• 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 to include in a cover letter for manuscript 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.

what to include in a cover letter for manuscript submission

How to write a cover letter for manuscript submission

Table of Contents

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

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

Why you need a cover letter for manuscript submission

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

What you should include in your cover letter

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

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

Mistakes to avoid

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

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

How to increase chances of your manuscript being accepted 

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

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

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

Bottom line

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

A great manuscript cover letter:

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

Does yours tick these boxes?

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

what to include in a cover letter for manuscript submission

Unlock Corporate Benefits • Secure Payment Assistance • Onboarding Support • Dedicated Account Manager

Sign up with your professional email to avail special advances offered against purchase orders, seamless multi-channel payments, and extended support for agreements.

About Author

' src=

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

Related Posts

regulatory medical writer

Spotlight: Kolabtree’s Regulatory Medical Writer Dr. Nare Simonyan

healthcare writer

How Healthcare Writers Can Help Your Business 

medical education writer

The Benefits of Outsourcing in Continuing Medical Education (CME)

Leave a reply cancel reply.

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

  • 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

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 to include in a cover letter for manuscript 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 to include in a cover letter for manuscript submission

Subscribe to our newsletter

Exclusive high quality content about effective visual communication in science.

Sign Up for Free

Try the best infographic maker and promote your research with scientifically-accurate beautiful figures

no credit card required

Content tags

en_US

Writing a Cover Letter for Journal Submission [Free Template]

  • Research Process
  • Peer Review

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

Updated on September 20, 2018

two researchers writing a cover letter for journal submissions

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

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

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

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

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

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

Finally, close with a brief paragraph indicating the following:

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

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

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

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

Ben Mudrak, PhD

See our "Privacy Policy"

Cover Letter for Journal Submission Templates

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

U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

The .gov means it’s official. Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.

The site is secure. The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

  • Publications
  • Account settings

Preview improvements coming to the PMC website in October 2024. Learn More or Try it out now .

  • Advanced Search
  • Journal List
  • Int J Endocrinol Metab
  • v.19(3); 2021 Jul

Logo of ijem

Scientific Publishing in Biomedicine: How to Write a Cover Letter?

Zahra bahadoran.

1 Nutrition and Endocrine Research Center, Research Institute for Endocrine Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Parvin Mirmiran

Khosrow kashfi.

2 Department of Molecular, Cellular and Biomedical Sciences, Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, School of Medicine, City University of New York, New York, USA

Asghar Ghasemi

3 Endocrine Physiology Research Center, Research Institute for Endocrine Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

A cover (covering) letter is a brief business letter introducing the scientific work alongside the submission process of a manuscript and is required by most scientific peer-review journals. A typical cover letter includes the name of the editor and the journal, date of submission, the characteristics of the manuscript, the importance of the work and its relevance to prospective audiences, declarations such as author agreements, conflicts of interest statement, funding source (s), and ethical statements. The letter also includes the contact information of the corresponding author (s) and may also include suggestions of potential reviewers. Spending enough time to draft an informative, comprehensive, and concise cover letter is quite worthwhile; a poorly drafted one would not persuade the editor that the submitted work is fit for publication and may lead to immediate rejection. Here, we provide a practical guide to draft a well-written, concise, and professional cover letter for a scientific medical paper.

The Cambridge dictionary defines a cover letter as “a letter that contains information about the thing it is sent with”. The cover letter is commonly known as a motivation letter submitted along with the curriculum vitae (CV) or a job application for employment ( 1 ) or academic position ( 2 ), and it is not clear why and how it was introduced into the scientific field ( 3 ). In scientific writing and publishing, a cover/covering letter is a letter to the editor’s target journal ( 4 ).

Providing a cover letter alongside the submission process is now required by most scientific journals. In fact, some high-quality and prestigious journals pay specific attention to the cover letter ( 3 ). Amongst the different steps of the publication process, the cover letter is the last step and is often overlooked ( 5 ). One of the most common complaints voiced by editors regarding submitted manuscripts is that the authors neglect to write a well-written cover letter, including a statement justifying the importance of their work ( 6 ). Missing this opportunity may have unintentional consequences, rejection without further consideration instead of being sent for external peer-review ( 5 , 6 ). Contrary to this view, some believe that the cover letter’s content overlaps with the manuscript’s abstract and gives mostly redundant information already found within the online submission system ( 3 ). The cover letter may also be a “misleading commercial advertisement” where it would not represent the content of the manuscript ( 3 ).

Although many editors may not read or seriously consider the cover letters of the submitted manuscripts ( 3 , 4 ), neglecting the importance of the cover letter may be a risk for the authors. Therefore, spending an adequate amount of time to write a coherent and persuasive cover letter is worth it. Following our previous publication on choosing a journal in a new series entitled Scientific Publishing in Biomedicine ( 7 ), here, we provided a practical guide to draft a well-written, professional, and concise cover letter needed to be accompanied by an original scientific paper, either with the initial submission or subsequently at revision/resubmitting stage. Since there are subtle differences in writing a cover letter for an original research paper versus a review article or an opinion, some points for drafting a cover letter for such papers are also discussed.

2. The Function of the Cover Letter

A cover letter is “a brief business letter”, which introduces the submitted manuscript to a prospective editor (s) ( 8 ). There are essentially two types of letters; the first is the one that is initially submitted with the manuscript (cover letter), and the second is when a revision is being submitted (revised letter). The first letter introduces the work at the initial manuscript submission ( 9 ), while the second one is needed following an invitation to revise and resubmit the manuscript. Here, the authors respond to the suggestions/criticisms of the reviewers ( 10 ). In this paper, “cover letter” and “second letter” refer to the first/submit letter and the revised letter, respectively.

A well-written cover letter is an effective tool for authors to sell their work to the journal editor and make a “good first impression”. A cover letter is a summary that highlights the main points, emphasizes the novelty, and communicates the potential implications of the submitted work ( 3 ). A cover letter allows the authors to persuade the editors regarding the novelty/originality and significance of the research in a less formal manner than in the manuscript itself ( 6 ). A well-written and informative cover letter helps the journal’s editor to be informed about the work and its significance. Regardless of the novelty and significance of the submitted manuscript, editors may miss those points without providing insights in a cover letter ( 5 ).

3. The Content of a Cover Letter

3.1. first cover letter (submit letter).

One point of view is that the cover letter’s content should be covered in the manuscript’s abstract ( 3 ). A typical cover letter includes the name of editor (s) and the journal, date of submission, the characteristics of the manuscript (i.e., title, type of the manuscript, e.g., review, original, case report), the importance of the work and its relevance to the readership of the journal, verification of the originality of the work, the authors’ confirmation that the manuscript is currently submitted only to this journal, declarations and ethical statements, suggested potential reviewers, and contact information of the corresponding author of the submitted work ( 5 , 6 ). Other manuscript characteristics, including the length and number of tables and figures, can also be indicated. If the manuscript belongs to a special issue or is being submitted upon an official invitation from the journal’s editorial office, it should also be addressed. The main contents of the first cover letter are described in Table 1 .

The most critical element of a cover letter is a “statement of novelty/significance/implication.” The authors are advised to carefully write a brief and concise description of their work’s impact toward communicating its significance ( 6 ). The authors are strongly advised not to copy the abstract into the cover letter and instead explain in their own words the significance of the work and the reason for submitting it to the journal ( 11 ). If this information is lacking, the editors may rely on the reviewers who may not appreciate the significance of the work and just focus on the technical issues rather than the scientific value of the work ( 5 ). Providing a clear and robust statement of novelty and significance would be more critical for editors and potential reviewers with diverse and interdisciplinary backgrounds ( 6 ).

The statements are expected to answer the following questions: (1) why is the work important? (e.g., emphasizing a new measurement, a new diagnostic method or criterion, a newly discovered biological process); and (2) how does the work advance current knowledge in the field? The best approach to answer this question is by describing the current state of knowledge in the field and clarifying how the work provides an added value by answering a previously unanswered question, finding the solution to a problem, or improving existing methods ( 5 ). Checking the recently published papers on similar topics in the journal provides new insights for the authors to clarify in the cover letter as to how the manuscript follows the publication trends of the journal and will add something new that would be relevant to the trend ( 12 ).

The cover letter is also expected to emphasize why the manuscript will attract the journal’s readers ( 5 ). The authors also need to consider the journal’s Aims and Scope to underscore how the manuscript would fit within the journal’s scope and attract potential readers ( 13 ). Instead of stating simply that the manuscript is “of interest to the field” or “novel,” the authors should address specific aspects of the journal’s Aims and Scope statement, e.g., “We believe that this manuscript is appropriate for publication by [journal name] since it… [reference to the journal’s aims and scope] ( 11 ).

For a review, opinion, or a trends paper, emphasizing the timeline and novelty is needed, as stated by Sacristán, the editor of trends in molecular medicine: “The synthesis and conceptual advance should be particularly stated in terms of what is new and has been trending in the field for the last one to five years”. She also recommends that the authors need to provide a future perspective beyond the main take-home message of the manuscript for a trends paper and take a strong and novel stance on a hypothesis or idea for a cover letter of an opinion manuscript ( 14 ).

The cover letter must contain some predefined statements, including the “author agreement” statement ( 13 ). An “author agreement” is a statement to confirm that “all authors have read and approved the final version of the manuscript being submitted” ( 8 ). Furthermore, “the authors warrant that the manuscript is their original work, has not received prior publication and is not under consideration for publication elsewhere” ( 8 ). Some journals may request the corresponding author to confirm that he/she will take responsibility for informing co-authors of editorial decisions, reviews received, and any changes or revisions made; additionally, the editor (s) should be informed about any closely related manuscript (s) simultaneously submitted for consideration to the same or another journal ( 15 ). The authors also should declare if any part of the submitted work has been previously published elsewhere, even as an abstract ( 16 ); e.g., “there is some overlap in the content of the introduction section, which we have noted in the text”.

Depending on the journal’s policy, other statements, including “conflict of interest statement”, “funding source declarations”, and “permission note”, may also be required to be included in the cover letter ( 8 , 11 ). As indicated by Elsevier, a conflict of interest statement, known as a disclosure statement, is a declaration from the author that “there is no financial/personal interest or belief that could affect their objectivity”. The publisher emphasizes that the authors should declare and state the potential conflict’s source and nature in cases where a conflict of interest exists. A funding source declaration is defined by the publisher as “a declaration of any funding or research grants (and their sources) received in the course of study, research or assembly of the manuscript”. Elsevier also defines the permission note as a statement that declares that “permission has been received to use any material in the manuscript such as a figure, which is not original content” ( 8 , 17 ). Other statements like “Statement of English native editing” may also be added.

Furthermore, informing the editor (s) regarding any information that will support the submission (e.g., original or confirmatory data, supplementary materials, relevance, topicality) can be helpful ( 8 ). Other operational information, typically provided within checkboxes of the journal’s submission system, is not required to be included in the cover letter ( 5 ).

3.2. Second Cover Letter

The second cover letter, which accompanies the revised version of the manuscript, must be a model of clarity and must address every issue posed by the editor and reviewers ( 10 ). If the revised manuscript is sent for the second round of peer-review, the reviewer (s) will see the letter. The content of the header and footer sections of the revised letter is similar to that of the submitted cover letter. The letter should be directed to the editor as addressed in the first letter unless the authors are informed that a new editor will process the revised version ( 10 ). The first paragraph should start with an “expression of polite gratitude”, e.g., “we would like to thank you for the opportunity to revise and resubmit our manuscript.” The “manuscript ID” or “identification number,” usually assigned by the journal in the first submission, should be addressed in the first paragraph ( 10 ).

The second paragraph usually “signals attention to the reviewers’ comments” by providing an explicit reference to the comments made by the reviewers and the editor. Furthermore, it may contain a positive statement regarding the results, methodology, conclusions, etc., in which case the authors need to acknowledge reviews’ insights ( 10 , 18 ). For example, “We sincerely appreciate all the valuable comments and suggestions made, which helped us improve the revised version of our manuscript” or “we found the reviewers’ comments helpful in guiding us to revise the manuscript.” Such statements will help the authors in creating a polite, formal tone throughout the letter. The paragraph should be followed by providing the editor with a roadmap or a summary of the revisions, addressing “the response to comments attachment.” A point-by-point response to the specific comments of the reviewers must be provided. If the authors disagree with a point raised by a reviewer, a rebuttal or counterstatement may be in order. A scientific and polite approach should spell out why the authors disagree, never losing sight of the reviewer’s opinion ( 19 ).

The footer section (closing salutation) of the letter returns to polite formalities, using statements like “we hope that the revised version of our manuscript is now acceptable to the reviewers, and suitable for publication in the [name of journal], we look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience” ( 10 ).

4. Organization

Although it is not a rule, the cover letter’s content can be organized within a cover letter header (opening salutation), three main paragraphs (the body of cover letter), and a cover letter footer (closing salutation), as described in Table 1 .

The cover letter should be initiated by addressing the editor (s) and the target journal; however, the author’s affiliation and contact information may also be included at the top of page ( 4 ). The name of the editor (s) can be easily found on the journal’s information page. If it is known, the authors must address the editor who will receive the manuscript and handle the peer-review process ( 13 ). If there are several co-editors, the person the author feels has the most appropriate background, and specialty of the topic should be addressed. In cases where such information is lacking, authors can mention all editors by name or address the letter to “dear editors” ( 12 ); however, it has been recommended to avoid writing “dear editor” ( 16 ). Also, the submission date and the journal’s name where the manuscript will be submitted are required ( 13 ).

In the first paragraph of the cover letter body, to introduce the submitted work, the title and the type of manuscript, authors’ name, journal name, and manuscript length are presented ( 4 ). In addition, it is mentioned that whether the manuscript is submitted upon an invitation or belongs to a special issue. The importance of the study, including novelty, potential implications, and its take-home message, are addressed in the second paragraph of the cover letter body. In addition, it is explained why the work would be attractive for journal readers. The third paragraph of the cover letter body includes some statements including authorship agreement, conflicts of interest, funding source, and ethical considerations. If required, potential reviewers are also suggested here.

Within the closing salutation, the authors can appreciate the editor for taking the time to read the cover letter and considering the submitted work for potential publication.

5. Some Practical Tips: The Length, and Dos and Don’ts

The authors need to spend plenty of time crafting their cover letters. They are advised to avoid too many details and keep it within one page (less than 200 words), like an introduction or a brief overview ( 4 , 11 ). The authors should check the guide for authors and cover letter suggestions provided by the journal, including all the requirements, e.g., specific disclosures, statements, and potential reviewers. Some publishers (e.g., Springer, https://www.springer.com/gp/authors-editors/journal-author/cover-letters/1398, Taylor & Francis, https://authorservices.taylorandfrancis.com/publishing-your-research/making-your submission/writing-a-journal-article-cover-letter/) provide sample cover letters that the authors can use. Figure 1 provides a sample for a cover letter.

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is ijem-19-3-115242-i001.jpg

If the authors address previously published papers in the cover letter, then appropriate citation should be considered. The authors should carefully check the letter for any spelling and grammatical errors ( 11 , 20 ). They should make sure that they correctly spell the name of the journal’s editor (s) ( 4 ). Being careless regarding the editor’s name or the change of a journal’s name in a cover letter of a resubmitted manuscript, can be embarrassing and make a bad impression ( 4 ). It is suggested that the cover letter be written on the authors’ institutional letterhead to display professionalism and reliability ( 20 , 21 ).

5.2. Don’ts

When authors suggest a number of potential reviewers, they should avoid suggesting their friends and colleagues, as this would be viewed as a conflict of interest. Collaborators whom the authors have published with in the past five years should not be suggested either; an editor may easily be informed of such associations by a quick search of PubMed or other databases ( 22 ). The authors should avoid using complex sentence structures, jargon, and acronyms and keep the text straightforward and easy to read ( 11 , 20 ). The authors should also avoid including unrelated personal information or glorifying their past research papers or any of their academic accolades ( 20 ). They must not be rude towards the editors or complement the editor’s accomplishments ( 4 ). The novelty statement should not exaggerate or overstate the findings of the work; furthermore, any conclusion stated should be completely supported by the data provided in the manuscript ( 23 ). Finally, authors are recommended not to write a generic cover letter that could be used for any manuscript and could be sent to any journal ( 21 ).

6. Conclusion

In summary, a cover letter should highlight the novelty, importance, take-home message, and goodness-of-fit of the manuscript to the journal. These are critical information that can persuade an editor that the submitted work merits publication consideration in the journal. The cover letter should not be general but should be custom-written for the target journal. Although the submitted manuscript may usually pass through the peer-review process and get published regardless of the cover letter, a well-written, informative, and concise cover letter increases the chance of gaining acceptance.

Authors' Contribution: Study concept and design, Zahra Bahadoran and Asghar Ghasemi; Drafting of the manuscript, Zahra Bahadoran, Parvin Mirmiran, and Asghar Ghasemi; Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content, Khosrow Kashfi and Parvin Mirmiran.

Conflict of Interests: The authors have no conflict of interest.

