The cover letter accompanying your journal subordination 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 significant findings. This post contains some tips, which can also be found in our downloadable resources:
You should also assure the editor that there are no conflicts of interest that would affect the decision to publish your manuscript. In the end, your cover letter should interest the editor enough to read your paper cautiously and choose to send it for peer review.
Getting ready to resubmit your revised manuscript? Read our tips on responding to peer reviewers
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 most likely available through the journal’s online conformity system, but it is decent 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 obedience is (research article, review, case report. etc.). In this very first paragraph and the next, describe the rationale behind your examine 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 brief 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 voices 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 concentrates on nanostructured materials, explain how your work involved such materials. Even if your work is not a ideal 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.
Ultimately, 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 fine 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.
Journal Cover Letter Templates
Click here to download a Microsoft Word template for a standard journal cover letter (also available with instructions in Chinese. Japanese. Korean. Portuguese. and Spanish ). A total set of the information in this post can be found here .
Dr. Mudrak is the Global Communications Manager at AJE, where he has worked since 2007. He graduated from Duke University with a PhD in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology and performed over eight years of research on pathogenic bacteria at Duke and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to his current position, Dr. Mudrak led a number of webinars and workshops on academic writing and publishing as part of AJE’s Author Education program.
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Writing a Journal Cover Letter [Free Template]
The cover letter accompanying your journal subjugation 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 significant findings. This post contains some tips, which can also be found in our downloadable resources: