authors, include only one additional author’s contact information with yours.

Consider the content

Remember that a cover letter, especially a longer one, is essentially a professional pitch for your manuscript. You ultimately need to communicate why your manuscript would be a good fit for a particular journal. Journals asking for longer cover letters want to know whether you are familiar with their audience and the journal’s mission statement. Below are some elements that you should consider when composing your letter:

Summarize the major arguments/findings of the manuscript. Make sure that you clearly explain what you discovered from your research. Connect these findings to the journal’s aims and scope. Some questions you might consider:

  • Did you make new connections?
  • Did you confirm previous findings?
  • Did you discover new implications?

Discuss your methodology. Clarify the type of methods you used in your research. Ask yourself:

  • Did you undertake a case study? A longitudinal study? A cross-sectional study?
  • Is the study qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods?
  • Did you use or adapt a specific model or framework?
  • Did you approach the topic using a new theoretical lens?
  • Did you integrate multiple theories or theoretical frameworks?
  • Did you apply a theory or method not frequently used in your subfield?
  • Did you approach a theory or method in a new way?

Consider the aim of the journal. Every journal has a purpose, and most journals have a statement about the type of scholarship they feature. You might ask:

  • What is the aim and scope of the journal?
  • How does it present itself to the field?
  • How does your manuscript fit with recent publications in the journal?

Consider the readership. Here are some questions you can ask:

  • Who is the audience for the journal, and how will your manuscript appeal to them?
  • Which institutions subscribe to this journal?
  • How does your manuscript appeal to readers outside your subdiscipline?
  • How does your manuscript appeal to people outside your discipline?
  • How does it appeal to non-academic readers or professionals?

Consider the journal’s future trajectory. Research journals strive to remain relevant. In order to do so, journals often change to reflect trends in the field. Ask yourself:

  • Are they attempting to expand their readership?
  • Are they trying to integrate interdisciplinary approaches?
  • Are they incorporating more theoretical questions or newer methodologies?
  • Are they willing to critique the field?
  • Would your manuscript work as a part of a special issue?

Provide context for the research . If you are writing a longer letter, explain how your research fits in both with the research in your field at large and in your subfield. Ask yourself:

  • How does your work contribute to your field?
  • How does it engage with current scholarship in your field or subfield?
  • Does your scholarship address an oversight in the field? If so, how?
  • Do you innovate in terms of the subject(s); the methodology; or the integration of fields?
  • Do you address a gap in current research?

Additional considerations . Check to determine whether the journal requires any additional information. Some common expectations include:

  • Comment on the type of article submitted (e.g., research article, review, case report)
  • Assurances that all authors agree with the content of the manuscript
  • Assurance that the corresponding author will take responsibility for informing co-authors of editorial decisions, reviews received, and any changes or revisions made
  • Information about any closely related manuscripts that have been submitted for simultaneous consideration to the same or another journal
  • Statements about conflicts of interest or activities that might be seen as influencing the research
  • Statements regarding ethical practice
  • A copy of permissions to reproduce copyrighted material or a notice that permissions are pending (if applicable)
  • Names of specific reviewers from the journal who may be a good fit to read your manuscript

Possible pitfalls

Below are several other elements to keep in mind as you write your publication letter:

  • Avoid using too much jargon or too many acronyms.
  • Avoid over-embellishing your findings or exaggerating their significance.
  • Avoid name dropping.
  • Keep it simple and straightforward. Do not write a novel.
  • Keep it professional. Avoid humor.
  • Don’t copy text word-for-word from your manuscript.

Two templates

Below are two cover letter templates to help you visualize how form and content combine to make a strong publication letter. The templates offer guidelines for each section, but they can be modified based on the standards of your field. Use them to help you think through the elements that are most important to include in your letter.

Remember, your first draft does not have to be your last. Make sure to get feedback from different readers, especially if this is one of your first publications. It is not uncommon to go through several stages of revisions. Check out the Writing Center’s handout on editing and proofreading and video on proofreading to help with this last stage of writing.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

American Psychological Association. n.d. “Cover Letter.” APA Style. Accessed April 2019. https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/research-publication/cover-letters.

Belcher, Wendy Laura. 2009. Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success . Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Press.

BioScience Writers (website). 2012. “Writing Cover Letters for Scientific Manuscripts.” September 29, 2012. https://biosciencewriters.com/Writing-Cover-Letters-for-Scientific-Manuscripts.aspx .

Jones, Caryn. n.d. “Writing Effective Cover Letters for Journal Submissions: Tips and a Word Template.” Think Science. Accessed August 2019. https://thinkscience.co.jp/en/articles/writing-journal-cover-letters.html .

Kelsky, Karen. 2013. “How To Write a Journal Article Submission Cover Letter.” The Professor Is In (blog), April 26, 2013. https://theprofessorisin.com/2013/04/26/how-to-write-a-journal-article-submission-cover-letter/ .

Kelsky, Karen. 2013. “Of Cover Letters and Magic (A Follow-up Post).” The Professor Is In (blog), April 29, 2013. http://theprofessorisin.com/2013/04/29/of-cover-letters-and-magic-a-followup-post/ .

Mudrak, Ben. n.d. “Writing a Cover Letter.” AJE . https://www.aje.com/dist/docs/Writing-a-cover-letter-AJE-2015.pdf .

Wordvice. n.d. “How to Write the Best Journal Submission Cover Letter.” Accessed January 2019. https://wordvice.com/journal-submission-cover-letter/ .

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Mastering the Effective Cover Letter for Journal Submission: A Comprehensive Guide

Home » Blog » Mastering the Effective Cover Letter for Journal Submission: A Comprehensive Guide

effective cover letter

Understanding the Importance of an Effective Cover Letter

When it comes to submitting your scientific manuscript to a journal, think of your cover letter as your first handshake with the editor. It’s not just a courtesy; it’s an integral part of the submission process. An effective cover letter is your chance to make a strong first impression, to say, “Hey, I’ve got something valuable and exciting to share with your readers.” But it’s more than just a greeting; it’s a strategic tool to advocate for your manuscript.

A well-crafted and effective cover letter does several things. First, it introduces your work to the editor and provides a succinct overview of your study and its significance. It’s your opportunity to explain why your research fits perfectly within the scope of their journal, potentially solving a puzzle or advancing the field in a way that their readership will find compelling.

Moreover, this cover letter sets the stage for your manuscript, highlighting its strengths without overselling them. It addresses any potential concerns an editor might have, such as the study’s uniqueness or ethical considerations, head-on. By doing so, you’re not only showing transparency but also building trust with the journal’s editorial team.

But let’s not forget, the cover letter also serves as a platform to showcase your professionalism and attention to detail. A well-written, error-free letter reflects your commitment to quality, suggesting that the same level of care has been applied to your research and manuscript.

In essence, the cover letter for your journal submission is your advocate, concierge, and first ambassador all rolled into one. It champions your manuscript, ensuring it gets the consideration and review it deserves. So, mastering the effective cover letter is not just about following a format—it’s about understanding its role in your publication journey and leveraging it to set your research apart.

The Anatomy of an Effective Cover Letter

Crafting an effective cover letter for your journal submission is akin to mapping out a well-planned journey for your manuscript. It requires a clear structure, compelling content, and a strategic approach to guide the editor through your submission. Here’s what every winning cover letter should include:

Introduction

Start with the basics: Mention the title of your manuscript and the journal you’re submitting to. Introduce your study briefly, emphasizing its relevance and why you believe it’s a good fit for the journal.

Statement of Significance

This is where you shine a spotlight on the importance of your research. What gap does it fill? How does it advance the field? Make it clear why your work matters and should be read by the journal’s audience.

Alignment with Journal’s Scope

Demonstrate your familiarity with the journal by explaining how your manuscript aligns with its aims and scope. This shows respect for the editor’s work and positions your study as a valuable addition to their publication.

Key Findings and Contributions

Highlight the main findings of your research and its theoretical or practical contributions to the field. Be succinct but persuasive, providing just enough detail to intrigue the editor and underscore the novelty and relevance of your work.

Addressing Potential Concerns

If there are unique circumstances or potential concerns with your submission (e.g., closely related publications, multi-part studies), address them upfront. Honesty and transparency can preempt misunderstandings and demonstrate your integrity as a researcher.

Wrap up your cover letter by reiterating your enthusiasm for the opportunity to publish in the journal and thanking the editor for considering your work. A courteous and professional closing leaves a positive, lasting impression.

Contact Information

Don’t forget to include your contact information, making it easy for the journal’s editorial team to reach you with questions or updates regarding your submission.

Remember, the goal of your effective cover letter is not to regurgitate the details of your manuscript but to complement it by highlighting its significance, novelty, and fit for the journal. Think of it as the opening argument in your case for publication, laying a solid foundation for the detailed evidence presented in your manuscript.

Personalizing Your Introduction: Making a Strong First Impression

The opening lines of your effective cover letter for journal submission are where you set the tone and engage the editor. It’s more than just stating the title of your manuscript and your intent to submit; it’s about making a connection. Here’s how to personalize your introduction effectively:

  • Start with Why : Begin by briefly explaining why you chose this specific journal for your manuscript. Is it the journal’s reputation in your field, the match with the journal’s thematic focus, or the impact it has on its readership? This not only shows that you’ve done your homework but also that you value the journal’s contribution to your research area.
  • Mention Previous Interactions : If you’ve had previous communications with the journal or its editors, or if you’re responding to an invitation to submit, mention this early on. It provides context and a touchpoint for the editor.
  • Express Genuine Interest : Convey your genuine interest in the journal and enthusiasm about the potential of your research to contribute to the field. This enthusiasm can be contagious and prompt the editor to view your submission with keen interest.
  • Tailor Your Language : The tone and language should be professional yet accessible. Avoid overly technical jargon in the introduction; save that for the manuscript itself. The goal here is to communicate clearly and effectively, making a strong case for your research.

Making a strong first impression with your introduction is crucial. It’s your chance to engage the editor from the get-go, setting the stage for the rest of your cover letter and, ultimately, your manuscript. By personalizing your introduction, you not only demonstrate respect for the journal and its editorial team but also start building a rapport that can positively influence the submission process.

Outlining the Significance of Your Research

In the heart of your cover letter lies the core of your manuscript: the significance of your research. This section is your opportunity to articulate the value and impact of your work. Here’s how you can effectively convey the importance of your study:

Highlight the Gap Your Research Fills

Begin by setting the scene. What is the current state of research in your field, and where does your work fit in? Identify the gap or challenge your study addresses, and explain how your research moves the needle. This demonstrates not only the relevance of your work but also its potential to make a meaningful contribution.

Emphasize the Novelty and Contributions

What makes your research stand out? Here, you can highlight the innovative aspects of your study, whether it’s a new methodology, findings that challenge existing theories, or the application of research in a novel context. Be clear about how your work advances knowledge in your field and the specific contributions it makes.

Discuss the Broader Impact

Beyond the academic sphere, what are the practical implications of your research? Whether it’s influencing policy, contributing to technological advancements, or addressing societal challenges, showcasing the broader impact of your work can significantly enhance its appeal to the journal.

Make It Relatable

Use language that conveys the excitement and significance of your research without delving into technical jargon. The goal is to make the editor understand and appreciate the value of your work, even if they’re not a specialist in your specific field.

Outlining the significance of your research is about painting a picture of a landscape enhanced by your study. It’s about showing where your research fits in the broader context and how it contributes to advancing knowledge and practice in your field. By doing so, you’re not just submitting a manuscript; you’re offering a new lens through which to view and understand an aspect of your discipline.

How to Align Your Study with the Journal’s Scope

Ensuring your manuscript aligns with the journal’s scope is pivotal for its acceptance. This alignment signals to the editors and reviewers that your research is not only relevant but also contributes meaningfully to the journal’s mission. Here’s how to articulate this alignment in your cover letter:

Research the Journal’s Aims and Scope

Before you even pen that cover letter, dive deep into the journal’s website. Understand its aims, scope, and the audience it serves. This isn’t just about ensuring your research fits; it’s about tailoring your message to resonate with the journal’s editorial priorities.

Draw Clear Connections

Explicitly state how your research fits within the scope of the journal. This could mean highlighting the specific aspect of your study that addresses a gap the journal is keen on filling, or how your findings contribute to a particular theme or debate featured in the journal. Make these connections as clear as possible.

Use the Journal’s Language

Incorporate keywords and phrases from the journal’s aims and scope into your cover letter. This does not mean keyword stuffing, but rather naturally integrating terms that resonate with the journal’s focus. This linguistic alignment can subtly signal that your research is a good fit.

Highlight Relevance to the Journal’s Readership

Explain why your research matters to the journal’s readers. What will they learn or gain from your study? How does it advance the conversation in the field? This shows you understand the journal’s audience and have considered how your work adds value to their professional or academic pursuits.

Reference Relevant Articles from the Journal

If applicable, mention any articles previously published in the journal that relate to your work. This can demonstrate your engagement with the journal’s content and how your research builds upon or diverges from these discussions.

Aligning your study with the journal’s scope is not just a bureaucratic step; it’s a strategic move that shows respect for the journal’s mission and an understanding of its place in the academic community. By clearly articulating this alignment in your cover letter, you significantly increase the chances of your manuscript being viewed favorably by the editorial team.

Highlighting Your Manuscript’s Key Findings

Your cover letter should succinctly highlight the key findings of your research, showcasing the core achievements and their implications. This section is where you get to brag a bit about what your study has uncovered. Here’s how to do it effectively:

Summarize the Main Results

Begin by summarizing your main results in a few sentences. Focus on the outcomes that are most relevant and impactful to your field. Avoid getting bogged down in the details; instead, aim for clarity and brevity, giving the editor a clear snapshot of your findings.

Explain the Implications

After presenting your results, delve into their implications. How do they advance the field? Do they challenge existing theories or practices? Make sure to articulate the significance of your findings in a way that resonates with the broader academic community and aligns with the journal’s focus.

Emphasize the Novelty

If your research introduces new methods, concepts, or insights, highlight these as key findings. Emphasizing the novelty of your work can help differentiate it from other submissions and pique the editor’s interest.

Use Accessible Language

While it’s important to be precise, also ensure your description is accessible to those who might not be specialists in your specific area of research. Avoid jargon and technical terms when possible, or briefly explain them if they’re necessary to convey your findings.

Highlighting your manuscript’s key findings in the effective cover letter is crucial. It gives the editor a compelling reason to consider your manuscript for publication. By effectively summarizing and emphasizing the importance of your results, you can make a strong case for why your research deserves attention.

Addressing Potential Reviewer Concerns Upfront

Preemptively addressing potential concerns in your effective cover letter can significantly influence the editorial process in your favor. It demonstrates foresight, thoroughness, and a commitment to transparency. Here’s how to approach this effectively:

Anticipate Reviewer Questions

Think about the potential weaknesses or questions reviewers might have about your study. These could relate to your methodology, the robustness of your data, or the generalizability of your findings. By anticipating these concerns, you can address them before they even arise.

Provide Context for Controversial Choices

If your research involved unconventional methodologies or controversial choices, provide a brief explanation in your cover letter. Explain why you chose this path and how it strengthens your study. This preemptive clarification can mitigate concerns and highlight your innovative approach.

Acknowledge Limitations

No study is without its limitations, and acknowledging these upfront can be a strength. Briefly mention any significant limitations and, if possible, how you’ve mitigated them. This honesty builds trust and demonstrates a rigorous scientific approach.

Discuss the Uniqueness of Your Study

If there’s a chance your manuscript might be seen as too similar to existing research, clarify what sets your work apart. Highlight the novel aspects of your study, whether it’s in your approach, the data you’ve uncovered, or the implications of your findings.