Funding/Support: This study was supported by the Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences (grant number 28127).

English Editing Research Services

what to include in a cover letter for manuscript submission

Writing a Successful Journal Cover Letter (Free Templates)

what to include in a cover letter for manuscript 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 to include in a cover letter for manuscript 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 to include in a cover letter for manuscript 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 to include in a cover letter for manuscript 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 to include in a cover letter for manuscript 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 .

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

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 .

what to include in a cover letter for manuscript submission

  • Cancer Cell
  • Cell Chemical Biology
  • Cell Host & Microbe
  • Cell Metabolism
  • Cell Reports
  • Cell Stem Cell
  • Cell Systems
  • Current Biology
  • Developmental Cell
  • Molecular Cell
  • Biochemical Sciences
  • Biotechnology
  • Cell Biology
  • Cognitive Sciences
  • Ecology & Evolution
  • Endocrinology & Metabolism
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Neurosciences
  • Parisitology
  • Pharmacological Sciences
  • Plant Science
  • Biophysical Journal
  • EBioMedicine
  • Molecular Plant
  • Molecular Therapy Family
  • Stem Cell Reports
  • Get Inspired
  • Get Techncal
  • Get Published
  • Cell Mentor China
  • And They're Scientists, Too
  • Biology in 3D
  • Careers Under the Microscope
  • Cell Insider
  • Emilie, Can I Ask You?
  • Random Walk
  • The Female Scientist
  • The Scientific Communicator
  • Cell Symposia
  • Cell Press Reviews
  • China Gateway
  • Snapshot Archive
  • Cell Picture Show
  • Cell Press Podcast
  • Cell Press Videos
  • Cell Career Network
  • CrossTalk Blog
  • Cell Selections
  • Spotlight on China
  • Trends: Limited Edition
  • Chemistry & Biology
  • Parasitology
  • For Advertisers
  • For Librarians
  • For Recruiters

Cell Mentor

Submitting your manuscript: Write the right cover letter

what to include in a cover letter for manuscript submission

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

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

Cover letter basics: What do we look for?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The cover letter:  Primary research or Trends  reviews?

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

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

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

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

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

Don't go it alone, visit Cell Mentor

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

Filed to From the editors , Submission , Get published , Cell Mentor

Cell Mentor logo

About Cell Mentor

Cell Mentor—an online resource from Cell Press and Cell Signaling Technology—empowers early-career researchers with career insights, publishing advice, and techniques on experimental processes and procedures. Now it’s even easier to tap into the knowledge and experience of experts who’ve walked in your shoes. 

Subscribe to Cell Mentor

Browse cell mentor by topic and type.

  • Get Technical

Contact Cell Mentor

Explore cell mentor:, stay connected:.

what to include in a cover letter for manuscript submission

Research Journals

  • Cell Genomics
  • Cell Reports Medicine
  • Cell Reports Methods
  • Chem Catalysis
  • STAR Protocols

Trends Reviews Journals

Partner journals.

  • HGG Advances
  • Plant Communications
  • The Innovation

Collections

  • Best of Cell Press
  • Cell Press Selections
  • Consortia Hub
  • Nucleus Collections
  • SnapShot Archive
  • Trends Limited Editions

EVOLVING THE ARTICLE

  • STAR Methods
  • Read-It-Now
  • Recommend to Librarian

Information

  • Terms & Conditions
  • Privacy Policy
  • Accessibility

BEYOND THE JOURNAL

  • Cell Mentor

Science in Society

  • Coloring and Comics
  • Research Arc
  • About Cell Press
  • Help & Support
  • Publication Alerts

Copyright © 2024 Elsevier Inc. except certain content provided by third parties

Cover Letter Ninjas

A Creative Cover Letter For Manuscript Submission

' src=

Should you include a cover letter when you submit a manuscript for journal publication? Of course, you do! Especially if the submission is unsolicited. That is you are cold-pitching an editor or offering something outside of the commission. Your cover letter will contain important introductory information, and contextualize what you are providing.

So, how do you proceed? Use our cover letter example as a reference point. Then customize it using the bonus cover letter writing tips.

Cover Letter Sample For Manuscript Submission in .docx Format

cover letter example for a manuscript submission

Download example (Word version)

Cover Letter For Manuscript Submission Example – Text Format

Dear Ms. Jeffries,

My name is Thomas Ninja, and I am a Ph.D. candidate studying Modern Culture at the University of Pennsylvania. I am submitting my manuscript titled, ‘The Cultural Impact of The Art of Ninjutsu’ for consideration as a Cultural Studies Journal research article.

