• Affiliate Program

Wordvice

  • UNITED STATES
  • 台灣 (TAIWAN)
  • TÜRKIYE (TURKEY)
  • Academic Editing Services
  • - Research Paper
  • - Journal Manuscript
  • - Dissertation
  • - College & University Assignments
  • Admissions Editing Services
  • - Application Essay
  • - Personal Statement
  • - Recommendation Letter
  • - Cover Letter
  • - CV/Resume
  • Business Editing Services
  • - Business Documents
  • - Report & Brochure
  • - Website & Blog
  • Writer Editing Services
  • - Script & Screenplay
  • Our Editors
  • Client Reviews
  • Editing & Proofreading Prices
  • Wordvice Points
  • Partner Discount
  • Plagiarism Checker
  • APA Citation Generator
  • MLA Citation Generator
  • Chicago Citation Generator
  • Vancouver Citation Generator
  • - APA Style
  • - MLA Style
  • - Chicago Style
  • - Vancouver Style
  • Writing & Editing Guide
  • Academic Resources
  • Admissions Resources

How to Write a Cover Letter for Journal Submission

what is cover letter for journal submission

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.
  • SpringerLink shop

Cover letters

A good cover letter can help to “sell” your manuscript to the journal editor. As well as introducing your work to the editor you can also take this opportunity to explain why the manuscript will be of interest to a journal's readers, something which is always as the forefront editors’ mind. As such it is worth spending time writing a coherent and persuasive cover letter.

The following is an example of a poor cover letter:

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. 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.
  • First paragraph: include the title of your manuscript and the type of manuscript it is (e.g. review, research, case study). Then briefly explain the background to your study, the question you sought out to answer and why.
  • Second paragraph: you should concisely explain what was done, the main findings and why they are significant.
  • Third paragraph: here you should indicate why the readers of the journal would be interested in the work. Take your cues from the journal’s aims and scope. For example if the journal requires that all work published has broad implications explain how your study fulfils this. It is also a good idea to include a sentence on the importance of the results to the field.
  • To conclude state the corresponding author and any journal specific requirements that need to be complied with (e.g. ethical standards).

TIP: 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].

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 written a persuasive cover letter

Back │ Next

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

Make a Gift

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.

' src=

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.

what is cover letter for journal submission

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.

High Impact And Greater Visibility For Your Work

Mind the Graph is an innovative platform designed to help scientists create high-impact visuals and increase the visibility of their work. With its user-friendly interface, customizable templates, and vast library of scientific illustrations. Mind the Graph provides scientists with a powerful tool to help them communicate their research more effectively.

what is cover letter for journal submission

Subscribe to our newsletter

Exclusive high quality content about effective visual communication in science.

Unlock Your Creativity

Create infographics, presentations and other scientifically-accurate designs without hassle — absolutely free for 7 days!

Content tags

en_US

San Francisco Edit

Submit Manuscript

Easy Online Form

Get Newsletter

Sign Up Today

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.

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Latest from the blog.

Scientific Editing

Scientific Editing for Non-Native English Speakers: Enhance Your Research Publication Chances

Writing a research methodology section

Writing a Research Methodology Section: Best Practices for Clarity and Precision

writing an introduction for a scientific paper

Writing an Introduction for a Scientific Paper: Aligning with Journal Requirements

How to write academic abstracts

How to Write Academic Abstracts: From Draft to Polish

  • Knowledge Center
  • English Grammar
  • Getting Published
  • Journal Submission
  • Marketing Your Paper and Yourself
  • Peer Reviewing a Scientific Paper
  • Presenting Your Research
  • Thesis vs Dissertation
  • What is Scientific Editing
  • Why Edit and Types of Editing
  • Writing the Manuscript
  • Scientific Editing
  • Business Editing
  • Language Editing
  • Newsletters
  • Testimonials
  • Areas of Expertise

San Francisco Edit 1755 Jackson Street Suite 610 San Francisco, CA 94109 Email: [email protected]

Copyright © 2003-2022 San Francisco Edit. All Rights Reserved.

Join 90,000+ Scientist Who Get Useful Tips For Writing Better Manuscripts

Don't miss out on future newsletters. sign up now..

English Editing Research Services

what is cover letter for journal submission

Writing a Successful Journal Cover Letter (Free Templates)

what is cover letter for journal submission

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.

what is cover letter for journal submission

“ 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.

what is cover letter for journal submission

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.

what is cover letter for journal submission

“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.

what is cover letter for journal submission

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 .

BMJ Author Hub

Writing and formatting

In this section:

  • NEW! Featured Author Support
  • Language editing services
  • Reproducing third party illustrative materials
  • Suggesting reviewers
  • Writing a cover letter
  • Video abstracts
  • Video: How to submit your article

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 .

Jane Friedman

The Perfect Cover Letter: Advice From a Lit Mag Editor

cover letter for magazine or journal

Today’s guest post is from Elise Holland, co-founder and editor of 2 Elizabeths , a short fiction and poetry publication.

When submitting your short-form literature to a magazine or journal, your cover letter is often the first piece of writing an editor sees. It serves as an introduction to your thoughtfully crafted art. As such, it is significant, but it shouldn’t be intimidating or even take much time to write.

As editor at 2 Elizabeths , I see a variety of cover letters every day; some are excellent, and others could stand to be improved. There are a few key pieces of information to include, while keeping them short and sweet. In fact, a cover letter should only be a couple of paragraphs long, and no more than roughly 100-150 words.

A little research goes a long way

Seek out the editor’s name, and address the letter to him/her, as opposed to using a generic greeting. Typically, you can find this information either on the magazine or journal’s website, or in the submission guidelines.

Read the submission guidelines thoroughly. Many publications will state in their guidelines the exact details that need to be included in a cover letter. With some variation, a general rule of thumb is to include the following:

  • Editor’s name (if you can locate it)
  • Genre/category
  • Brief description of your piece
  • If you have been published previously, state where
  • Whether your piece is a simultaneous submission (definition below)

Terms to Know

The term simultaneous submission means that you will be sending the same piece to several literary magazines or journals at the same time. Most publications accept simultaneous submissions, but some do not. If a publication does not accept them, this will be stated in their guidelines.

Should your work be selected for publication by one magazine, it is important to notify other publications where you have submitted that piece. This courtesy will prevent complications, and will keep you in good graces with various editors, should you wish to submit to them again in the future.

The term multiple submission means that you are submitting multiple pieces to the same literary magazine or journal.

Cover Letter That Needs Work

Dear Editor, Here is a collection of poems I wrote that I’d like you to consider. I have not yet been published elsewhere. Please let me know what you think. Bio: John Doe is an Insurance Agent by day and a writer by night, living in Ten Buck Two. He is the author of a personal blog, LivingWith20Cats.com. Best, John Doe

What Went Wrong?

John Doe didn’t research the editor’s name. A personal greeting is always better than a simple “Dear Editor.” Additionally, John failed to include the word count, title and a brief description of his work.

There is no need to state that John has not yet been published elsewhere. He should simply leave that piece of information out. (Many publications, 2 Elizabeths included, will still welcome your submissions warmly if you are unpublished.)

John included a statement asking the editor to let him know what he/she thinks about his work. Due to time constraints, it is rare that an editor sends feedback unless work is going to be accepted.

Unless otherwise specified by the magazine or journal to which you are submitting, you do not need to include biographical information in your cover letter. Typically, that information is either requested upfront but in a separate document from the cover letter, or is not requested until a piece has been selected for publishing.

Cover Letter Ready to Be Sent

Dear Elise, Please consider this 1,457-word short fiction piece, “Summer.” I recently participated in the 2 Elizabeths Open Mic Night, and am an avid reader of the fiction and poetry that you publish. “Summer” is a fictitious tale inspired by the impact of a whirlwind, yet meaningful, romance I experienced last year. In this story, I gently explore the life lessons associated with young love, with a touch of humor. This is a simultaneous submission, and I will notify you if the piece is accepted elsewhere. Thank you for your consideration. Kindest Regards, John Doe

What Went Right?