Addressing potential concerns upfront doesn’t mean your manuscript is flawed; rather, it shows that you’re engaged in a thoughtful, critical examination of your work. This approach can not only alleviate potential objections but also position your manuscript as a strong candidate for publication by showcasing your commitment to a rigorous scientific discourse.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Cover Letter Etiquette

Navigating the nuances of cover letter etiquette can make a significant difference in how your submission is received. Here are some key do’s and don’ts to ensure your cover letter reflects the best professional standards:

  • Be Concise : Keep your cover letter to a page or less. Editors are busy, so respect their time by getting straight to the point.
  • Personalize Your Letter : Address the editor by name if possible. A personalized greeting can add a touch of professionalism and shows you’ve done your homework.
  • Proofread : Typos and grammatical errors can undermine the credibility of your submission. A well-proofed letter shows attention to detail.
  • Express Enthusiasm : Let your genuine interest in the journal and belief in the significance of your research shine through, without overdoing it.

Don’t:

  • Reiterate Your Abstract : The cover letter is not the place to copy-paste your abstract. Instead, use it to highlight the significance and fit of your research.
  • Overstate Your Findings : Be honest about the implications of your research. Overselling your findings can backfire if the claims aren’t supported by the data.
  • Ignore Submission Guidelines : If the journal has specific requirements for cover letters, follow them meticulously. This shows respect for the journal’s editorial process.
  • Use Generic Language : Tailor your cover letter to each journal submission. A generic, one-size-fits-all letter can come off as impersonal and lazy.

Adhering to these do’s and don’ts will not only help you craft a more effective cover letter but also demonstrate your professionalism and respect for the editorial process. Remember, the cover letter is an integral part of your submission package, and getting it right can significantly influence the first impression you make on the journal’s editorial team.

Crafting a Convincing Conclusion for Your Cover Letter

The conclusion of your cover letter is your final opportunity to make an impression on the editor and reinforce the significance of your submission. Here’s how to craft a conclusion that resonates:

Reiterate the Fit and Significance

Briefly restate why your manuscript is a good fit for the journal and its significance to the field. This is your chance to leave the editor with a strong sense of the value of your work and its potential impact.

Express Your Enthusiasm and Commitment

Convey your enthusiasm for the possibility of publishing in the journal. Let the editor know you’re looking forward to the opportunity to contribute to their publication and the broader academic conversation. Additionally, affirm your willingness to revise your manuscript according to the feedback from the review process, demonstrating your commitment to excellence and collaboration.

Thank the Editor

Always end with a note of thanks for considering your submission. Acknowledging the editor’s time and effort shows respect and professionalism.

Provide Contact Information

Make sure the editor knows how to reach you. Include your email address and phone number, even if it’s already provided elsewhere in your submission package.

A well-crafted conclusion can strengthen your cover letter, leaving a lasting positive impression on the editor. It encapsulates the essence of your submission, underscores your professionalism, and sets the stage for a constructive editorial relationship.

Common Pitfalls to Avoid in Your Cover Letter

A well-crafted cover letter can be a key factor in getting your manuscript noticed, but certain missteps can undermine its effectiveness. Here are some common pitfalls to avoid:

Overlooking Journal Guidelines

One of the quickest ways to make a poor impression is to ignore the journal’s submission guidelines. These may include specific requirements for cover letters. Always tailor your cover letter to meet these guidelines precisely.

Being Too Vague or Generic

Generic cover letters that could apply to any journal not only miss the opportunity to highlight the fit between your manuscript and the journal but also suggest a lack of genuine interest. Be specific about why your work is right for this journal.

Neglecting to Highlight Key Findings

Your cover letter should succinctly summarize the main findings and contributions of your study. Failing to do so can leave the editor unclear about the significance of your work.

Failing to Address Potential Concerns

If there are obvious potential concerns with your manuscript (such as a small sample size or the preliminary nature of the results), failing to address these upfront can be a missed opportunity to frame these issues in the best light.

Overselling Your Study

While it’s important to highlight the significance of your work, avoid overselling your findings or their implications. This can raise red flags for editors and reviewers.

Poor Formatting and Typos

A cover letter riddled with typos, grammatical errors, or formatting issues can undermine your manuscript’s credibility from the outset. Proofread carefully and consider having a colleague review it as well.

Ignoring the Cover Letter’s Tone

The tone of your effective cover letter should be professional yet accessible. Avoid overly technical language that might obscure the significance of your work to the journal editor.

By steering clear of these pitfalls, you can enhance the effectiveness of your cover letter, making a strong case for the publication of your manuscript.

Expert Tips for a Revision-Proof Cover Letter

Creating a cover letter that withstands the scrutiny of journal editors and reviewers requires insight and finesse. Here are expert tips to fortify your cover letter against potential revisions:

Tailor Your Message

Customize your effective cover letter for each journal submission. Demonstrate your understanding of the journal’s audience, scope, and priorities. This personal touch can significantly increase your manuscript’s chances of being considered.

Be Clear and Concise

Clarity and conciseness are your allies. Avoid unnecessary jargon and lengthy explanations. Your goal is to communicate the essence and significance of your research succinctly.

Use a Positive Tone

Maintain a positive and confident tone throughout your cover letter. Focus on the strengths and contributions of your research, while being honest about its limitations.

Highlight the Novelty

Make sure to clearly articulate what is new and important about your research. This can be a key factor in catching the editor’s interest.

Address Ethical Considerations

If your research involves sensitive subjects or potential ethical concerns, briefly outline how these were addressed. Demonstrating ethical rigor can preempt questions and concerns.

Be Proactive About Potential Concerns

If there are aspects of your study that might raise questions (such as preliminary findings or a small sample size), address these proactively. Explain why these do not detract from the validity and relevance of your research.

Offer to Provide Additional Information

Indicate your willingness to provide further details or clarification if needed. This shows your commitment to engaging with the review process constructively.

Express Willingness to Review and Revise

Convey your openness to reviewing and revising your manuscript based on the journal’s feedback. This flexibility can be favorable in the editorial decision-making process.

Crafting a cover letter with these expert tips in mind can set your submission apart, demonstrating not only the value of your research but also your professionalism as a researcher.

Final Checklist Before Submission: Ensuring Your Cover Letter is Submission-Ready

Before hitting the “submit” button, run through this final checklist to make sure your cover letter is polished and poised for success:

1. Personalization : Have you addressed the editor by name, if possible? Personal touches can make a difference.

2. clarity and brevity : is your cover letter concise, clear, and to the point ensure it’s no longer than one page., 3. key findings highlighted : have you clearly highlighted the key findings and significance of your research make sure these stand out., 4. journal fit : have you articulated why your manuscript is a good fit for the journal’s scope and audience this alignment is crucial., 5. novelty and contribution : does your cover letter emphasize the novelty and contributions of your study make sure the unique aspects of your work are front and center., 6. anticipation of concerns : have you addressed any potential concerns or questions about your manuscript preemptive explanations can ease the review process., 7. ethical considerations : if applicable, have you outlined how ethical concerns were addressed in your study, 8. revision willingness : have you expressed your willingness to review and revise based on feedback this shows a collaborative spirit., 9. proofreading : is your cover letter free from typos and grammatical errors a well-proofed letter reflects your professionalism., 10. contact information : have you included your contact information, making it easy for the editor to reach you.

This checklist ensures that your cover letter not only presents your manuscript in the best possible light but also demonstrates your professionalism and readiness for the publication process.

With your cover letter refined and ready, you’re set to make a strong submission. Remember, the cover letter is your first impression on the journal’s editorial team—make it count!

Summary: Why San Francisco Edit Is Your Best Option for Mastering the Cover Letter for Journal Submission

When it comes to scientific manuscript editing and preparing for journal submission, the importance of a polished, professional cover letter cannot be overstated. It’s the first impression you make on the journal’s editorial team, a succinct pitch that highlights the significance and fit of your research. That’s where San Francisco Edit steps in, offering unparalleled expertise in crafting cover letters that open doors.

Our team understands the nuances of academic publishing across science, academia, research, and publishing sectors. We’re adept at articulating the importance of your work, aligning it with the journal’s scope, and presenting it in a way that’s both compelling and concise. Our editors are not just language experts; they have a deep understanding of the scientific process and what journal editors are looking for.

Choosing San Francisco Edit means entrusting your cover letter to specialists who can significantly increase the likelihood of your manuscript being accepted. We provide personalized advice, ensuring your letter is tailored to each specific journal, highlighting your research’s novelty and its potential contribution to the field. Our service is designed to navigate the complexities of journal submission, making the process smoother and more successful.

With San Francisco Edit, you’re not just getting an editing service; you’re gaining a partner in your publication journey. Our commitment to excellence and our detailed understanding of the academic landscape make us the best option for researchers seeking to make an impact with their work.

Contact us today to ensure your cover letter—and your manuscript—stands out in the crowded world of academic publishing.

FAQ’s

What makes a cover letter for journal submission stand out.

A standout cover letter is concise, personalized, clearly articulates the manuscript’s significance and novelty, and demonstrates a good fit with the journal’s scope.

How long should my cover letter be?

Your cover letter should be no longer than one page, succinctly covering all the key points without overloading the editor with unnecessary details.

Can a good cover letter really make a difference in getting published?

Absolutely. A well-crafted cover letter can catch an editor’s attention, making them more inclined to consider your manuscript favorably.

Should I mention potential concerns in my cover letter?

Yes, addressing potential concerns upfront can demonstrate your thoroughness and mitigate any reservations the editor might have.

How does San Francisco Edit tailor cover letters to different journals?

San Francisco Edit thoroughly researches each journal’s aims and scope, tailoring your cover letter to highlight how your manuscript aligns with the journal’s interests and contributes to the field.

Is it worth investing in professional editing for my cover letter?

Investing in professional editing for your cover letter can significantly enhance your manuscript’s chance of acceptance, making it a wise decision for serious researchers.

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how to write a cover letter for submitting a manuscript

How to write a cover letter for manuscript submission

Table of Contents

Dr. Arianna Ferrini , freelance scientific writer on Kolabtree, shares her top tips on writing a cover letter for manuscript submission.

When you submit a manuscript to a journal, you often must include a cover letter. The cover letter is a formal way to communicate with the editor of your chosen journal and is an excellent opportunity to highlight what makes your research new and publication-worthy. The objective of a manuscript cover letter is to compel the publication’s chief editor to accept the manuscript based on the understanding that the manuscript offers a solution to solve an unmet need in the specific field.

Why you need a cover letter for manuscript submission

  • To compel : Like writing a professional cover letter when applying for a job, a manuscript cover letter should be written persuasively to help point out all the noteworthy qualities of the manuscript. A well-written cover letter can help your paper reach the next stage following the submission, which is the peer-review stage.
  • To state importance : Specify what impact and contribution the manuscript can bring to the specific field. An effective method to do so is to emphasize the unmet need and show how the manuscript has resolved that unmet need.
  • To influence : The language of the cover letter should be written in a way that makes the publication feel special that they have been chosen to publish the manuscript.

What you should include in your cover letter

A manuscript cover letter should follow a clear structure to make sure the audience can read the content easily. Given its importance, it is worth spending some time writing a coherent and persuasive letter. It should include the following sections:

  • Opening remarks . Here you should include the date and then address the Editor-in-Chief by their title.
  • Inquiry request . Here you state the request, including the full title of the manuscript and at least the name of the first author (for example, something like “On behalf of my co-authors, I am submitting the original manuscript entitled [ title of the manuscript ] by [ first author et al. ] for consideration for publication in [ name of the Journal ]).Specify the type of paper you are submitting (e.g., review, research, case study, etc.). Remember that cover letters are separate files from your manuscript, so they should always include essential details like title and authors’ names. Here you should also add a reference to a past inquiry letter (if sent).
  • Background . This should be a high-level background of your topicto introduce why research in this area is important. For example, in the case of a biomedical research paper linked to a disease, you could state the number of people affected, the high health care cost, and the need for treatments.
  • Unmet need . Describe the unmet need (again, for biomedical research, this would be the unmet clinical need) and explain why more publications are needed.
  • Summary of the manuscript . This section should include a summary of the manuscript, clearly highlighting the key findings. Here you should also indicate why the reader of the journal would be interested in the work.
  • Author’s agreement . This section is important and should include something like“All authors have read, edited and contributed to the content of this manuscript. This work has not been previously published and is not being considered for publication elsewhere.”
  • Ending regards . Thank the Editor-in-Chief for their consideration and wrap the letter up. Although any author can correspond with the journal’s editorial staff, cover letters are usually written and signed by the corresponding author of the paper.

Mistakes to avoid

Providing a cover letter to accompany your manuscript submission can be extremely useful for you and for the journal editor. However, to ensure the editor give serious consideration to your publication, there are some mistakes to avoid.

  • Poor formatting, structure and grammar . This is the most important thing. Think about your letter as your manuscript’s (and yours) business card: you want to make a good impression. Before sending a cover letter to the journal of your choice, make sure it does not contain grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. Additionally, it should be laid out in a nice and readable format and easy to follow. Avoid using too much jargon or acronyms and keep the language straightforward.
  • Overselling your work . While it is important to highlight the innovative nature of your research, it is equally important not to overvalue your work and sound arrogant.
  • Not adhering to the journal’s guidelines . Every journal has its own guidelines when it comes to manuscript preparation, and the same is true for the cover letter. Before you start to write, check your chosen journal’s guidelines carefully and make sure you adhere to what is requested. For example, some journals want the author to suggest potential reviewers or to include a shortlist of similar papers previously published by the journal. Some journals require that you include specific statements and disclosure (e.g., compliance with ethical standards, conflicts of interest, agreement to terms of submission, copyright sign-over, etc.). If you don’t follow their rule, it is not a first good impression.
  • Copying your abstract into the cover letter . They are two different things with two different objectives. The aim of the cover letter is to state the significance of the work and why it belongs to that specific journal.
  • Making it too “vague” . Remember, the editor will always have their readership in mind; therefore, you should not be vague and use a “copy-paste” cover letter. Instead, you should tailor it to the specific journal you are targeting and highlight why your work fits within the journal’s scope. You can usually find the scope of the journal on their website.
  • Claiming you are the first one showing something while in reality it has already been shown . This mistake is more common than you might think, and it will annoy the editor and make them question your entire work. Often these mistakes are made unintentionally, so make sure you have checked and double-checked the current literature before sending your manuscript. As every researcher knows, manuscript writing is a long process, and it could well be that you miss some just-off-the-press papers in the several months/years from the beginning of the project to the completion of the manuscript.
  • Providing a long biography of yourself and your career. Unless specifically requested, this should not be included in a cover letter.
  • Making the cover letter too long . As a general rule, a cover letter should not be longer than a single printed page. You must be selective to make your key points stand out and also not to waste a busy editor’s valuable time.

How to increase chances of your manuscript being accepted 

A great way to increase the chances of your manuscript being accepted is to send a manuscript inquiry letter to gauge interest and receive initial comments from the Editor-in-Chief prior to the actual submission of a manuscript. The objective of sending a manuscript inquiry letter is to influence the target journal to be interested in reviewing/accepting the manuscript. An inquiry letter should have three main sections: introduction and top-line message, a captivating synthesis of the manuscript, and the inquiry followed by a wrap-up.

A manuscript inquiry letter should catch the editor’s attention and communicate that your research is something new and innovative, which has the potential to change the field. Key words include “novel”, “state-of-the-art”, “exciting”, “first”, “first ever”, “never shown before”, “ground-breaking”, “potential paradigm shift”.

You should write the inquiry letter as soon as the target journal is identified, and the author group determines the key messages/data of the manuscript. On the other hand, you should write the cover letter when the manuscript is completed and ready for submission. It is always a good idea to ask an experienced and published colleague to read your manuscript inquiry and cover letter and give you honest feedback about them.

Bottom line

A good cover lette r can help you “sell” your manuscript to the journal editor. Submitting a cover letter to accompany your manuscript gives you the opportunity to explain why your manuscript should be considered and why it would be of interest to the readers of that specific journal. A cover letter should be of the highest quality possible. Before submitting it, perform a checklist to iron out the prose and make sure you have included all the relevant sections and information.

A great manuscript cover letter:

  • Compels the audience
  • States the manuscript’s importance to the field
  • Make the journal feel lucky you came to them

Does yours tick these boxes?

Need help to develop a cover letter for manuscript submission? Hire experienced freelance scientific writers on Kolabtree.

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Ramya Sriram manages digital content and communications at Kolabtree (kolabtree.com), the world's largest freelancing platform for scientists. She has over a decade of experience in publishing, advertising and digital content creation.