In this letter, John includes all pertinent information, while keeping his letter clear and concise. In his second sentence, John also briefly states how he is familiar with the magazine. While doing this isn’t required, if done tastefully, it can be a nice touch! Another example might be: “I read and enjoyed your spring issue, and believe that my work is a good fit for your magazine.”

I hope these sample letters help you as you send your short works to magazines and journals for consideration. While you’re at it, I hope you will check out 2 Elizabeths ! We would love to read your work.

Elise Holland

Elise Holland is co-founder and editor of 2 Elizabeths , a short fiction and poetry publication. Her work has appeared in various publications, most recently in Story a Day . Through 2 Elizabeths, Elise strives to create value and visibility for writers, through writing contests , events , and more!

guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed .

trackback

[…] view post at https://janefriedman.com/perfect-cover-letter-advice-lit-mag-editor/ […]

[…] To get into literary magazines, you need a cover letter, so Elise Holland lays out how to write the perfect cover letter for a literary magazine. […]

Diane Holcomb

Love this! The letter is short and to the point, and covers all the necessary information. Great tips! I always worry that the only publishing credit I have is the winning entry in a short story contest through the local paper. Should I mention that? And writing conferences I’ve attended?

Jane Friedman

As Elise says, it’s OK if you’re unpublished. Don’t worry about it. But feel free to mention your winning entry. If the writing conferences would likely be known to the journals’ editors, you might mention one or two.

[…] recently wrote a full article on the perfect cover letter, here. Check it out for clear, simple instructions, along with sample […]

[…] publication. Her work has appeared in various publications, most recently in Story a Day, and at JaneFriedman.com.  Through 2 Elizabeths, Elise strives to create value and visibility for writers, through writing […]

Sarah

Thanks for the concise and useful information! I’ve heard that it’s also a good idea to include a sentence or two that makes it clear that you are familiar with the kind of work the magazine has published in the past. Is this generally advised, or would you consider it nonessential unless specified in the submission guidelines?

wpdiscuz

  • Levy Library
  • Levy Library Guides
  • Research Support
  • Journal Selection and Identification
  • Cover Letters for Journal Submission

Journal Selection and Identification: Cover Letters for Journal Submission

  • Workflow for Journal Identification and Selection
  • Using JANE to Generate a List of Publication Targets
  • Using PubsHub for Journal Selection
  • Other Journal Selection/Manuscript Matcher Resources
  • Journal Impact Factors For the Top Journals in Your Field

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: Mar 21, 2024 10:07 AM
  • URL: https://libguides.mssm.edu/journalselection
  • Journal Article Publishing Support Center

To post social content, you must have a display name. The page will refresh upon submission. Any pending input will be lost.

  • Research & Preparation

What should be included in a cover letter?

You may be required to submit a cover letter with your submission. Individual journals may have specific requirements regarding the cover letter's contents, so please consult the individual journal's Guide for Authors.

A cover letter is a simple, brief business letter, designed to introduce your manuscript to a prospective Editor.  If the Guide for Authors does not specify what to include in your cover letter, you may wish to include some of the following items:

  • Specify special considerations that should be given to the paper (if any).
  • A brief background regarding the research involved or how the data was collected.
  • Details of any previous or concurrent submissions.
  • It's also useful to provide the Editor-in-Chief with any information that will support your submission (e.g. original or confirmatory data, relevance, topicality).
  • The inclusion (or exclusion) of certain Reviewers (if  propose/oppose reviewers  isn't an available step in the submission process).
  • Bring to the Editor’s attention any  Conflict of Interest or Permissions information  which may be relevant.  Be sure to upload any accompanying forms or declarations as required to your submission.

Please note: When your manuscript is received at Elsevier, it's considered to be in its 'final form' ready to be reviewed, so please check your manuscript carefully before you submit it to the Editor. A guide to the publication process and getting your article published in an Elsevier journal is available on the Elsevier Publishing Campus .

Was this answer helpful?

Thank you for your feedback, it will help us serve you better. If you require assistance, please scroll down and use one of the contact options to get in touch.

Help us to help you:

Thank you for your feedback!

  • Why was this answer not helpful?
  • It was hard to understand / follow.
  • It did not answer my question.
  • The solution did not work.
  • There was a mistake in the answer.
  • Feel free to leave any comments below: Please enter your feedback to submit this form

Related Articles:

  • What are Conflict of Interest Statements, Funding Source Declarations, Author Agreements/Declarations and Permission Notes?
  • How can I suggest or oppose reviewers for my submission?
  • Is there a template available for my manuscript file?
  • How do I submit a manuscript in Editorial Manager?
  • What should I do if my file upload fails?

For further assistance:

Enago Academy

Writing a Cover Letter for Journal Submission

' src=

One of the most neglected aspects of journal submission is the cover letter. Although it may seem like a formality, the cover letter is actually an important part of the submission process . The cover letter is your chance to tell the editor about your manuscript, why it is important, and how it fits into the scope of their journal. Overall, the letter should grab the editor’s attention. This letter should not be written hurriedly, because the quality of the cover letter can make or break your chances of publication . The cover letter should follow a fairly standard format.

Format of a Cover Letter

The first thing you need to do is check your target journal’s author instructions for the cover letter requirements . Sometimes, the journals will request that certain phrases or statements be included in the cover letter. If this is the case, then make sure that your letter contains all of the required information and statements mentioned in the instructions. Before writing the letter, here are a few key things to remember with regard to the format of the letter.

  • The letter should be written on a letterhead, and it should be limited to about one or one and a half pages long. All the proper letter heading materials should be included (the date and the address of the recipient should be at the top left, under the letterhead).
  • It should address the editor by name, if this is known.
  • The body of the letter should include four short paragraphs.
  • The first paragraph should introduce the author while stating that the author is submitting a manuscript for review. This section should include the title of the manuscript and the journal name.
  • The second paragraph should cover the focus of the manuscript. This should include about 4-5 sentences that describe the focus of the study, the hypothesis, the approach, and the methodology.
  • The third paragraph should be about 2-3 sentences and should describe the key findings and how these contribute to the field. It should also describe the scope of the manuscript to the journal based on the details of the manuscript. If you have any other important details that might make your manuscript stand out and encourage the editor to send it for review then do not forget to mention those details in this paragraph.
  • The final paragraph should always thank the editor for considering the manuscript for publication.

Points to Remember

In addition, there are certain key phrases that need to be included, and some of these are even required by most journals. It should be mentioned that the written manuscript is original and no part of it has been published before, nor is any part of it under consideration for publication at any another journal. The authors might also need to declare any conflicts of interest.

Related: Drafting your cover letter for manuscript submission ? Check out this post now for additional points to consider submitting your manuscript!

Finally, some journals require that you submit a list of potential reviewers in the cover letter and also allow you to mention any researchers who should not review your manuscript. All of these added statements are a very important to consider while writing a cover letter , especially if they are required by the journal, and contribute to the editors overall view of your manuscript submission. Do not forget to proofread your cover letter several times. The text should be revised for clarity and succinctness. Points or sentences that stray from the focus should be removed and all the sentences should be directly related to the purpose, the main results, and the most important findings and conclusions.

In addition, all basic grammar and construction issues should be corrected during the revision. If you need help with the revision, you can include your cover letter with your manuscript when seeking for a professional proofreading service . If you are still unsure of where to start with your cover letter, there several templates available that can help. We have listed some of these below:

https://spie.org/Documents/Publications/ Journals / sample _ cover _ letter .doc

www.springer.com/cda/content/document/…/JGIM+ Cover + letter + templates .doc

Rate this article Cancel Reply

Your email address will not be published.

what is cover letter for journal submission

Enago Academy's Most Popular Articles

Tips for cover letter

  • Journal Guidelines
  • Reporting Research

Five Cover Letter Tips That Can Get Your Manuscript Accepted Faster

A manuscript is generally accompanied by a cover letter when submitted to a journal. A…

what is cover letter for journal submission

Sign-up to read more

Subscribe for free to get unrestricted access to all our resources on research writing and academic publishing including:

  • 2000+ blog articles
  • 50+ Webinars
  • 10+ Expert podcasts
  • 50+ Infographics
  • 10+ Checklists
  • Research Guides

We hate spam too. We promise to protect your privacy and never spam you.

I am looking for Editing/ Proofreading services for my manuscript Tentative date of next journal submission:

what is cover letter for journal submission

As a researcher, what do you consider most when choosing an image manipulation detector?

what is cover letter for journal submission

How to Write a Cover Letter for a Journal Submission

Feeling behind on ai.

You're not alone. The Neuron is a daily AI newsletter that tracks the latest AI trends and tools you need to know. Join 400,000+ professionals from top companies like Microsoft, Apple, Salesforce and more. 100% FREE.

Submitting a manuscript to a journal can be an exciting and challenging process. While the focus is often on the research itself, submitting a polished and well-crafted cover letter is just as important. A cover letter is your opportunity to introduce yourself, your research, and your manuscript to the editor-in-chief. It should be brief, professional, and highlight why your research is significant.

Understanding the Purpose of a Cover Letter

Before diving into the specifics of how to write a cover letter, it is important to understand why it is necessary. The cover letter acts as a first impression to the editor-in-chief. It provides an opportunity to introduce your manuscript and provide an overview of the research you have conducted. Additionally, the cover letter can help demonstrate your qualifications for the research and why it should become a part of the journal's publication.

Writing a cover letter is an essential part of the academic publishing process. It is a chance to showcase your research and communicate why it is important to the scientific community. A well-written cover letter can make the difference between your manuscript being accepted or rejected.

Introducing Your Manuscript

The first paragraph of your cover letter should introduce the manuscript you are submitting. This should include the title and type of manuscript (e.g., original research article, review article, clinical report). Give a brief overview of the manuscript content, but don't go into too much detail at this stage. The purpose of this paragraph is to give the editor-in-chief a quick snapshot of your research.

Remember to keep the introduction concise and to the point. You want to give the editor-in-chief a clear idea of what your manuscript is about without overwhelming them with information.

Highlighting the Significance of Your Research

Next, you should explain why your research is important and how it contributes to the existing literature in your field. This section can be challenging because you are trying to summarize the significance of your study in just a few sentences. Be clear and concise, and emphasize the major findings and contributions of the research.

It is important to provide context for your research and explain how it builds upon previous studies. This will help the editor-in-chief understand the significance of your work and its potential impact on the field.

Demonstrating Your Expertise

It is also important to demonstrate your qualifications for conducting this research. You should provide a brief summary of your experience, education, and expertise in the field. This section should be tailored to the specific journal and highlight why your research is a good fit for the publication. Keep in mind that editors receive many submissions, so it is important to make your qualifications clear and concise.

Don't be afraid to highlight any relevant publications or awards you have received. This will help demonstrate your expertise and credibility as a researcher.

In conclusion, a well-written cover letter is essential for getting your manuscript noticed by the editor-in-chief. By introducing your manuscript, highlighting the significance of your research, and demonstrating your expertise, you can increase your chances of getting published in a reputable academic journal.

Formatting Your Cover Letter

Contact information.

The first step in formatting your cover letter is to include your contact information at the top of the page. This includes your name, address, phone number, and email address. It is important to make sure that your contact information is accurate and up-to-date so that the editor can reach you if necessary.

The next step is to address the editor-in-chief personally. This shows that you have done your research and are interested in their journal specifically. Look up the editor's name and use a professional salutation (e.g., "Dear Dr. Smith" or "Dear Editor-in-Chief").

Body of the Letter

The body of the letter should be divided into different paragraphs, each with a specific purpose. Use headings and subheadings to make your letter easy to read and navigate. Make sure that each paragraph flows well and is connected to the overarching theme of your letter. Be sure to use clear and concise language.

Closing and Signature

Finally, close your cover letter by thanking the editor for considering your manuscript. Provide any additional information that may be helpful and end with a professional closing (e.g., "Sincerely" or "Best regards"). Don't forget to sign your letter before submitting it.

Crafting a Compelling Opening Paragraph

Addressing the editor.

Your opening paragraph should address the editor-in-chief by name and introduce yourself. This is a good opportunity to establish a relationship with the editor and show that you have done your research on the journal.

Mentioning the Journal's Scope

You should also mention the scope of the journal and how your research fits within its focus. This shows that you are familiar with the content of the journal and what they typically publish.

Stating the Manuscript's Title and Type

The opening paragraph should also clearly state the title and type of your manuscript. This gives the editor-in-chief a preview of what your research is about.

Summarizing Your Research and Findings

Describing the study's objective.

In the body of your cover letter, you should provide a summary of your research and findings. Start by describing the objective of the research and why it is important. This should be clear and concise, highlighting the problem that you are trying to address.

Outlining the Methodology

Next, provide an overview of the methodology. Include the methods you used to gather data, the sample size, and any other relevant details. This section should help the editor understand how you conducted your research and the validity of your findings.

Presenting the Results

Finally, summarize the results of your research. This should include the key findings, insights, and implications. Be sure to explain how your research contributes to the existing literature and why it should be considered for publication.

ChatGPT Prompt for Writing a Cover Letter for a Journal Submission

Use the following prompt in an AI chatbot . Below each prompt, be sure to provide additional details about your situation. These could be scratch notes, what you'd like to say or anything else that guides the AI model to write a certain way.

Compose a detailed and thorough cover letter that is tailored specifically for a journal submission. This letter should effectively communicate your intentions and qualifications, and should provide a clear and compelling argument for why your work is a strong fit for the publication. Your letter should be well-written and professional, and should highlight the key aspects of your research that make it a valuable contribution to the field. Additionally, be sure to follow any specific guidelines or requirements set forth by the journal in order to maximize your chances of acceptance.

[ADD ADDITIONAL CONTEXT. CAN USE BULLET POINTS.]

Overall, writing a cover letter for a journal submission requires careful planning and attention to detail. The letter should be professional, clear, and concise. By following these guidelines and formatting your letter correctly, you can increase the chances of your manuscript being accepted for publication.

You Might Also Like...

MER

Creative Prose Submission 2024

Creative Prose

Please submit one piece of 1000 words or fewer, or several short-short pieces that total fewer than 1000 words in all, in a single word or text document.

Please name your file Last Name First Name CP 

Please double space, number your pages, and put title of the submission (but not your name) on top of each page.  

what is cover letter for journal submission

IMAGES

  1. How to write a cover letter for journal submission

    what is cover letter for journal submission

  2. How to write a Journal Submission Cover Letter

    what is cover letter for journal submission

  3. How to Write a Cover Letter for Journal Paper Submission

    what is cover letter for journal submission

  4. 10+ Research Paper Cover Letter Examples, How to Write, Tips

    what is cover letter for journal submission

  5. cover letter for submission of manuscript

    what is cover letter for journal submission

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

    what is cover letter for journal submission

VIDEO

  1. Color Theory Journal Submission 2

  2. How to write a strong cover letter for a journal? |How to write a Journal Submission Cover Letter

  3. Anatomy's Journal submission 🥲 #bams #minivlog #neet #medico

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

  5. How to Write a Cover Letter

  6. Cover letter for submission of a manuscript to a Journal

COMMENTS

  1. How to write a cover letter for journal submission

    The cover letter should explain why your work is perfect for their journal and why it will be of interest to the journal's readers. 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 .

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  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. Journal Article Publication Letters

    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. ...

  6. How to Write an Effective 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 ...

  7. Writing a Cover Letter for Journal Submission [Free 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 ...

  8. 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.

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

    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 ...

  10. How to Write A Journal Cover Letter

    The end goal: Send it on for peer review. 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 likely available through the journal's online submission system, but it is also good form to include it in the cover letter.

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

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. The Perfect Cover Letter: Advice From a Lit Mag Editor

    When submitting your short-form literature to a magazine or journal, your cover letter is often the first piece of writing an editor sees. It serves as an introduction to your thoughtfully crafted art. As such, it is significant, but it shouldn't be intimidating or even take much time to write. As editor at 2 Elizabeths, I see a variety of ...

  14. Write an effective cover letter for your journal submission

    The cover letter is your chance to market your research article and capture the journal editor's interest. It should go beyond requesting the editor to consider your research paper for publication. Our promise to you…. You must love every aspect of our quality and service or we insist on refunding you in full—cheerfully and without ...

  15. Cover Letters for Journal Submission

    Cover Letters for Journal Submission; Tips on Writing Cover Letters. 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:

  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. Crafting Effective Cover Letter for Journal Submission

    In the modern landscape of academic publishing, where journals are inundated with submissions, the cover letter can be the factor that sets your work apart (Nicholas, 2019). The Role of a Cover Letter: A cover letter serves as a bridge between your research and the editorial team.

  18. How To Write a Cover Letter for a Research Paper (Plus Example)

    Here are nine steps to help you compose a cover letter when submitting your research paper to a professional journal: 1. Set up the formatting. Set up your word processor to format your cover letter correctly. Formatting standards for research paper cover letters usually include: Using single spacing between each line.

  19. What should be included in a cover letter?

    You may be required to submit a cover letter with your submission. Individual journals may have specific requirements regarding the cover letter's contents, so please consult the individual journal's Guide for Authors. A cover letter is a simple, brief business letter, designed to introduce your manuscript to a prospective Editor. If the Guide ...

  20. Writing a Cover Letter for Journal Submission

    The body of the letter should include four short paragraphs. The first paragraph should introduce the author while stating that the author is submitting a manuscript for review. This section should include the title of the manuscript and the journal name. The second paragraph should cover the focus of the manuscript.

  21. How to Write a Cover Letter for a Journal Submission

    The cover letter acts as a first impression to the editor-in-chief. It provides an opportunity to introduce your manuscript and provide an overview of the research you have conducted. Additionally, the cover letter can help demonstrate your qualifications for the research and why it should become a part of the journal's publication. Writing a ...

  22. How to Write a Cover Letter for a Journal Article Submission

    4. Create an introduction. Your introduction addresses the editor while providing details about your submission. Address the journal editor by their name. If you don't know their name, you may include, Dear Editor instead. After your greeting, include a sentence that states your article's title and the journal's name.

  23. PDF Sample Cover Letter in APA Style for Manuscript Submission

    Dear Dr. Simpson, I am enclosing a submission to the Journal of Poetry and Psychology entitled "Poetry and the Cognitive Psychology of Metrical Constructs.". The manuscript is 40 pages long and includes four tables and two figures. I wish for the manuscript to be given a masked review. I request that my ex-partner [name blocked out] not be ...

  24. MER Submission Manager

    If the submissions fee is a hardship, you may submit during the "Early Bird" period or email us at MERsubmissions @gmail.com with your submission, cover letter and bio. Please put "Scholarship Application" as subject line.Contact: [email protected] (Please be sure to add this address to your email program so that you can receive ...

  25. UNet-BiLSTM: A Deep Learning Method for Reconstructing ...

    Electrocardiography (ECG) is generally used in clinical practice for cardiovascular diagnosis and for monitoring cardiovascular status. It is considered to be the gold standard for diagnosing cardiovascular diseases and assessing cardiovascular status. However, it is not always easy to obtain. Unlike ECG devices, photoplethysmography (PPG) devices can be placed on body parts such as the ...