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How to Write an Effective Cover Letter for Journal Submission

Craft your cover letter for journal submission the right way with our expert tips! Learn how to grab editors’ attention and stand it out.

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When it comes to submitting a manuscript for publication in a journal, many authors focus solely on the quality of their research and the clarity of their writing. While these are important factors, it’s easy to overlook the role that a well-crafted cover letter can play in the submission process. A cover letter can be the key to getting your manuscript noticed by the editor and ultimately accepted for publication. In this article, we’ll explore the importance of a cover letter for journal submissions and provide tips for crafting an effective one.

What is a Cover Letter for Journal Submission?

A cover letter for journal submission is a document that accompanies a manuscript when it is submitted for publication in an academic or scientific journal. The purpose of the cover letter is to introduce the author and their work to the editor of the journal and to provide any additional information that may be relevant to the manuscript or the submission process. Furthermore, its purpose is to introduce the manuscript to the editor and provide additional information about the research and its significance. The cover letter should be concise and focused, typically no more than one page.

What Should be Included in the Cover Letter?

A cover letter should include several key elements to effectively introduce your manuscript. It’s important to personalize the letter for the specific journal, use a professional tone, and proofread carefully for errors. To make sure your cover letter is effective, there are several key elements that you should include:

Addressee’s Information and Date of Submission

Your cover letter should start with the date of submission, followed by the name and address of the editor or editorial staff who will be reviewing your manuscript. This information should be current and accurate to ensure your submission is directed to the right person.

Opening Salutation

The opening salutation of your cover letter should be professional and courteous, addressing the editor or editorial staff by name, starting with “Dear…”. Don´t forget to include the title and position of the editor you are addressing.

Purpose Statement and Administrative Information

Your cover letter should have a clear statement of the purpose of your research and the journal to which you are submitting your manuscript. You should also include any administrative information required by the journal, such as the type of manuscript (e.g. original research, review article, case report) and the number of words or pages.

Summary of Main Research Findings and Implications

One of the most important elements of your cover letter is a summary of the main findings and implications of your research. This summary should be concise and focused, highlighting the most important aspects of your research and why it is significant to the field.

Statements or Information Required by the Journal

Many journals require specific statements or information to be included in the cover letter. This may include a statement that the manuscript has not been previously published or is not under consideration for publication elsewhere, or a list of potential conflicts of interest or funding sources that may have influenced the research.

Previous Contact with the Journal

If you have had previous contact with the journal, such as submitting a previous manuscript or attending a conference sponsored by the journal, it is important to mention this in your cover letter. This information can help establish a connection between you and the editor, which may increase the chances of your manuscript being accepted.

Conflict of Interests and Financial Disclosures

It is important to disclose any potential conflicts of interest or financial disclosures that may have influenced the research. This information can help ensure transparency and maintain the integrity of the research.

Your cover letter should include a statement indicating that all authors have read and approved the manuscript and that the work is original and not plagiarized. This information can help establish the credibility of the research and the integrity of the authorship.

Suggested Reviewers

Suggested Reviewers are generally considered a best practice and are often recommended by journals. Providing a list of suggested reviewers can help to ensure that the manuscript is reviewed by individuals who have the appropriate expertise and background to evaluate the work, and can help to speed up the review process by reducing the time needed for the editor to identify potential reviewers. This can help expedite the review process and increase the likelihood of your manuscript being accepted.

Concurrent/Duplicate Submissions

An important consideration when submitting a manuscript for publication is concurrent or duplicate submissions. Concurrent submissions occur when a manuscript is submitted to more than one journal at the same time. Duplicate submissions occur when a manuscript is submitted to the same journal more than once.

In the cover letter, you should clearly state whether the manuscript has been submitted elsewhere or whether it has been previously published. If the manuscript is under consideration elsewhere, you should provide the name of the journal and the date of submission. If the manuscript has been previously published, you should provide the citation for the publication.

Closing Salutation

When closing a cover letter for journal submission, it’s important to maintain a professional and courteous tone. A common closing salutation is “Sincerely,” followed by your name. However, some alternatives that are also appropriate include “Best regards,” “Thank you for your time and consideration,” or “Respectfully.” Whichever salutation you choose, make sure it matches the tone of your letter and conveys your appreciation for the editor’s consideration.

Request to Exclude Reviewers

A request to exclude reviewers is a common feature of a cover letter for journal submission, particularly in cases where the author has concerns about potential conflicts of interest or bias that could affect the review process.

When making a request to exclude reviewers, the author should provide a clear and concise explanation of the reasons for the request and should provide specific details about any potential conflicts of interest or concerns that they may have. It is also important to note that some journals may have specific guidelines or policies regarding requests to exclude reviewers, and authors should familiarize themselves with these guidelines before making a request.

In general, it is recommended that authors provide a minimum of three to five potential reviewers who are not affiliated with the author or their institution, in order to provide a broad range of expertise and perspectives. When making a request to exclude reviewers, it is also important to provide alternative suggestions for potential reviewers who could be considered in their place.

Tips for Writing a Journal Submission Cover Letter

A well-crafted cover letter can help your manuscript stand out and increase your chances of being accepted for publication. Here are some tips for writing an effective journal submission cover letter.

One of the most important tips for writing a journal submission cover letter is to proofread it carefully. Typos, spelling errors, and grammatical mistakes can detract from the professional image you want to project. Make sure to read the letter multiple times and have someone else read it over as well to catch any errors you may have missed.

Keep the Cover Letter Brief

Another important tip is to keep the cover letter brief and to the point. The cover letter should provide a brief introduction of the manuscript and the key findings, as well as any other information that is necessary for the editor to understand the importance and relevance of the manuscript. The letter should be no more than one page in length.

Review Examples of Cover Letters

It can be helpful to review examples of cover letters for journal submissions to get an idea of the style, tone, and content that is appropriate. You can search for examples online or ask colleagues who have submitted manuscripts for publication for their advice. When reviewing examples, pay attention to the language used, the level of detail provided, and the overall organization and structure of the letter. This can help you craft a cover letter that is professional, informative, and effective.

Cover Letter Template for a Journal Article Submission

A cover letter is an important component of manuscript submission for publication in a journal. Using a template can help ensure that your cover letter includes all the necessary information and follows the proper format. Here is a guide to creating a cover letter template for a journal article submission.

The header should include your contact information, including your name, affiliation, and contact details (address, phone number, and email address), the date of submission, and the name and address of the journal.

Opening Paragraph

The opening paragraph should provide a brief introduction to the manuscript and its key findings. This paragraph should also mention the purpose of the manuscript and why it is relevant to the journal’s readership. You may also want to mention any previous correspondence or contact with the journal.

Body Paragraphs

The body of the cover letter should include several paragraphs that provide more detail about the manuscript. This may include a summary of the methods used, key results and findings, and implications for future research. You may also want to mention any notable limitations or challenges encountered during the research process.

It is also important to address any specific requirements or requests from the journal, such as a particular format for tables or figures, or specific information to be included in the manuscript. You should also mention any funding sources or conflicts of interest that may be relevant.

Closing Paragraph

The closing paragraph should reiterate the significance of the manuscript and its contribution to the field. You may also want to mention any potential reviewers for the manuscript or suggest reviewers who would be appropriate. Finally, you should include a polite and professional closing, such as “Sincerely” or “Best regards”, followed by your name and signature.

how to write a cover letter for submitting a manuscript

Common Expressions for Cover Letters

When writing a cover letter for journal submission, it’s important to use appropriate and professional language. Here are some common expressions that can be used in cover letters:

“We are pleased to submit our manuscript…”

“The research reported in this manuscript addresses a significant gap in the literature…”

“We believe this manuscript will be of interest to your readership because…”

“Our findings have important implications for future research in this field.”

“We would like to thank the reviewers and editors for their time and consideration.”

“We look forward to hearing from you regarding the status of our manuscript.”

“Thank you for your time and consideration.”

These expressions can be used to convey important information in a professional and concise manner. When using these expressions, it’s important to tailor them to the specific journal and to make sure they are appropriate for the content of your cover letter.

Journal Submission Tips and Hacks from the Experts

Submitting a journal article can be a challenging and sometimes frustrating process. However, by following some tips and hacks from the experts, you can increase your chances of success. Here are some tips and hacks to help you submit your article to a journal:

Choose the Right Journal

Before submitting your article, make sure you choose the right journal. Consider factors such as the journal’s scope, readership, and impact factor. Make sure your article fits with the journal’s focus and aims.

Read the Guidelines

Read the journal’s submission guidelines carefully and follow them closely. Pay attention to formatting, length, and other requirements. Failure to follow the guidelines could result in your article being rejected without review.

Get Feedback

Before submitting your article, get feedback from colleagues or mentors. Ask them to read your manuscript and provide constructive criticism. This can help you identify potential weaknesses and improve the quality of your article.

Write a Strong Abstract

Your abstract is often the first thing that editors and reviewers will read. Make sure it is clear, concise, and provides a compelling summary of your article. Highlight the key findings and implications of your research.

Use Clear and Concise Language

Use clear and concise language when writing your article. Avoid jargon, technical terms, and complex language that could be difficult for readers to understand. Write in a way that is accessible to a broad audience.

Address Reviewer Comments

If your article is rejected or requires revisions, make sure you carefully address all reviewer comments. Be thorough and professional in your responses. This can increase your chances of acceptance in future rounds of review.

Keep Records

Keep records of all correspondence with the journal, including submission dates, reviewer comments, and decisions. This can help you stay organized and keep track of the progress of your article.

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Writing a Cover Letter for Journal Submission [Free Template]

  • Research Process
  • Peer Review

Journal cover letters are your chance to lobby on behalf of your manuscript. This AJE Journal Cover Letter Guide offers some useful tips for getting them right. It also includes a free journal cover letter template.

Updated on September 20, 2018

two researchers writing a cover letter for journal submissions

The cover letter accompanying your journal submission is your chance to lobby on behalf of your manuscript. The letter is far from just a formality and should be written with the same care as your manuscript's text (if not more). Ultimately, your cover letter is designed to influence the decision of the editor to send your manuscript out for peer review. The letter will argue that your manuscript is a good fit for the journal you are submitting it to and highlight your most important findings. Let us help you produce the most effective cover letter possible.

Getting ready to submit your manuscript? Download our comprehensive Free Journal Cover Letter Writing Guide with Template .

A cover letter should be written like a standard business letter :

Address the editor formally by name, if known. Include your contact information, as well. This information is probably available through the journal's online submission system, but it is proper to provide it in the cover letter, too.

Begin your cover letter with a paragraph that states the name of the manuscript and the names of the authors. You can also describe what type of manuscript your submission is (research article, review, case report, etc.). In this first paragraph and the next, describe the rationale behind your study and the major findings from your research. You can refer to prior work that you have published if it is directly related.

Next, write a short paragraph that explains why your manuscript would be a good fit for the journal. Do not simply state that your manuscript is “of interest to the field” or “novel.” Address specific aspects of the journal's Aims & Scope statement. If the journal expresses interest in research with a clinical application, be sure to highlight the importance of your work in terms of clinical implications. If the journal mentions that it focuses on nanostructured materials, explain how your work involved such materials. Even if your work is not a perfect fit for the journal, be sure to address some of the Aims & Scope statement, and explain why your manuscript would be of interest to the journal's readers.

Finally, close with a brief paragraph indicating the following:

  • The manuscript is original (i.e., you wrote it, not copied it)
  • No part of the manuscript has been published before, nor is any part of it under consideration for publication at another journal
  • There are no conflicts of interest to disclose
  • A list of potential reviewers (only if requested by the journal)
  • Any researchers who should NOT review your manuscript

Together, this information provides assurance to the editor that your manuscript merits consideration for publication in their journal and that you are interested specifically in their journal. Sometimes great science will be reviewed regardless of the cover letter, but a well written cover letter is useful for the vast majority of scientists who want to make their research stand out.

Best of luck with your research! If you have any questions about your cover letter, write us anytime.

Ben Mudrak, Senior Product Manager at American Chemical Society/ChemRxiv, PhD, Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Duke University

Ben Mudrak, PhD

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Cover Letter for Journal Submission Templates

Download a Microsoft Word template for a standard journal cover letter (also available with instructions in Chinese , Japanese , Korean , Portuguese , and Spanish ).

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  • Writing a cover letter
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The cover letter gives you the opportunity to present an overview of your manuscript to the editor.

Your cover letter should include

  • The objective and approach of your research
  • Any novel contributions reported
  • Why your manuscript should be published in this journal
  • Any special considerations about your submission
  • Related papers by you and/or your fellow authors (published or under consideration)
  • Previous reviews of your submission
  • Previous submissions of your manuscript to that journal
  • Previous communication you’ve had with journal staff

You’re encouraged to submit previous communications as they can help expedite the review process. If you have any of the following, you can submit them as ‘Supplementary file for editors only’:

  • Copies of related papers
  • Previous editors’ comments and your responses
  • Previous reviewers’ comments and your responses

NIH Employees

If you or any of your co-authors are NIH employees, you will have to submit a completed and signed NIH Publishing Agreement and Manuscript Cover Sheet according to NIH’s Employee Procedures .

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How to Write a Cover Letter for Journal Submission

how to write a cover letter for submitting a manuscript

If you’re looking for solid advice on how to write a strong journal submission cover letter that will convince journal editors to review your research paper, then look no further! We know that cover letters  can  impact an editor’s decision to consider your research paper further.

This guide aims to explain (1) why you should care about writing a powerful cover letter, (2) what you should include in it, and (3) how you should structure it. The last segment will include a free downloadable submission cover letter template with detailed how-to explanations and some useful phrases. Finally, be sure to get journal manuscript editing , cover letter editing , and other academic editing services by Wordvice’s professional editors to ensure that you convey an academic style and error-free text, along with including all of the most important content.

Why does a good cover letter matter?

While your research paper’s role is to prove the merits of your research, a strong introductory cover letter is your opportunity to highlight the significance of your research and “sell” its concept to journal editors.

While your research paper’s role is to prove the merits of your research, a strong introductory cover letter is your opportunity to highlight the significance of your research and “sell” its concept to journal editors.

Sadly, we must admit that part of the decision-making process of whether to accept a manuscript is based on a business model. Editors must select articles that will interest their readers. In other words, your paper, if published, must make money . When it’s not quite clear how your research paper might generate interest based on its title and content alone (for example, if your paper is too technical for most editors to appreciate), your cover letter is the one opportunity you will get to convince the editors that your work is worth further review.

In addition to economic factors, many editors use the cover letter to screen whether authors can follow basic instructions . For example, if a journal’s guide for authors states that you must include disclosures, potential reviewers, and statements regarding ethical practices, failure to include these items might lead to the automatic rejection of your article, even if your research is the most progressive project on the planet! By failing to follow directions, you raise a red flag that you may be careless, and if you’re not attentive to the details of a cover letter, editors might wonder about the quality and thoroughness of your research. This is not the impression you want to give editors!

What to Include in a Cover Letter for a Journal Submission

We can’t stress this enough: Follow your target journal’s instructions for authors ! No matter what other advice you read in the vast webosphere, make sure you prioritize the information requested by the editors of the journal you are submitting to. As we explained above, failure to include required statements will lead to an automatic “ desk rejection ”.

With that said, below is a list of the most common elements you must include in your cover letter and what information you should NOT include:

Essential information:

  • Editor’s name (when known)
  • Name of the journal to which you are submitting
  • Your manuscript’s title
  • Article type (review, research, case study, etc.)
  • Submission date
  • Brief background of your study and the research question you sought to answer
  • Brief overview of methodology used
  • Principle findings and significance to scientific community (how your research advances our understanding of a concept)
  • Corresponding author contact information
  • Statement that your paper has not been previously published and is not currently under consideration by another journal and that all authors have approved of and have agreed to submit the manuscript to this journal

Other commonly requested information:

  • Short list of similar articles previously published by the target journal
  • List of relevant works by you or your co-authors that have been previously published or are under consideration by other journals. You can include copies of those works.
  • Mention of any prior discussions with editor(s) (for example, if you discussed the topic with an editor at a conference)
  • Technical specialties required to evaluate your paper
  • Potential reviewers and their contact information
  • If needed, reviewers to exclude (this information is most likely also requested elsewhere in online submissions forms)

Other disclosures/statements required by the journal (e.g., compliance with ethical standards, conflicts of interest , agreement to terms of submission, copyright sign-over, etc.)

What you should NOT do:

  • Don’t use too much jargon or include too many acronyms.
  • Don’t over-embellish your findings or their significance. Avoid words such as “novel,” “first ever,” and “paradigm-changing.” These types of statements show bias and will make the editor question your ability to assess your work’s merits objectively.
  • Don’t name-drop. Listing people who might endorse your paper and discussing authors’ reputations do not interest editors. They want to know if your content fits their criteria, so focus solely on addressing that point.
  • Don’t write a novel. While you want to adequately explain your work and sell its concept to editors, keep your cover letter to a maximum of one page. The letter is only meant to be an introduction and brief overview.
  • Avoid humor . As much as we want to grab the editors’ attention, there are too many ways in which humor can go wrong!

How to Structure a Cover Letter

You should use formal language in your cover letter. Since most submissions are delivered electronically, the template below is in a modified e-mail format. However, if you send your cover letter on letterhead (PDF or hard copy by mail), move your contact information to the upper-left corner of the page unless you use pre-printed letterhead, in which case your contact information should be centered at the top of the letter.

ANNOTATED TEMPLATE Journal Submissions Cover Letter

[Journal Editor’s First and Last Name][, Graduate Degree (if any)] TIP: It’s customary to include any graduate degrees in the addressee’s name. e.g.,  John Smith, MD or Carolyn Daniels, MPH [Title] e.g.,  Editor-in-Chief, Managing Editor, Co-Editors-in-Chief [Journal Name] [Journal Address] [Submission Date: Month Day, Year]

Dear Dr./Mr./Ms. [Editor’s last name]:

TIP: Where the editor’s name is not known, use the relevant title employed by the journal, such as “Dear Managing Editor:” or “Dear Editor-in-Chief:”. Using a person’s name is best, however.

TIP: Use “Ms.” and never “Mrs.” or “Miss” in formal business letters.

TIP:  Never   use “Dear Sirs:” or any similar expression. Many editors will find this insulting, especially given that many of them are female!

[Para.1: 2–3 sentences]  I am writing to submit our manuscript entitled, [“Title”] for consideration as a [Journal Name][Article Type]. [One to two sentence “pitch” that summarizes the study design, where applicable, your research question, your major findings, and the conclusion.]

e.g.,  I am writing to submit our manuscript entitled, “X Marks the Spot” for consideration as an  Awesome Science Journal  research article. We examined the efficacy of using X factors as indicators for depression in Y subjects in Z regions through a 12-month prospective cohort study and can confirm that monitoring the levels of X is critical to identifying the onset of depression, regardless of geographical influences.

TIP: Useful phrases to discuss your findings and conclusion include:

  • Our findings confirm that…
  • We have determined that…
  • Our results suggest…
  • We found that…
  • We illustrate…
  • Our findings reveal…
  • Our study clarifies…
  • Our research corroborates…
  • Our results establish…
  • Our work substantiates…

[Para. 2: 2–5 sentences]  Given that [context that prompted your research], we believe that the findings presented in our paper will appeal to the [Reader Profile] who subscribe to [Journal Name]. Our findings will allow your readers to [identify the aspects of the journal’s  Aim and Scope  that align with your paper].

TIP: Identify the journal’s typical audience and how those people can utilize your research to expand their understanding of a topic. For example, if many of your target journal’s readers are interested in the public policy implications of various research studies, you may wish to discuss how your conclusions can help your peers to develop stronger policies that more effectively address public concerns.

TIP: Include context about why this research question had to be addressed.

e.g.,  “Given the struggle policymakers have had to define proper criteria to diagnose the onset of depression in teenagers, we felt compelled to identify a cost-effective and universal methodology that local school administrators can use to screen students.”

TIP: If your paper was prompted by prior research, state this. For example, “After initially researching X, Y approached us to conduct a follow-up study that examined Z. While pursuing this project, we discovered [some new understanding that made you decide the information needed to be shared with your peers via publication.]”

e.g.,  Given the alarming increase in depression rates among teenagers and the lack of any uniform practical tests for screening students, we believe that the findings presented in our paper will appeal to education policymakers who subscribe to  The Journal of Education . Although prior research has identified a few methods that could be used in depression screening, such as X and Y, the applications developed from those findings have been cost-prohibitive and difficult to administer on a national level. Thus, our findings will allow your readers to understand the factors involved in identifying the onset of depression in teenagers better and develop more cost-effective screening procedures that can be employed nationally. In so doing, we hope that our research advances the toolset needed to combat the concerns preoccupying the minds of many school administrators.

[Para 3: Similar works]  “This manuscript expands on the prior research conducted and published by [Authors] in [Journal Name]” or “This paper [examines a different aspect of]/ [takes a different approach to] the issues explored in the following papers also published by [Journal Name].”

TIP: You should mention similar studies recently published by your target journal, if any, but list no more than five. If you only want to mention one article, replace the preceding sentence with “This paper [examines a different aspect of]/ [takes a different approach to] the issues explored by [Authors] in [Article Title], also published by [Journal Name] on [DATE].”

[Para. 4: Additional statements often required]  Each of the authors confirms that this manuscript has not been previously published and is not currently under consideration by any other journal. Additionally, all of the authors have approved the contents of this paper and have agreed to the [Journal Name]’s submission policies.

TIP: If you have previously publicly shared some form or part of your research elsewhere, state so. For example, you can say, “We have presented a subset of our findings [at Event]/ [as a Type of Publication Medium] in [Location] in [Year].”

e.g.,  We have since expanded the scope of our research to contemplate international feasibility and acquired additional data that has helped us to develop a new understanding of geographical influences.

[Para. 5: Potential Reviewers]  Should you select our manuscript for peer review, we would like to suggest the following potential reviewers/referees because they would have the requisite background to evaluate our findings and interpretation objectively.

  • [Name, institution, email, expertise]

To the best of our knowledge, none of the above-suggested persons have any conflict of interest, financial or otherwise.

TIP: Include 3–5 reviewers since it is likely that the journal will use at least one of your suggestions.

TIP: Use whichever term (“reviewer” or “referee”) your target journal uses. Paying close attention to a journal’s terminology is a sign that you have properly researched the journal and have prepared!

[Para. 6: Frequently requested additional information]  Each named author has substantially contributed to conducting the underlying research and drafting this manuscript. Additionally, to the best of our knowledge, the named authors have no conflict of interest, financial or otherwise.

[Your Name]

Corresponding Author Institution Title Institution/Affiliation Name [Institution Address] [Your e-mail address] [Tel: (include relevant country/area code)] [Fax: (include relevant country/area code)]

Additional Contact [should the corresponding author not be available] Institution Title Institution/Affiliation Name [Institution Address] [Your e-mail address] [Tel: (include relevant country/area code)] [Fax: (include relevant country/area code)]

Quick Cover Letter Checklist Before Submission

  • Set the font to Arial or Times New Roman, size 12 point.
  • Single-space all text.
  • Use one line space between body paragraphs.
  • Do not indent paragraphs.
  • Keep all text left justified.
  • Use spelling and grammar check software. If needed, use a proofreading service or cover letter editing service  such as Wordvice to review your letter for clarity and concision.
  • Double-check the editor’s name. Call the journal to confirm if necessary.

English Editing Research Services

how to write a cover letter for submitting a manuscript

Writing a Successful Journal Cover Letter (Free Templates)

how to write a cover letter for submitting a manuscript

Even great manuscripts often stand out based on the title or its contents alone. They need great cover letters.

Cover letters for journal submission are an underrated part of the submission process. Don’t overlook them. They’re a valuable step to getting your research noticed, published, and all the good things that come after that.

The truth is, most journal editors just don’t have the time to thoroughly read every submitted article in full to decide if it’s suitable for their journal. They use cover letters to help them filter out the most interesting and appropriate submissions first.

Cover letters also help identify articles completely out of the journal’s scope and that would be better off getting a quick letter of rejection.

If your manuscript doesn’t have a cover letter and the 12 other articles on the editor’s desk do, it’s likely that your paper will be looked at last. Putting in that extra effort, just like on a job application, lets you sell your research, avoid quick rejections, and more likely make it to peer review.

We also have some journal cover letter templates and examples for you, so you don’t have to start from zero. Read on.

What do you put in a journal cover letter?

Your cover letter needs certain basic elements. Generally they are:

  • Editor and target journal
  • Salutation (Dear Dr. …)
  • Indication you’re submitting your manuscript, along with its title, and the category of manuscript you’re submitting (Original Report, Review , Case Study, etc.) based on what the journal accepts
  • Background information regarding your work – what is already known about the subject matter?
  • What your study was
  • Why you performed the study (rationale)
  • Briefly, what methods you used and what your key findings were
  • Why your manuscript is a great fit for this journal
  • (optional, depending on the journal and on if you want to do this) Recommended reviewers
  • (optional, depending on the journal) Funding information
  • Closing line (Sincerely, etc.) and the name and contact details for the manuscript’s corresponding author

Those are the key elements. It’s how you express them and the quality of your message that mean the different between a dry overview and an attractive promotion of your work.

Many journals don’t have a prescribed format for the cover letter. On the other end of the spectrum are PLOS ONE’s guidelines , which give specifics on what to include, including selecting Academic Editors from its directory.

Always check the guidelines first to be sure you give the journal what it wants. Those are basics. With a grasp of those, there are many ways to polish your cover letter into a valuable sales tool for your work.

What to do and what to avoid in your journal cover letter

Most “problems with journal cover letters relate to simply not spending enough time and care on it. Or even not doing it at all. These are easily fixed if you’re a skilled English writer. If not, they’re still easily fixed with a little help.

All of the following are critical. Make sure you DO:

  • Check the name of your target journal.
  • Address the cover letter to the relevant person. It is not enough to simply say “Dear Editor” or “To whom it may concern.” Include the name, title and position of the editor you are addressing.
  • Avoid superlatives – about the journal, yourself and your own work. It’s pretty unlikely your work is “groundbreaking” or “trailblazing,” though it may by the “first time ever” that a certain approach was taken with a certain population.
  • Check the formatting. This varies by journal. It includes US vs. UK vs. Oxford English spelling, correct page numbering, use of templates, and much more.
  • Get a colleague to read your cover letter before you send it.

how to write a cover letter for submitting a manuscript

“ A typical cover letter just repeats the abstract. That’s a huge missed opportunity. You need to think of what the journal wants. Try to tailor your manuscript’s novel and interesting points specifically to the your target journal’s aims and scope. It may mean an extra half-hour of work for you, but if it helps get you published, isn’t it worth that small investment of time? “ — Geraldine Echue , PhD, CMPP Edanz Managing Editor

But don’t do this…

The following may not be critical, but they’re common areas that authors mess up. Sometimes they don’t know they’re doing it or they’re just trying their best. So be aware

Make sure you DON’T :

  • Take shortcuts. Your cover letter is very important for getting your manuscript to peer review; give it time and attention.
  • Cut and paste your abstract, or sections of it, into the cover letter. That’s low-effort and low-readability. Reword it to make it pop.
  • Over-praise the editor or target journal – it’s not necessary to use such phrases as “your esteemed journal.” A manuscript will be sent for peer review based on the quality of the cover letter and study, not because you say nice things about the journal.
  • Forget to use the Word (or other software’s) spellcheck and, ideally, use a tool like Grammarly and/or Hemingway to help grammar and readability. These are no substitute for a professional edit, though.
  • Be overly proud about your English skills. Just like you go to the dentist to get your teeth fixed, you can hire a professional editor and subject matter expert to get your English fixed.

Not that a lot of these also reply to resubmission letters and responses to peer review . The underlying themes are care, courtesy, and excellent English suitable for your audience.

And two more big DOs

  • DO get a professional edit or proofread if you’re not a native speaker of English or just not that great at writing.

DO have a professional write your cover letter for you if you want to save some time and make sure you got everything just as the journal wants it. The Edanz Cover Letter Development service can handle this for you.

how to write a cover letter for submitting a manuscript

Set phrases and common expressions

The journal letter maintains a formal tone, so there are certain stock phrases you can use and in some cases must use. As a result, there are a number of phrases which are common to cover letters.

These include:

  • To our knowledge, this is the first report showing…
  • We believe our findings will appeal to the readership of [target journal name].
  • Please address all correspondence to:
  • We look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

how to write a cover letter for submitting a manuscript

“I’ve found about 60% of authors don’t submit a cover letter at all. It seems they just expect something magical to happen with their manuscript. Journal editors struggle with this: they’re not necessarily subject-area specialists. They wonder, ‘Why is the paper important?'” — Gareth Dyke , PhD Edanz Author Education Manager

Commonly required statements

Many journals and publishers require that all cover letters should contain the following sentences:

  • We confirm that this manuscript has not been published elsewhere and is not under consideration by another journal.
  • All authors have read and approved the final manuscript and agree with its submission to [target journal name].

Competing interests

If all authors have no competing interests, you should include a statement indicating as such:

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

If an author does have competing interests, it’s a good idea to include details of these in your cover letter. You might also include funding information:

This study was supported by a grant from the [funding body].

Other required statements

Some other potentially required information:

  • Clinical trial registration database and number
  • Has this manuscript been published in another language? If so, has that journal editor given permission for this submission?
  • What other publications related to the same study have been published? (especially for clinical trial related manuscripts)
  • Has the data in your study been presented or been published in any other format? For studies involving human subjects, was informed consent obtained? Was permission obtained from an ethics committee? Was the study carried in accordance with Declaration of Helsinki guidelines?
  • Was permission obtained for the reproduction or modification of previously published figures and tables (especially for review articles).

The journal’s guidelines will typically give specific directions on which of these to include, if any. And if you have any questions, get in touch with them directly.

Journal submission tips and hacks from the experts

Most of these are plain common sense, but if you’re in a hurry, you might overlook them. Some are less commonly known.

Be personal, use the editor’s name

Do your homework. Look up the name of the Editor-in-Chief or the specific Section Editor for the journal you’re submitting to and address the letter to them directly.

Use Dear Dr. (or Professor) + their Last name . If you’re not sure of their title, Google them to see if they have a LinkedIn page, ResearchGate page, or works published in the last couple of years. If you still can’t confirm their title, use Dear Full name as shown on the journal’s webpage .

It’s like a cover letter for a job; you need to personalize your cover letter to demonstrate your interest in that particular journal, and not make it look like you’d just be happy to get your paper accepted anywhere.

You should also explain why your study will be of specific interest to the readers of the journal.

Check the Aims & Scope on the journal website to see who their target audience is and tailor your reasoning to them.

Edanz Learning Lab – cover letters

Tell them what you want to publish

This may seem obvious, but sometimes authors submit cover letters without including the title of their manuscript and what type of article it is.

This should appear in the very first paragraph of your letter and will help the editor see immediately if the topic is of interest and judge whether they have space for the article type you’re submitting for the current issue.

Even more, it will show that you thoroughly read the guidelines. If you say you’re submitting “Original Research” when the journal calls it “Research Articles”, you’re not making a very good first impression.

Summarize the highlights of your work

It’s not enough to simply include the title of your manuscript in the cover letter and hope that alone will attract the editor.

Try to keep the cover letter to one page, but always include a brief summary of your study outlining the reasons why you conducted the work, your aims, and the major results you observed. If that makes you go a bit longer, it’s not a big deal.

Don’t include statistics or a lot of data; a compelling summary of the study is sufficient. If the editor is interested, they’ll look into your manuscript more deeply for further details.

Sell yourself

Cover letters are your chance to talk directly with the journal editor and convince them that your paper is more interesting than the next one sitting on their desk. Talk about any real-world implications of your findings or the significance of your results for the field. Don’t be too speculative or over-exaggerate your findings, but do take this important opportunity to feature the importance of your work.

Don’t forget your “must have” statements

Editors want to know that your manuscript has not been submitted elsewhere or is under consideration at another journal.

They want to know any relevant conflict of interest information and any roles the funding body played in the study.

The author instructions may or may not have explicit information on what they want you to write, but it’s good practice to state this information upfront. This way, the editor doesn’t have to dig through the manuscript to know if you’ve met the basic ethical requirements for publication.

See it in action: Edanz video on writing cover letters

We laid out the basics of a cover letter in this video.

And if you don’t want to start with a blank document…

Get a cover letter template

It’s all easier said than done, right?

Download a template to plug-and-play your text.

how to write a cover letter for submitting a manuscript

Download the above short-form or long-form cover letter from the Edanz Learning Lab template collection .

“When I became a journal editor, I really learned how important cover letters are. We need them to learn more about submissions and to make more informed decisions on whether to send manuscripts out for peer review. As a journal editor, I greatly appreciate a carefully written cover letter; it saves me time and it shows me the authors really care. It also helps with reviewer selections … something I rarely have time to do.” — Gareth Dyke , PhD Editor-in-Chief of Taylor & Francis journal ‘Historical Biology’

By the way, not all cover letters are the same, though most are. PLOS ONE cover letters are a notable exception and have certain requirements for what you need to tell them, such as which of their Academic Editors you want to review your submission. See their guidelines here .

So, all set to do your cover letter? Now go find a forever home for your manuscript and tell them why they’re the perfect fit for you.

Want to dig deeper into the publication process, soup to nuts, ideas to publication? Take simple, expert-designed courses to walk you through it all, at the Edanz My Learning Lab .

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Cover letters

Competition for publication space and for editors’ attention is very high. A good cover letter will help “sell” your manuscript to the journal editor. It is not enough to send a manuscript to a journal editor like this:

Dear Editor-in-Chief, I am sending you our manuscript entitled “Large Scale Analysis of Cell Cycle Regulators in bladder cancer” by Researcher et al. We would like to have the manuscript considered for publication in Pathobiology. Please let me know of your decision at your earliest convenience. With my best regards, Sincerely yours, A Researcher, PhD

Instead, check to see whether the journal’s Instructions for Authors have any cover letter requirements (e.g., disclosures, statements, potential reviewers). Then, write a letter that explains why the editor would want to publish your manuscript:

Common phrases:

  • Please find enclosed our manuscript, “[manuscript title]” by [first author's name] et al., which we would like to submit for publication as a [publication type] in [name of the journal].
  • To our knowledge, this is the first report showing…
  • We believe our findings would appeal to the readership of [journal name].
  • Please address all correspondence to:
  • We look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

All cover letters should contain these sentences: We confirm that this manuscript has not been published elsewhere and is not under consideration by another journal.

All authors have approved the manuscript and agree with its submission to [insert the name of the target journal].

Formatting your manuscript

Submission checklist

Before submitting your manuscript, thoroughly check its quality one more time. Evaluate it critically—could anything be done better?

Be sure that:

  • The manuscript follows the Instructions for Authors
  • All files are in the correct file format and of the appropriate resolution or size
  • The spelling and grammar are correct
  • You have contact information for all authors
  • You have completed online registration for the submission process for your target journal
  • You have written a persuasive cover letter

--- Commentary ---

Original URL: http://www.springer.com/authors/journal+authors/journal+authors+academy?SGWID=0-1726414-12-837810-0

Picture Remarks: Wrong URL, leads to Discussion and Conclusions instead of Cover letters.

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How to write a manuscript cover letter

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I just finished passing around my nearly-finished manuscript with my co-authors and they have provided feedback. A year and a half of planning, executing and writing have resulted in this important document. I make my final edits, and voila, I am done! Am I ready to submit?  Not so fast. Most scientific journals require a manuscript cover letter that I must submit along with my manuscript. This guide outlines how to write a successful cover letter for your science manuscript.

Like the Specific Aims page of a grant, the cover letter is an opportunity to succinctly describe what you have done, describe how your findings will impact the field, and communicate why these findings are particularly relevant to the particular journal that you have chosen.

Editorial Review.

The manuscript cover letter is not a mere formality.  At many journals, you must pass an initial hurdle even before your paper is sent out for peer review:  editorial screening. Put simply, the editor will read your cover letter (and perhaps your abstract) and ask, “If everything the authors are telling me about their work is true, is the science of significant importance to the field and well-matched for our journal?”  At this editorial stage, the editor makes no judgment about the quality of your work.  Indeed, at this stage, the editor is giving you the benefit of the doubt that you have conducted sound research.

If the answer to the initial editorial question is “yes, this sounds like an interesting and significant study,” then the editor will send it out for peer review and reviewers will evaluate the scientific merit of the work.  But if the answer to the initial editorial question is no, then there is no need to advance the paper for peer review.  So you can see the importance of writing a compelling cover letter.  The cover letter is your chance to showcase the importance your science.

How to start.

Your cover letter should begin with a salutation addressing the Editor by name, (e.g., Dear Dr. Reynolds: ). If this information is not provided by the journal, then you can simply begin with “Dear Editor:” as your salutation. Your first sentence will always contain the title of your work.  A reasonable opening sentence would be as follows: “We are submitting a manuscript titled “[Insert title here]” that we wish to have considered for publication in [Insert journal name here].” Then, in a sentence or two, communicate the overall importance of what you have found and how it will impact the field – do not include details about your methods here (which you will save for the second paragraph). End with a sentence stating why this finding will be of interest of to the readers of the particular journal that you have chosen.

How to middle.

You should think of your second paragraph as a shorter version of your Abstract. Think about what you did in your Abstract. You provided the reader with some scientific context (i.e., this is what the field currently knows). Next, you summarized your Methods (i.e., this is what we did), and you provided your Results (i.e., this is what we found). Finally, you gave them a take home message (i.e., this is why you should care). You should do the same thing in this paragraph to the editor.  Be concise.  Four sentences.

[dropshadowbox align=”none” effect=”lifted-both” width=”auto” height=”” background_color=”#D3D3D3″ border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ] “To our knowledge . . .”

Many researchers include statements like “Here we show for the first time . . .” or “To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration…” in the body of their manuscript. In the era of twitter and social media, this has become an increasingly popular phrase to throw about in scientific discourse, but it should be avoided in both your manuscript and your cover letter. History will record whether your work was the first of its kind, not you. Leave phrases like these out. [/dropshadowbox]

How to finish.

Your last paragraph should include a final statement assuring the editor that the work you have submitted has not been  a) simultaneously submitted elsewhere and b) previously published in part or in whole.  Similarly, you should alert the editor if your paper contains new data that have been combined with previously published data. This information should be included in the Methods section of your manuscript, where you will also provide the reference to where the previously published data can be found. Your cover letter should end by thanking the editor for their time and consideration.

Recommending Potential Reviewers.

Some journals will request that you provide them with the name and contact details of potential reviewers. First, make sure that you search potential reviewers online to ensure that you have the most up-to-date contact information for each person. Your job here is to make it easy for the editor to contact your suggested reviewers.  If an editor has trouble finding your suggested reviewer, they will simply select someone else.

Second, suggest people in the field that you know have the expertise to evaluate your work. The editor has been assigned your paper by the journal because they know the field well and, thus, they know the people who are qualified to review your manuscript.  Do not suggest a reviewer whose expertise is tangential to the subject matter at hand –  the editor will likely ignore your suggestion.

Third, suggest only potential reviewers with which you have no conflict of interest. If you have published with another scientist within the past few years, it would be inappropriate to suggest them as a reviewer.

Is it ok to exclude potential reviewers?

Some journals allow you to list non-preferred reviewers. Perhaps there is a scientist you feel simply does not respect your work or that you feel you are in direct competition with. It is always tricky to know what to do here. On the one hand, the editor may respect your request and exclude your non-preferred reviewer.  On the other hand, the editor may have great respect for your non-preferred reviewer and may now wish to know what their take on the work is. That is, you may have just suggested a reviewer that the editor might not have thought to involve in the first place.

In general, it is best to trust the scientific process and not get involved in excluding potential reviewers. Most scientists can put their biases aside and evaluate good science fairly. That said, if you do still wish to exclude a particular potential reviewer, it might help to include a statement in the final paragraph of your cover letter explaining the nature of the conflict of interest to the editor.

Ready to submit.

You are now done and ready to submit. I hope we have made it clear that when it comes to your cover letter, less is more . That is, keep it as brief as possible – no more than one page. Editors have to read many of these letters amidst their otherwise busy schedules. Say what you want to say as clearly and briefly as possible. For an example of a cover letter that we have edited click here .

Remember, different journals have different criteria for the cover letter. For example, some will want a full-page signed pdf on letterhead, whereas others may  have you enter your cover letter directly in their online submission form. Always check the Instructions for Authors section for specific guidelines relevant to your journal of choice. Finally, if you should have Complete Science Solutions edit your manuscript or grant , we will be happy to edit your cover letter for free . Either way, good luck with your letter and your submission.

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Tips on Writing Cover Letters

checklist with a small pencil

A cover letter intended to be submitted with your article manuscript is not a formality. Care should be taken when writing such a letter. When writing a cover letter, keep these tips in mind:

  • Include a statement that your research has not been published elsewhere or is not under consideration for publication elsewhere
  • Keep it concise - at maximum, a page long
  • Do not copy and paste your abstract; write a clear paragraph explaining why your research is important and why that journal's readers would find it interesting
  • Make sure you are including all the information that the Instructions for Authors page on the journal's website asks you to
  • Publishers sometimes have their own templates - use those as a guide
  • Proofread, proofread, proofread! Make sure you letter is free of typos and is addressed to the correct editor and journal

Information above was taken from the sources below.

Image by  Mehmed_Nurrohmad  on Pixabay .

  • Key Information to Include in Your Cover Letter A template of information that should be included in a cover letter. From Taylor & Francis.
  • Cover Letters Information that should be included in a cover letter, with an example of a poor cover letter. From Springer.
  • Writing a Journal Cover Letter A short guide to a good cover letter, along with a template. From American Journal Experts (AJE).
  • How to Write a Cover Letter A cover letter template from Wiley.
  • Submitting Your Manuscript: Write the Right Cover Letter A short guide to what should be included in a cover letter. From Cell Press.
  • Cover Letter and Submission Form Preparation A chapter from "Getting Published in the Life Sciences" (2011) that includes guidance on how to prepare a cover letter as well as a sample template.
  • << Previous: Journal Impact Factors For the Top Journals in Your Field
  • Last Updated: May 28, 2024 2:34 PM
  • URL: https://libguides.mssm.edu/journalselection

Writing a persuasive cover letter for your manuscript

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Anthony Newman

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Lora Heisler

About this video

Submitting your manuscript without a cover letter or an incomplete one can impact the outcome of your submission. Strong cover letters efficiently introduce your work to the editor, but also communicates why your paper is of interest to the journal audience and contributory to overall science. 

In this Researcher Academy module, experts Anthony Newman and Lora Heisler give you important insights about writing strong and persuasive cover letters. This webinar will give an exhaustive check list on writing an effective cover letter which brings attention to your paper and helps it get published.

You will come away with the knowledge of what cover letters are, how they support your manuscript and how you can write an airtight cover letter, covering your research scope, objectives and goals. 

About the presenters

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Senior Publisher, Life Sciences, Elsevier

Anthony Newman is a Senior Publisher with Elsevier and is based in Amsterdam. Each year he presents numerous Author Workshops and other similar trainings worldwide. He is currently responsible for fifteen biochemistry and laboratory medicine journals, he joined Elsevier over thirty years ago and has been Publisher for more than twenty of those years. Before then he was the marketing communications manager for the biochemistry journals of Elsevier.  By training he is a polymer chemist and was active in the surface coating industry before leaving London and moving to Amsterdam in 1987 to join Elsevier.

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Chair in Human Nutrition, The Rowett Institute, The Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Aberdeen.

Lora Heisler, Ph.D. is Chair in Human Nutrition at the Rowett Institute, University of Aberdeen, Scotland, where she is Head of the Obesity and Food Choice research theme.  Professor Heisler has enjoyed being an active member of various journal editorial boards for more than a decade.  She was appointed as Deputy Editor of Elsevier’s journal Molecular Metabolism in 2018. Professor Heisler received her B.A. from Boston University, M.Sc. from London School of Economics and Political Sciences and Ph.D. from Tufts University.  She undertook postdoctoral fellowships at the University of California at San Francisco and Beth Israel Deaconess/Harvard Medical School.  Professor Heisler began her independent research group at Harvard Medical School and then relocated to the University of Cambridge in the UK. Her active research group moved to the Rowett Institute, University of Aberdeen in 2013 where they investigate the neurobiology of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

What should be included in a cover letter?

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how to write a cover letter for submitting a manuscript

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Submitting your manuscript: Write the right cover letter

how to write a cover letter for submitting a manuscript

It may seem obvious, but a journal editor's first serious impression of a submitted manuscript lies not only with the article title but also, rather simply, with the cover letter . The cover letter is your first "formal" interaction with a journal, and it embodies a request, so to speak, to consider your article for publication. But it also provides you with an excellent opportunity to present the significance of your scientific contribution.

I've worked as an editor for primary research and review manuscripts alike, and despite their many similarities, there are distinctions to writing the cover letter for each. Here are some helpful tips for writing a suitable cover letter for Cell Press scientific journals. 

Cover letter basics: What do we look for?

1. Let's start with content. We look for letters that start by succinctly explaining what was previously known in a given field and then state the authors' motivation for wishing to publish. Following that, the conceptual advance , timeliness, and novelty should be immediately conveyed. What sets apart this scientific contribution? What is the significance of the work, and where does the article lead us? Will this research be of interest to a broad readership?

2. Get to the point.  We want a concise letter that quickly gets to the main point and the take-home message; this sets the stage for your manuscript. Succinctly explain the topic of discussion, and quickly convey the key conclusions. Do not submit a long dissertation. Generally, one page suffices and is preferred.

3. Do not rehash the abstract of the paper. Copying and pasting the abstract into your cover letter verbatim is a big no-no. Instead, we seek a synthesis of the key points—possibly, and depending on style, the summary might resemble a brief story pitch in an elevator! But importantly, you need to venture beyond the summary: write a sentence that takes you further than the obvious conclusions. How does the content move the field forward? Are the implications far-reaching?

4. Get excited!  Authors' excitement about their scientific contributions can undoubtedly inspire the editor who's reading the cover letter. Overall, the sentiment of "you're gonna love reading this paper!" should seep through—make that happen!

5. Include a wish list of reviewers. Relevant information on potential reviewers (including their field of expertise) can be included and is definitely a plus, as it can be quite helpful to the editor. By contrast, please don't provide a long list of excluded reviewers (three maximum), and most certainly do not suggest excluding authors from entire continents on the map! Also, save the editor some time by specifying which author should be the  lead contact , and indicate their affiliation.

6. Keep it simple ... and humble. In terms of style, consider sincerity and simplicity . The letter should be humble and forthcoming; don't be ostentatious or florid. Claims of priority, if not fully supported, tend to be a turnoff. In addition, statements indicating that the article or related findings have been presented at X number of conferences and are "tremendously" well received by the scientific community—or otherwise—do not add much to the cover letter. They might instead suggest right off the bat that a lot of cooing and convincing of the journal editor will be required. So let the "science" speak for itself. Also, a statement declaring that the article is original and isn't being considered elsewhere can only add to your cause!

7. Proofread your letter by checking the spelling, grammar, and syntax. A well-written letter indicates that you take your submission seriously and that you are an author who pays attention to detail.

8. Check every detail. Avoid mistakes such as directing the cover letter to the editor(s) of a different journal, or to a different journal altogether. This might suggest that you've submitted your article elsewhere, that it might have been poorly received, and perhaps that the Cell Press journal you're submitting to isn't your first choice. It could also suggest that you don't pay sufficient attention to detail. Sadly, these sorts of errors continue to surprise me and happen more often than I would like.

The cover letter:  Primary research or Trends  reviews?

There are subtle differences in writing a cover letter for a primary research journal versus a  reviews journal, such as the Trends journals at Cell Press.

Many different article formats exist within both the primary research journals and the Trends journals. Make sure it's very clear which type of format you're submitting. As the Editor of Trends in Molecular Medicine , I find that this detail is not always specified by the author(s) in the cover letter. Knowing what type of manuscript you are submitting can help you fully nail down the cover letter in terms of the intent, scope, and take-home message of the article. It also recapitulates your prior agreement with the editor regarding article format: is it a review or an opinion piece?

Along these lines, the content of your cover letter will differ for a review or opinion piece as opposed to an original research contribution. For both, the timeliness and novelty need to strongly come across. However, for a research article, the specific advance relative to previous experimental findings needs to be clearly indicated. For a Trends article, the synthesis and conceptual advance should be particularly stated in terms of what is new and has been trending in the field for the last one to five years. For an opinion piece, take a strong and novel stance on a hypothesis or idea. Projecting into the future, beyond the main take-home message of the paper, is also a strong consideration for Trends articles.

I recommend that you familiarize yourself with the journal that you are submitting to—browse through the journal website and do your homework on author guidelines and the scope of the journal prior to submission! In the case of Trends journals, know who the editor is. Each Trends journal is run by a single editor, so beginning your cover letter with "Dear Madam" when the editor is male, or "Dear Sir" when the editor is female, may not create a favorable impression. While such mistakes are usually overruled by the content and quality of the science, it certainly helps to have your cover letter completely in order!

Keep on writing—we love hearing from you and receiving your submissions! For more tips on writing cover letters for scientific manuscripts, check out this page . Also read more from Cell Press Editor in Chief Emilie Marcus on when—and when not—to submit your paper .

Don't go it alone, visit Cell Mentor

Posted by Catarina Sacristán Catarina is the Editor of Trends in Molecular Medicine . She received her PhD in immunology from Tufts University, followed by postdoctoral research in Mexico and at NYU. She also did a stint in cardiovascular research at a biomedical engineering firm. She enjoys thinking about immunology, genetics, signaling, imaging, virology, metabolism, neuroscience, cancer, therapeutics, and more. She came to Cell Press from The Journal of Experimental Medicine . A movie buff, she also loves to read, write, ski, horseback ride. and dance.

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how to write a cover letter for submitting a manuscript

Get science-backed answers as you write with Paperpal's Research feature

How to Write a Cover Letter for Journal Submission

How to write a cover letter for journal submission - Paperpal

A cover letter to the editor for a manuscript submission is the author’s “pitch” as to why the research paper deserves publishing in a particular journal. If you think it is yet another document in the journal submission process for filling in author details and a mere description of the communicated research, think twice. If written succinctly, a cover letter can be a tipping point for your manuscript, leading to an outbound peer review or an outright desk rejection.

More often, the journal editors are burdened with the task of scrutinizing a huge number of manuscript submissions to select novel and high-quality research that align with the scope of the journal and the demographics of its readership. Through a well written cover letter, an editor can get a chance to know the value of the communicated research prior to reading it in full and can be convinced to proceed with the further review process. Thus, it is important to use this tool effectively to move past the editorial screening stage.

Here are the key elements “ TO DO ” when you write the cover letter for your next manuscript submission:

  • Manuscript title and category

Begin the cover letter with the manuscript title and the journal name for article submission. Mention clearly the category of the article type (letter, article, brief, review) pertaining to the particular journal.

  • Background and context

Briefly, in a couple of sentences, describe the background of the research to bring context to your work. Mention what has been missing or lacking in understanding of a research problem that has not been addressed so far in the published reports.

  • Focus and novelty

Describe how your work, communicated through the submitted manuscript, aims to bridge the existing gap in understanding the research problem. Highlight the novelty of your work by mentioning the major results or findings of your work which provide insightful conclusions that have not been published so far.

  • Relevance to the journal and readership

Explain how this new research work is an advancement over previously published works and relevant to the journal’s aim and scope. Mention if there are potential future applications of your current research and why the findings of your work might be of broad interest to the readership of the journal.  

  • Originality and conflict of interest

Confirm that the research presented in the study is original and that the manuscript is not currently being reviewed by another journal. The manuscript has been approved by all authors, who also consent unanimously to its submission to the journal.

  • Identify preferred/opposed reviewers

As per the editorial policy, the information provided by the authors in the cover letter is treated as confidential and is accessible only by the editors and not open to referees. You can suggest the names of potential reviewers if you believe they can be the best reviewers for your manuscript being stalwarts in the same research field. Likewise, you can also request the editor to exclude certain individuals as referees who you believe may not do justice to reviewing your manuscript owing to potential conflict of interest.

how to write a cover letter for submitting a manuscript

  • Competing work  

You can alert the editors in the cover letter if you are aware of another group competing with similar work and seek an expedited review process. This can help the editors in determining editorial workflow accordingly.

While writing a cover letter is liberating and gives you the freedom to describe what is exciting about your research work rather than writing within the constraints of a particular journal’s format, you should still adhere to a few “ DON’Ts ” to err on the side of caution.

  • Rehash the abstract

While writing the body of the cover letter, do not rehash the abstract of your manuscript that the editor will likely read next. In fact, the abstract of the article can be re-written according to the journal format more easily once you have done the cover letter.

  • Too many details, jargons, tall claims

Keep your cover letter to a maximum of one page. Use the limited space wisely and write concisely. Restrict usage of technical details, jargons and boastful claims that can only make the editor wary of your presented work. Also steer clear of expressing any kind of exaggeration/flattery for the journal even if that is the best place to publish your work.

Remind yourself always to follow the ethics of working in a scientific community and strictly avoid any kind of plagiarism.

Finally, writing a cover letter for a journal submission is your best chance of enabling a manuscript to go through the editorial process, getting peer reviewed and published in a coveted journal of your choice. Do your best to grab and use this opportunity to the fullest!

Additional reading:

Nature Immunology 9 , 107 (2008) “Editorial: Prelude to a good story” Available at https://doi.org/10.1038/ni0208-107

Related Reads:

  • How to Write a Grant Proposal for Research
  • How to Write Effective Brief Communications
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How to Write an Effective Cover Letter for Journal Submission | Example Cover Letter

Dr. Sowndarya Somasundaram

When submitting your manuscript to a journal, it is important to include a well-written cover letter which could help your paper to reach the next level of the process. A good cover letter can voice your manuscript on behalf of you to the journal editor. You can take this opportunity to describe why your manuscript will be of importance and interesting to the journal’s readers, which is something that every journal editor looks for. Therefore, it is worth spending time to write a coherent and convincing cover letter for journal article submission. This article provides the best cover letter example format for your easy understanding.

Before start writing your cover letter, check the instructions for authors of your journal for any specific information to be included in the cover letter. Some journals suggest including few additional details in the cover letter.

The cover letter should claim that your article is a good fit for the journal and it should highlight your major research findings. Specify the theme or scope of the journal under which you are submitting the manuscript. The author should assure the editor that there are no conflicts of interest to publish your manuscript.

To help you with this, iLovePhD imparts you how to write an effective cover letter to a journal for research article submission, providing examples of what should be included, what should not be included, and a sample template of the cover letter.

Key points to include:

  • Editor’s name (you can find this on the journal webpage ).
  • Name of the journal
  • Your article’s title
  • Brief description of the novelty of the research and emphasis on your major research findings.
  • A statement that your paper is not currently under consideration by another journal
  • Contact information for you and any co-authors
  • Confirm that you have no conflicts of interest
  • A list of potential reviewers (If asked by the journal)
  • Any researchers/reviewers who should not review your manuscript (If asked by the journal)

Points to avoid:

  • Keep your cover letter to a maximum of one page (brief introduction and overview).
  • Don’t copy your abstract into your cover letter; instead explain significance and novelty of your work in your own words.
  • Don’t use too much jargon or acronyms; instead use simple, easy and straightforward language.
  • Avoid spelling and grammar errors and ensure your letter is professional before submitting.

Example Cover Letter for Journal Submission

The best cover letter example for any publication (elsevier, wiley, IEEE, springer, pubmed, taylor and francis, and SAGE ) shown below:

Dr. / Prof. (Editor’s name)

Editor-in-Chief

Journal name

Dear Dr. /Prof. ( Editor’s name)

I/we wish to submit a research manuscript entitled “(title of research article)” for publishing in your esteemed journal. ( Briefly describe your research work in your own words. Don’t paste your abstract here. Clearly explain the novelty of your work and its significance and the reason to choose this journal for publication .)

I/we declare that all the authors ( all the authors’ name ) of this manuscript agreed to submit the manuscript to the journal ( Journal name ). We also agree to transfer copyright from the authors to the journal. The manuscript has been prepared as per the journal’s guidelines and checked for language correction.

I/we do confirm that this work is original and the manuscript is not currently under consideration for publication elsewhere.

Please address all the correspondence pertaining to this manuscript to me at ( email address ).

Thanking you

( Your name )

how to write a cover letter for submitting a manuscript

I Hope, this article helps you to know how to write an effective cover letter with an example to a journal for research article submission.

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How to  Publish in High Impact Journals? | iLovePhD

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  • Ready To Submit: Writing a Cover Letter

Writing a Cover Letter

When submitting a manuscript, authors will need to additionally submit a cover letter. The purpose of this letter is to highlight the importance and relevance of your research. To assist with preparing your cover letter to include all points, you can download and use our sample cover letter as a guide.

What to Include

  • Address the editor by their name.
  • Include your manscript's title.
  • State that your paper has not been published/is not under consideration by another journal. Also include if an earlier version of this paper was presented at a conference, and provide a detailed list of changes since the presentation.
  • Provide nominations for two Senior Editors, two Associate Editors, and up to four reviewers. Make sure to include the rationale for your nominations. You may read more about this in the Editor Nominations section .
  • Declare any conflicts of interest, or confirm there are none.
  • Include contact information for yourself and any co-authors.

Things to Avoid

  • Do not copy your abstract into your cover letter. Instead, explain the significance of your work and why it should be published in MIS Quarterly.
  • Do not use too much jargon or acronyms. Keep your letter straightforward and easy to read.
  • Avoid too much detail. Keep your cover letter to a maximum of two pages.
  • Tel: +81-3-5541-4400 (Monday–Friday, 09:30–18:00)

ThinkSCIENCE

Writing effective cover letters for journal submissions: Tips and a Word template

Writing a cover letter

When you need to submit a cover letter with your manuscript, you'll probably write it just before submission. Like many other authors, you may find yourself wondering what to write and taking longer than you expected, causing last-minute delays and stress.

To help you write effective cover letters—and to write them quickly and easily—in this article we offer some tips on layout and appropriate wording. Also, you can download our template cover letter (Word file) to help you save time writing and help you remember to include standard author statements and other information commonly required by journals.

If you are submitting a revised paper to the same journal, note that the response letter to the reviewers is different from the cover letter used at initial submission. You can find tips and a template on writing effective response letters to the reviewers in our previous article .

Many journals require a cover letter and state this in their guidelines for authors (alternatively known as author guidelines, information for authors, guide for authors, guidelines for papers, submission guide, etc.). For some journals, a cover letter is optional or may not be not required, but it's probably a good idea to include one.

Why do some journals ask for cover letters?

Cover letters can be helpful to journal staff in the following ways.

1. Cover letters that include standard statements required by the journal allow the journal staff to quickly confirm that the authors have (or say they have) followed certain ethical research and publishing practices.

These statements assert that the authors followed standard practices, which may include (i) adhering to ethical guidelines for research involving humans ( Declaration of Helsinki ), involving animals ( ARRIVE guidelines ), or falling under institutional guidelines; (ii) obtaining ethics approval from institutional review boards or ethics committees; (iii) obtaining informed consent or assent from participants; (iv) complying with authorship criteria (e.g., ICMJE criteria ); (v) confirming no duplicate submissions have been made; and (vi) recommending reviewers for your paper, which may include specifying peers that you prefer not be contacted.

2. Cover letters can summarize your manuscript quickly for the journal editor, highlighting your most important findings and their implications to show why your manuscript would be of interest.

Some journals, such as Nature, state that while a cover letter is optional, it provides "an excellent opportunity to briefly discuss the importance of the submitted work and why it is appropriate for the journal." Some publishers, such as Springer , recommend that you write a cover letter to help "sell" your manuscript to the journal editor.

3. Cover letters that contain all of the information required by the journal (as stated in the guideline for authors) can indicate that you have spent time carefully formatting the manuscript to fit the journal's style. This creates a good first impression. Addressing the letter to a named editor at the journal also shows that you took the time to write your letter (and by extension, your manuscript) with care and considered the fit with the journal beyond just impact factor.

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What makes an effective cover letter?

Cover letters should be short—preferably no more than 1 page—and they often use single line spacing. The content can be broadly divided into six sections:

  • Addressee's information and date of submission
  • Opening salutation
  • Purpose statement and administrative information
  • Summary of main research findings and implications
  • Statements or information required by the journal
  • Closing salutation and your contact information

Let's look at some tips for each section. And don't forget to download the template , which shows these tips already in place.

1. Addressee's information and date of submission

  • Check the journal's website for the name of the editor who handles submissions; this could be the Managing Editor or an editor assigned to your geographical region. If no handling editor is named, address your cover letter to the Editor-in-Chief. Some journals ask that you identify a specific editor for your specialty.
  • Write the name of the addressee in the top left corner of the page.
  • Write the date beneath. To minimize the number of line breaks used in your cover letter (and help keep it to one page of text), you can put the date to the right if you wish.
  • Note that dates written as numerals only can be confusing: 02/03/2017 can be read "2 March 2017" in British and "3 February 2017" in American English. Using the format "3 February 2017" or "February 3, 2017" is clear.

2. Opening salutation

  • Write the title and last name of the addressee (exclude the first name); for example, "Professor Brown" or "Dr. Baker" (British English: "Dr Baker").
  • If you can't find a named editor on the journal website, then you can use the opening salutation "Dear Editor".
  • At the end of the opening salutation, you can use a comma or a colon; that is, "Dear Dr. Baker," or "Dear Dr. Baker:" (British English uses the comma; American English uses either, but the colon is considered more formal).

3. Purpose statement and administrative information

  • Clearly state the purpose of your letter (that you are submitting a manuscript) and then state your manuscript title, author names (or first author "Brown et al."), and article type (e.g., original paper).
  • Be sure to use the journal's own terminology to refer to the article type; for example, some journals use the term "Regular Articles" for a full research paper, whereas others use "Original Submissions", "Full Papers", "Original Articles", among others.
  • See the downloadable Word template for an example sentence that presents this information clearly and concisely.
  • If your submission consists of many files, consider summarizing them in one short sentence so that the journal editor is sure all of the files have been received; for example, "There are 8 files in all: 1 main manuscript file, 1 highlights file, 3 figure files, 1 table file, 1 supplementary data file, and 1 supplementary figures file".

4. Summary of main research findings and implications

  • In a new paragraph, summarize the purpose of your research (the research gap or problem it addresses), the main findings, and finally the implications of these findings. This is your main chance to highlight the value of your work to the journal editor, so keep this short and focused. (Journal editors may receive thousands of submissions annually, and many fulfill editing duties on top of their own research and teaching schedule, so you should strive to make their jobs easier by providing as concise a summary as possible.)
  • Be sure to tailor your statements so that they're in line with the readership of the journal. For example, if you are submitting to a more general journal that has a diverse readership, underscore the possible impact your findings could have in multiple fields. Conversely, if you are submitting to a publication with narrow scope, you can write about your findings in highly focused terms.
  • Avoid simply reproducing sentences verbatim from the abstract—which the journal editor will likely read next. Instead, if you take sentences from your abstract as a base to work from, then try to craft a much shorter summary that clearly fits the journal's focus and that highlights the implications of your work for the journal's readers. In fact, Nature guidelines state specifically to "avoid repeating information that is already present in the abstract and introduction."
  • When stating that you think your work is a good fit for the journal, be sure not to use exaggerated flattery. Avoid using words like "esteemed" and "prestigious" to describe the journal: "We believe that these findings will be of interest to the readers of your esteemed/prestigious journal."
  • It's helpful to the journal editor to state if your work directly relates to a paper published by another author in the same journal. Also, mention if your study closely relates to or extends your previously published work, so it is clear why your submitted manuscript is novel or important enough to publish.

Common phrases in this paragraph:

Summarizing the purpose of your research

  • This study presents/summarizes/examines…
  • X remains a problem for (engineers/software developers/local government). In this study, we (examined/investigated/developed and tested)…

Presenting your main results

  • Our main findings/results were that…
  • The most interesting/important findings were that…
  • Most importantly, our findings can improve/reduce/help…

Highlighting the relevance of your findings

  • These findings should enable (engineers/doctors/local government) to…
  • We believe that these findings will be of interest to the readers of your journal.

5. Statements or information required by the journal

  • In this new paragraph, provide any statements that the journal requires be included in your cover letter. Be sure to review the journal's guidelines to know what information you should provide.
  • Some journals or publishers have very specific requirements. For example, PLOS requires that authors describe any prior interactions with the journal in the cover letter, as well as suggest appropriate Academic Editors from the journal's editorial board to handle the submission.
  • Some journals require that sentences are provided verbatim in the cover letter. The guidelines will tell you to copy and paste the sentence provided in quotation marks into the cover letter. For example, Springer states that cover letters should contain two specific sentences: "We confirm that this manuscript has not been published elsewhere and is not under consideration by another journal" and "All authors have approved the manuscript and agree with its submission to [insert the name of the target journal]."
  • Several statements pertaining to research and publication ethics are commonly required by journals across a broad range of fields. These are given in our downloadable Word template . When using the template, you can retain the statements in full, revise them slightly as appropriate to your circumstances, replace them with any similar wording required by the journal, or delete them if they do not fit your specific situation.

Previous contact with the journal

  • We state that we have had no previous contact with the journal regarding this submission.
  • We previously contacted the journal to inquire about/to check whether…

Conflict of interests and financial disclosures

  • The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.
  • X.Y. advises Company A and has received lecture fees from Company B.
  • This study was supported by a grant from Z.
  • No financial support was received for this study/work.
  • A.B. conceived the study, analyzed the data, and drafted the manuscript; C.D. analyzed the data…
  • All authors have approved the manuscript and agree with its submission to the journal.
  • All authors approved the final version of the manuscript and agree to be accountable for all aspects of this work.

Suggested reviewers

  • Potential reviewers for our manuscript are:
  • We believe that the following individual(s) would be well suited to reviewing our manuscript.

Request to exclude reviewers

  • We request that the following individual(s) not be approached to review our manuscript (because…).

Concurrent/duplicate submissions

  • We declare that this manuscript has not been published before, in whole or in part, and is not currently being considered for publication elsewhere.
  • This study was presented in part at…
  • This study was previously published in Japanese (citation) and…

6. Closing salutation and your contact information

  • Briefly thank the journal editor for considering the manuscript and follow this with the full contact information of the corresponding author (name, academic degrees or professional qualifications; affiliation and postal address; telephone (and fax); email).
  • Be sure to maintain a collegial tone to leave the journal editor with the best impression as he or she finishes reading your cover letter and moves on to evaluate your manuscript.
  • Avoid statements that could be construed as presuming to give instructions to the editor. For example, "we look forward to your review of our manuscript" implicitly directs the editor to review your paper. Also, we look forward to hearing from you "at your earliest convenience/as soon as possible" implicitly directs the editor to communicate with you quickly; instead, simply use a neutral but polite phrase such as "we look forward to hearing from you" or "we look forward to hearing from you in due course".
  • A suitable closing salutation is "Sincerely," or "Yours sincerely,"

Although the cover letter is not, strictly speaking, a part of your manuscript, it can affect how your submission is perceived by the journal editor. A cover letter that is tailored to the journal, introduces your work persuasively, and is free from spelling and grammatical errors can help prime the editor to view your submission positively before he or she even looks over your manuscript.

We hope our tips and Word template can help you create professional, complete cover letters in a time-effective way. Our specialist editors, translators, and writers are available to help create or revise the content to be error-free and, as part of our additional comprehensive Guidelines for Authors service , we can ensure the cover letter includes all of the statements required by the journal.

Lastly, just as a reminder for members of ThinkSCIENCE's free annual rewards program , remember to claim your reward of free editing or translation of one cover letter alongside editing or translation of a full paper before the end of the March!

how to write a cover letter for submitting a manuscript

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What are you submitting? The main manuscript document The title page How do I format my article? Sage Author Services

What are you submitting? 

Sage journals publish a variety of different article types, from original research, review articles, to commentaries and opinion pieces. Please view your chosen journal’s submission guidelines for information on what article types are published and what the individual requirements are for each. Below are general guidelines for submitting an original research article. 

Whatever kind of article you are submitting, remember that the language you use is important. We are committed to promoting equity throughout our publishing program, and we believe that using language is a simple and powerful way to ensure the communities we serve feel welcomed, respected, safe, and able to fully engage with the publishing process and our published content. Inclusive language considerations are especially important when discussing topics like age, appearance, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, race, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, emigration status, and weight. We have produced an Inclusive Language Guide that recommends preferred terminology on these topics. We recognize that language is constantly evolving and we’re committed to ensuring that this guide is continuously updated to reflect changing practices. The guide isn't exhaustive, but we hope it serves as a helpful starting point.  

The main manuscript document 

Have a look at your chosen journal’s submission guidelines for information on what sections should be included in your manuscript. Generally there will be an Abstract, Introduction, Methodology, Results, Discussion, Conclusion, Acknowledgments, Statements and Declarations section, and References. Be sure to remove any identifying information from the main manuscript if you are submitting to a journal that has a double-anonymized peer review policy and instead include this on a separate title page. See the Sage Journal Author Gateway for detailed guidance on making an anonymous submission .   

Your article title, keywords, and abstract all contribute to its position in search engine results, directly affecting the number of people who see your work. For details of what you can do to influence this, visit How to help readers find your article online .

Title: Your manuscript’s title should be concise, descriptive, unambiguous, accurate, and reflect the precise contents of the manuscript. A descriptive title that includes the topic of the manuscript makes an article more findable in the major indexing services.  

Abstract: Your abstract should concisely state the purpose of the research, major findings, and conclusions. If your research includes clinical trials, the trial registry name and URL, and registration number must be included at the end of the abstract. Submissions that do not meet this requirement will not be considered. Please see your chosen journal’s guidelines for information on how to set out your abstract.  

Keywords: You will be asked to list a certain number of keywords after the abstract. Keywords should be as specific as possible to the research topic.   

Acknowledgements: If you are including an Acknowledgements section, this will be published at the end of your article. The Acknowledgments section should include all contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship. Per ICMJE recommendations , it is best practice to obtain consent from non-author contributors who you are acknowledging in your manuscript.   

Writing assistance and third-party submissions: if you have received any writing or editing assistance from a third-party, for example a specialist communications company, this must be clearly stated in the Acknowledgements section and in the covering letter. Please see the Sage Author Gateway for what information to include in your Acknowledgements section. If your submission is being made on your behalf by someone who is not listed as an author, for example the third-party who provided writing/editing assistance, you must state this in the Acknowledgements and also in your covering letter. Please note that the journal editor reserves the right to not consider submissions made by a third party rather than by the author/s themselves.   

Author contributions statement: As part of our commitment to ensuring an ethical, transparent and fair peer review and publication process, some journals have adopted CRediT (Contributor Roles Taxonomy) . CRediT is a high-level taxonomy, including 14 roles, which is used to describe each author’s individual contributions to the work. Other journals may require you to list the contribution of each author as part of the submission process. If so, please include an Author Contributions heading within your submission after the Acknowledgements section. The information you give on submission will then show under the Author Contributions heading later at the proofing stage.  

Statements and declarations: You’ll be asked to provide various statements and declarations regarding the research you’re submitting. These will vary by journal so do make sure you read your chosen journal’s guidelines carefully to see what is required. Please include a section with the heading ‘Statements and Declarations’ at the end of your submitted article, after the Acknowledgements section (and Author Contributions section if applicable) including the relevant sub-headings listed below. If a declaration is not applicable to your submission, you must still include the heading and state ‘Not applicable’ underneath. Please note that you may be asked to justify why a declaration was not applicable to your submission by the Editorial Office.

  • Ethical considerations: Please include your ethics approval statements under this heading, even if you have already included ethics approval information in your methods section. If ethical approval was not required, you need to state this. You can find information on what to say in your ethical statements as well as example statements on our Publication ethics and research integrity policies page    
  • Consent to participate: Please include any participant consent information under this heading and state whether informed consent to participate was written or verbal. If the requirement for informed consent to participate has been waived by the relevant Ethics Committee or Institutional Review Board (i.e. where it has been deemed that consent would be impossible or impracticable to obtain), please state this. If this is not applicable to your manuscript, please state ‘Not applicable’ in this section. More information and example statements can be found on our Publication ethics and research integrity policies page   
  • Consent for publication: Submissions containing any data from an individual person (including individual details, images or videos) must include a statement confirming that informed consent for publication was provided by the participant(s) or a legally authorized representative. Non-essential identifying details should be omitted.  Please do not submit the participant’s actual written informed consent with your article, as this in itself breaches the patient’s confidentiality. The Journal requests that you confirm to us, in writing, that you have obtained written informed consent to publish but the written consent itself should be held by the authors/investigators themselves, for example in a patient’s hospital record. The confirmatory letter may be uploaded with your submission as a separate file in addition to the statement confirming that consent to publish was obtained within the manuscript text. If this is not applicable to your manuscript, please state ‘Not applicable’ in this section. If you need one you can download this template participant consent form . 
  • Declaration of conflicting interest: All journals require a declaration of conflicting interests from all authors so that a statement can be included in your article. For guidance on conflict of interest statements, see our policy on conflicting interest declarations and the ICMJE recommendations . If no conflict exists, your statement should read: The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.
  • Funding statement: All articles need to include a funding statement, under a separate heading, even if you did not receive funding .  You’ll find guidance and examples on our Funding statements page .  
  • Data availability statement: We are committed to helping ensure you reach as many readers as possible, always in a spirit of openness and transparency. We encourage you to share your research to a public repository and cite this data in your research (please note that this is a requirement for some journals). You will need to publish a data availability statement with your article under this heading. More information on how to write one can be found on the Sage Gateway: Research Data Sharing FAQs | SAGE Publications Ltd   

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  • Format: TIFF, JPEG: Common format for pictures (containing no text or graphs). 
  • EPS: Preferred format for graphs and line art (retains quality when enlarging/zooming in). 
  • Placement: Figures/charts and tables created in MS Word should be included in the main text rather than at the end of the document. 
  • Figures and other files created outside Word (i.e. Excel, PowerPoint, JPG, TIFF and EPS) should be submitted separately. Please add a placeholder note in the running text (i.e. “[insert Figure 1.]") 
  • Resolution: Rasterized based files (i.e. with .tiff or .jpeg extension) require a resolution of at least 300 dpi (dots per inch). Line art should be supplied with a minimum resolution of 800 dpi. 
  • Colour: Please note that images supplied in colour will be published in colour online and black and white in print (unless otherwise arranged). Therefore, it is important that you supply images that are comprehensible in black and white as well (i.e. by using colour with a distinctive pattern or dotted lines). The captions should reflect this by not using words indicating colour. If you have requested colour reproduction in the print version, we will advise you of any costs on receipt of your accepted article. 
  • Dimension: Check that the artworks supplied match or exceed the dimensions of the journal. Images cannot be scaled up after origination 
  • Fonts: The lettering used in the artwork should not vary too much in size and type (usually sans serif font as a default). 

Please ensure that you have obtained any necessary permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures, or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please see the Frequently Asked Questions page on the Sage Journal Author Gateway.   

References: Every in-text citation must have a corresponding citation in the reference list and vice versa. Corresponding citations must have identical spelling and year. Information about what reference style to use can be found in your chosen journal’s guidelines. 

Authors should update any references to preprints when a peer reviewed version is made available, to cite the published research. Citations to preprints are otherwise discouraged.  

Supplemental material Sage journals can host additional materials online (e.g. datasets, podcasts, videos, images etc.) alongside the full text of the article. Your supplemental material must be one of our accepted file types. For that list and more information please refer to our guidelines on submitting supplemental files .  

The title page  

You will also need to prepare a title page. This should include any information removed from the main manuscript document for the purposes of anonymity. The title page will not be sent to peer reviewers.  

Your title page should include:  

  • Article title  
  • The full list of authors including all names and affiliations. 
  • The listed affiliation should be the institution where the research was conducted. If an author has moved to a new institution since completing the research, the new affiliation can be included in a note at the end of the manuscript – please indicate this on the title page.  
  • Everybody eligible for authorship must be included at the time of submission (please see the authorship section for more information).
  • Contact information for the corresponding author: name, institutional address, phone, email  
  • Acknowledgments section  
  • Statements and Declarations section  
  • Any other identifying information related to the authors and/or their institutions, funders, approval committees, etc, that might compromise anonymity.   

How do I format my article? 

The preferred format is Word. There is no need to follow a specific template when submitting your manuscript in Word. However, please ensure your heading levels are clear, and the sections clearly defined. 

(La)TeX guidelines We welcome submissions of LaTeX files. Please download the  Sage LaTex Template , which contains comprehensive guidelines. The Sage LaTex template files are also available in  Overleaf , should you wish to write in an online environment. 

If you have used any .bib or .bst files when creating your article, please include these with your submission so that we can generate the reference list and citations in the journal-specific style. If you have any queries, please consult our  LaTex Frequently Asked Questions.  

When formatting your references, please ensure you check the reference style followed by your chosen journal. Here are quick links to the  Sage Harvard  reference style, the  Sage Vancouver  reference style and the  APA  reference style. 

Other styles available for certain journals are:  ACS Style Guide ,  AMA Manual of Style ,  ASA Style Guide ,  Chicago Manual of Style  and  CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Societies . 

Please refer to  your journal's manuscript submission guidelines  to confirm which reference style it conforms to and for other specific requirements. 

Equations should to be submitted using Office Math ML and Math type. 

Artwork guidelines   Illustrations, pictures and graphs, should be supplied in the highest quality and in an electronic format that helps us to publish your article in the best way possible. Please follow the guidelines below to enable us to prepare your artwork for the printed issue as well as the online version. 

  • Format:  TIFF, JPEG: Common format for pictures (containing no text or graphs).  EPS: Preferred format for graphs and line art (retains quality when enlarging/zooming in). 
  • Placement:  Figures/charts and tables created in MS Word should be included in the main text rather than at the end of the document.  Figures and other files created outside Word (i.e. Excel, PowerPoint, JPG, TIFF and EPS) should be submitted separately. Please add a placeholder note in the running text (i.e. “[insert Figure 1.]") 
  • Resolution:  Rasterized based files (i.e. with .tiff or .jpeg extension) require a resolution of at least  300 dpi  (dots per inch). Line art should be supplied with a minimum resolution of  800 dpi . 
  • Color:  Please note that images supplied in colour will be published in color online and black and white in print (unless otherwise arranged). Therefore, it is important that you supply images that are comprehensible in black and white as well (i.e. by using color with a distinctive pattern or dotted lines). The captions should reflect this by not using words indicating colour. 
  • Dimension:  Check that the artworks supplied match or exceed the dimensions of the journal. Images cannot be scaled up after origination 
  • Fonts:  The lettering used in the artwork should not vary too much in size and type (usually sans serif font as a default). 

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how to write a cover letter for submitting a manuscript

How to Write a Cover Letter That Will Get You a Job

I ’ve read thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of cover letters in my career. If you’re thinking that sounds like really boring reading, you’re right. What I can tell you from enduring that experience is that most cover letters are terrible — and not only that, but squandered opportunities. When a cover letter is done well, it can significantly increase your chances of getting an interview, but the vast majority fail that test.

So let’s talk about how to do cover letters right.

First, understand the point of a cover letter.

The whole idea of a cover letter is that it can help the employer see you as more than just your résumé. Managers generally aren’t hiring based solely on your work history; your experience is crucial, yes, but they’re also looking for someone who will be easy to work with, shows good judgment, communicates well, possesses strong critical thinking skills and a drive to get things done, complements their current team, and all the other things you yourself probably want from your co-workers. It’s tough to learn much about those things from job history alone, and that’s where your cover letter comes in.

Because of that …

Whatever you do, don’t just summarize your résumé.

The No. 1 mistake people make with cover letters is that they simply use them to summarize their résumé. This makes no sense — hiring managers don’t need a summary of your résumé! It’s on the very next page! They’re about to see it as soon as they scroll down. And if you think about it, your entire application is only a few pages (in most cases, a one- or two-page résumé and a one-page cover letter) — why would you squander one of those pages by repeating the content of the others? And yet, probably 95 percent of the cover letters I see don’t add anything new beyond the résumé itself (and that’s a conservative estimate).

Instead, your cover letter should go beyond your work history to talk about things that make you especially well-suited for the job. For example, if you’re applying for an assistant job that requires being highly organized and you neurotically track your household finances in a detailed, color-coded spreadsheet, most hiring managers would love to know that because it says something about the kind of attention to detail you’d bring to the job. That’s not something you could put on your résumé, but it can go in your cover letter.

Or maybe your last boss told you that you were the most accurate data processor she’d ever seen, or came to rely on you as her go-to person whenever a lightning-fast rewrite was needed. Maybe your co-workers called you “the client whisperer” because of your skill in calming upset clients. Maybe you’re regularly sought out by more senior staff to help problem-solve, or you find immense satisfaction in bringing order to chaos. Those sorts of details illustrate what you bring to the job in a different way than your résumé does, and they belong in your cover letter.

If you’re still stumped, pretend you’re writing an email to a friend about why you’d be great at the job. You probably wouldn’t do that by stiffly reciting your work history, right? You’d talk about what you’re good at and how you’d approach the work. That’s what you want here.

You don’t need a creative opening line.

If you think you need to open the letter with something creative or catchy, I am here to tell you that you don’t. Just be simple and straightforward:

• “I’m writing to apply for your X position.”

• “I’d love to be considered for your X position.”

• “I’m interested in your X position because …”

• “I’m excited to apply for your X position.”

That’s it! Straightforward is fine — better, even, if the alternative is sounding like an aggressive salesperson.

Show, don’t tell.

A lot of cover letters assert that the person who wrote it would excel at the job or announce that the applicant is a skillful engineer or a great communicator or all sorts of other subjective superlatives. That’s wasted space — the hiring manager has no reason to believe it, and so many candidates claim those things about themselves that most managers ignore that sort of self-assessment entirely. So instead of simply declaring that you’re great at X (whatever X is), your letter should demonstrate that. And the way you do that is by describing accomplishments and experiences that illustrate it.

Here’s a concrete example taken from one extraordinarily effective cover-letter makeover that I saw. The candidate had originally written, “I offer exceptional attention to detail, highly developed communication skills, and a talent for managing complex projects with a demonstrated ability to prioritize and multitask.” That’s pretty boring and not especially convincing, right? (This is also exactly how most people’s cover letters read.)

In her revised version, she wrote this instead:

“In addition to being flexible and responsive, I’m also a fanatic for details — particularly when it comes to presentation. One of my recent projects involved coordinating a 200-page grant proposal: I proofed and edited the narratives provided by the division head, formatted spreadsheets, and generally made sure that every line was letter-perfect and that the entire finished product conformed to the specific guidelines of the RFP. (The result? A five-year, $1.5 million grant award.) I believe in applying this same level of attention to detail to tasks as visible as prepping the materials for a top-level meeting and as mundane as making sure the copier never runs out of paper.”

That second version is so much more compelling and interesting — and makes me believe that she really is great with details.

If there’s anything unusual or confusing about your candidacy, address it in the letter.

Your cover letter is your chance to provide context for things that otherwise might seem confusing or less than ideal to a hiring manager. For example, if you’re overqualified for the position but are excited about it anyway, or if you’re a bit underqualified but have reason to think you could excel at the job, address that up front. Or if your background is in a different field but you’re actively working to move into this one, say so, talk about why, and explain how your experience will translate. Or if you’re applying for a job across the country from where you live because you’re hoping to relocate to be closer to your family, let them know that.

If you don’t provide that kind of context, it’s too easy for a hiring manager to decide you’re the wrong fit or applying to everything you see or don’t understand the job description and put you in the “no” pile. A cover letter gives you a chance to say, “No, wait — here’s why this could be a good match.”

Keep the tone warm and conversational.

While there are some industries that prize formal-sounding cover letters — like law — in most fields, yours will stand out if it’s warm and conversational. Aim for the tone you’d use if you were writing to a co-worker whom you liked a lot but didn’t know especially well. It’s okay to show some personality or even use humor; as long as you don’t go overboard, your letter will be stronger for it.

Don’t use a form letter.

You don’t need to write every cover letter completely from scratch, but if you’re not customizing it to each job, you’re doing it wrong. Form letters tend to read like form letters, and they waste the chance to speak to the specifics of what this employer is looking for and what it will take to thrive in this particular job.

If you’re applying for a lot of similar jobs, of course you’ll end up reusing language from one letter to the next. But you shouldn’t have a single cover letter that you wrote once and then use every time you apply; whatever you send should sound like you wrote it with the nuances of this one job in mind.

A good litmus test is this: Could you imagine other applicants for this job sending in the same letter? If so, that’s a sign that you haven’t made it individualized enough to you and are probably leaning too heavily on reciting your work history.

No, you don’t need to hunt down the hiring manager’s name.

If you read much job-search advice, at some point you’ll come across the idea that you need to do Woodward and Bernstein–level research to hunt down the hiring manager’s name in order to open your letter with “Dear Matilda Jones.” You don’t need to do this; no reasonable hiring manager will care. If the name is easily available, by all means, feel free to use it, but otherwise “Dear Hiring Manager” is absolutely fine. Take the hour you just freed up and do something more enjoyable with it.

Keep it under one page.

If your cover letters are longer than a page, you’re writing too much, and you risk annoying hiring managers who are likely sifting through hundreds of applications and don’t have time to read lengthy tomes. On the other hand, if you only write one paragraph, it’s unlikely that you’re making a compelling case for yourself as a candidate — not impossible, but unlikely. For most people, something close to a page is about right.

Don’t agonize over the small details.

What matters most about your cover letter is its content. You should of course ensure that it’s well-written and thoroughly proofread, but many job seekers agonize over elements of the letter that really don’t matter. I get tons of  questions from job seekers  about whether they should attach their cover letter or put it in the body of the email (answer: No one cares, but attaching it makes it easier to share and will preserve your formatting), or what to name the file (again, no one really cares as long as it’s reasonably professional, but when people are dealing with hundreds of files named “resume,” it’s courteous to name it with your full name).

Approaching your cover letter like this can make a huge difference in your job search. It can be the thing that moves your application from the “maybe” pile (or even the “no” pile) to the “yes” pile. Of course, writing cover letters like this will take more time than sending out the same templated letter summarizing your résumé — but 10 personalized, compelling cover letters are likely to get you more  interview invitations  than 50 generic ones will.

  • ‘I Had a Great Job Interview — Why Haven’t I Heard Back?’
  • How to Answer ‘Tell Me About Yourself’ in a Job Interview

by The Cut; Photos: Getty Images

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IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law

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IU McKinney's LL.M. Program Again Gets Top Marks from International Jurist

IU McKinney is once again on International Jurist’s Best LL.M. programs honor roll. The designation is given to the top 25 LL.M. programs nationwide. The law school is widely known for the excellence of its Master of Laws program.

“We are pleased to again receive Honor Roll designation from International Jurist for our LL.M. program,” said Professor Tom Wilson, associate dean of Graduate and International Programs at IU McKinney. “This award is important because it recognizes IU McKinney School of Law’s commitment to meeting the academic and professional goals of our international students. Since 2002, international students have positively impacted our school’s culture and contributed to the legal community in Indianapolis.”

International Jurist routinely places IU McKinney on its LL.M. Honor Roll. The magazine highlights the value IU McKinney places on the contributions its LL.M. students make in the classroom, to the student body, and to the local legal community.

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IMAGES

  1. Cover Letter Format: Proper Examples & Guide

    how to write a cover letter for submitting a manuscript

  2. How to Write a Cover Letter for Any Job in 2024

    how to write a cover letter for submitting a manuscript

  3. What To Include In A Cover Letter (With Examples)

    how to write a cover letter for submitting a manuscript

  4. Sample cover letter for the submission of manuscript

    how to write a cover letter for submitting a manuscript

  5. How to Write a Great Cover Letter

    how to write a cover letter for submitting a manuscript

  6. How to Write a Cover Letter for Any Job in 2024

    how to write a cover letter for submitting a manuscript

VIDEO

  1. Writing a cover letter to the journal editor: dos and don’ts

  2. How to Write a Cover Letter

  3. How to Write a Cover Letter for Journal Manuscript

  4. how to write cover letter for job application

  5. The ultimate guide on how to write a Cover Letter

  6. Cover letter for job application || how to write a cover letter for job application || #coverletter

COMMENTS

  1. How to write a cover letter for journal submission

    When writing for publication, a well-written cover letter can help your paper reach the next stage of the manuscript submission process - being sent out for peer review. So it's worth spending time thinking about how to write a cover letter to the journal editor, to make sure it's going to be effective.

  2. Journal Article Publication Letters

    This handout offers guidance on how to write a cover letter for submitting journal manuscripts for publication. What is a journal publication letter? A journal publication letter, also known as a journal article submission cover letter, is a cover letter written to a peer-reviewed journal to advocate for the publication of a manuscript.

  3. Mastering the Effective Cover Letter for Journal Submission: A

    When it comes to scientific manuscript editing and preparing for journal submission, the importance of a polished, professional cover letter cannot be overstated. It's the first impression you make on the journal's editorial team, a succinct pitch that highlights the significance and fit of your research.

  4. Cover letters

    Then, write a letter that explains why the editor would want to publish your manuscript. The following structure covers all the necessary points that need to be included. If known, address the editor who will be assessing your manuscript by their name. Include the date of submission and the journal you are submitting to.

  5. How to write a cover letter for manuscript submission

    An inquiry letter should have three main sections: introduction and top-line message, a captivating synthesis of the manuscript, and the inquiry followed by a wrap-up. A manuscript inquiry letter should catch the editor's attention and communicate that your research is something new and innovative, which has the potential to change the field.

  6. Cover letters

    Cover Letters. The cover letter is a formal way to communicate with journal editors and editorial staff during the manuscript submission process. Most often, a cover letter is needed when authors initially submit their manuscript to a journal and when responding to reviewers during an invitation to revise and resubmit the manuscript.

  7. How to Write an Effective Cover Letter for Journal Submission

    When writing a cover letter for journal submission, it's important to use appropriate and professional language. Here are some common expressions that can be used in cover letters: "We are pleased to submit our manuscript…". "The research reported in this manuscript addresses a significant gap in the literature…".

  8. Writing a Cover Letter for Journal Submission [Free Template]

    Address the editor formally by name, if known. Include your contact information, as well. This information is probably available through the journal's online submission system, but it is proper to provide it in the cover letter, too. Begin your cover letter with a paragraph that states the name of the manuscript and the names of the authors.

  9. Crafting Effective Cover Letter for Journal Submission

    Submitting your manuscript to Editage ensures that your cover letter adheres to journal-specific requirements while also being compelling and polished. We understand that the cover letter can be the first point of contact between your work and the editor, potentially influencing the entire review process (Bahadoran et al., 2021).

  10. Writing a cover letter

    Your cover letter should include. The objective and approach of your research. Any novel contributions reported. Why your manuscript should be published in this journal. Any special considerations about your submission. Related papers by you and/or your fellow authors (published or under consideration) Previous reviews of your submission.

  11. How to Write a Cover Letter for Journal Submission

    Keep all text left justified. Use spelling and grammar check software. If needed, use a proofreading service or cover letter editing service such as Wordvice to review your letter for clarity and concision. Double-check the editor's name. Call the journal to confirm if necessary.

  12. Writing a Successful Journal Cover Letter (Free Templates)

    7 Journal submission tips and hacks from the experts. 7.1 Be personal, use the editor's name. 7.2 Tell them what you want to publish. 7.3 Summarize the highlights of your work. 7.4 Sell yourself. 7.5 Don't forget your "must have" statements. 8 See it in action: Edanz video on writing cover letters. 9 Get a cover letter template.

  13. Cover letters

    Then, write a letter that explains why the editor would want to publish your manuscript: Common phrases: Please find enclosed our manuscript, "[manuscript title]" by [first author's name] et al., which we would like to submit for publication as a [publication type] in [name of the journal]. To our knowledge, this is the first report showing…

  14. How to write a manuscript cover letter

    Your cover letter should begin with a salutation addressing the Editor by name, (e.g., Dear Dr. Reynolds: ). If this information is not provided by the journal, then you can simply begin with "Dear Editor:" as your salutation. Your first sentence will always contain the title of your work. A reasonable opening sentence would be as follows ...

  15. Cover Letters for Journal Submission

    A cover letter intended to be submitted with your article manuscript is not a formality. Care should be taken when writing such a letter. When writing a cover letter, keep these tips in mind: Include a statement that your research has not been published elsewhere or is not under consideration for publication elsewhere

  16. Writing a cover letter for journal submission (Download template)

    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 ...

  17. Writing a persuasive cover letter for your manuscript

    Submitting your manuscript without a cover letter or an incomplete one can impact the outcome of your submission. Strong cover letters efficiently introduce your work to the editor, but also communicates why your paper is of interest to the journal audience and contributory to overall science. In this Researcher Academy module, experts Anthony Newman and Lora Heisler give you important ...

  18. Submitting your manuscript: Write the right cover letter

    Proofread your letter by checking the spelling, grammar, and syntax. A well-written letter indicates that you take your submission seriously and that you are an author who pays attention to detail. 8. Check every detail. Avoid mistakes such as directing the cover letter to the editor (s) of a different journal, or to a different journal altogether.

  19. How to Write a Cover Letter for Journal Submission

    Begin the cover letter with the manuscript title and the journal name for article submission. Mention clearly the category of the article type (letter, article, brief, review) pertaining to the particular journal. Background and context. Briefly, in a couple of sentences, describe the background of the research to bring context to your work.

  20. How to Write an Effective Cover Letter for Journal Submission

    The best cover letter example for any publication (elsevier, wiley, IEEE, springer, pubmed, taylor and francis, and SAGE ) shown below: Date. To. Dr. / Prof. (Editor's name) Editor-in-Chief. Journal name. Dear Dr. /Prof. ( Editor's name) I/we wish to submit a research manuscript entitled " (title of research article)" for publishing in ...

  21. Cover Letter for Journal Submission: Sample & How To Write

    Cover Letter for Journal Submission Checklist. Add your contact information, degree, name of the institution. List the editor's name, the name of the journal, address, and submission date. Greet the editor by name: Dear Mr./Mrs. XYZ. Say the title of your manuscript.

  22. Ready To Submit: Writing a Cover Letter

    Writing a Cover Letter. When submitting a manuscript, authors will need to additionally submit a cover letter. The purpose of this letter is to highlight the importance and relevance of your research. To assist with preparing your cover letter to include all points, you can download and use our sample cover letter as a guide.

  23. Writing effective cover letters for journal submissions: Tips and a

    Cover letters can be submitted as normal text files, such as Word, or input directly in a field in the journal's online submission system. Let's look at some tips for each section. And don't forget to download the template, which shows these tips already in place. 1. Addressee's information and date of submission.

  24. Preparing your manuscript

    The main manuscript document. Have a look at your chosen journal's submission guidelines for information on what sections should be included in your manuscript. Generally there will be an Abstract, Introduction, Methodology, Results, Discussion, Conclusion, Acknowledgments, Statements and Declarations section, and References.

  25. How to Write a Cover Letter That Will Get You a Job

    You don't need a creative opening line. , If you think you need to open the letter with something creative or catchy, I am here to tell you that you don't. Just be simple and straightforward ...

  26. IU McKinney's LL.M. Program Again Gets Top Marks from International

    IU McKinney is once again on International Jurist's Best LL.M. programs honor roll. The designation is given to the top 25 LL.M. programs nationwide. The law school is widely known for the excellence of its Master of Laws program.