This work reflects 9 months of research on the evolution of Ninjutsu from its use as a tool of covert warfare in Feudal Japan to its role in pop culture today. Along the way, I uncovered some meaningful connections between this metamorphosis and other socio-political changes that were also occurring in parallel. My research corroborates previous studies indicating that current events impact public embrace or objection to martial arts.

I believe this submission will be useful to your readers, as it addresses the topic of both modern and ancient using a unique phenomenon as a lens. The research stands to benefit students researching Pacific Rim Studies, Western Film and Pop Culture, and other phenomena.

I am submitting this work to you on May, 23rd, 2021. This work has not been published in another journal, nor is it in consideration for publication. I have informed my advisor as well as the two contributing researchers that I am submitting this work to you, and have obtained their permission to do so. Their names are listed in the attached document.

Please let me know at your convenience if you are interested in publishing this research.

Thomas Ninja

Tips For Writing a Great Cover Letter For Manuscript Submission

As you can see, this is a short cover letter . But it still packs a punch. In general, manuscript cover letters should not run too long as you are probably addressing a busy editor. The above means that every word should count. The follow-up tips will help you write your cover letter, format it correctly, and pitch it to the right publishers.

Get All The Right Information In

The person reading your cover letter will be looking for some specific information. Some of this will be in the header of your letter. But, there is a significant amount of data to include in the body of your letter as well. 

Use the following as a checklist:

  • The name of the editor
  • The name of the journal
  • The title of your manuscript
  • Date of Submission
  • The type of manuscript you are submitting
  • Information on your research
  • Your methodology and instruments
  • What your conclusions are, and their impact on your discipline
  • Your contact information

Avoid Over The Top Descriptions

You are submitting an academic manuscript for publishing consideration. You aren’t selling a novel, pitching poetry , or convincing a hiring manager that you are the best fit for the job. Keep things formal and understated. (Even if you really want to get your research published!). Avoid using excessive superlatives to describe the research you’ve done or the work you are submitting. 

Don’t write your cover letter to include phrases like ‘groundbreaking’ or ‘disruptive’. Also, don’t bury the reader in pointless jargon. If it can be communicated in plain English, do that. If it cannot be, provide a simple explanation.

Claire W.

Keep it Brief

A cover letter for manuscript submission should be three paragraphs at most. Present yourself and your research in paragraph one. Use paragraph two to detail how and why your work is relevant. Add a third paragraph to cover any formalities. That’s it. You are good to hit Send. 

Confirm Your Permissions

The publisher will want to know that your work can be published without any issues. You need to assure them that they can. 

To do so, include a statement that addresses the following points:

  • That you haven’t had the work published in other journals , or have permission from previous publishers.
  • You have obtained clearance from other researchers to submit the manuscript.
  • The manuscript is owned by you, and you have the right to submit it

Follow Instructions To a Dot 

Research the journal and publisher. They probably have specific submission instructions. For example, they may dictate that all work is submitted as a PDF document. Or that you send them a separate list of research links. Take a few minutes to comply, so that you don’t lose an opportunity to be published.

Final Tip: Have a Response Prepared

Publishing in academics journals can be an involved process. The publisher may have additional questions for you. For example, you may be asked for article examples from their journal that are similar to theirs. They may also ask to clarify your research methods. Identify what might bring up more questions, and have some answers prepared.

Other Cover Letter Samples

Career change cover letter example that will not leave hr wondering, convincing cover letter example for video editor, a superb supervisor cover letter example, cover letter for congressional internship (with tips).

A huge collection of cover letters created by a ninja team of writers and career advisors. Learn how to write, style and file cover letters that employers actually enjoy reading.

© Copyright 2023 Cover Letter Ninjas

  • Privacy Policy
  • Cookie Policy
  • Terms and Conditions
  • Disclosure Policy
  • 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

JavaScript seems to be disabled in your browser. For the best experience on our site, be sure to turn on Javascript in your browser.

  • Create an Account
  • Ready To Submit: Writing a Cover Letter

Writing a Cover Letter

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

What to Include

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

Things to Avoid

  • Do not copy your abstract into your cover letter. Instead, explain the significance of your work and why it should be published in MIS Quarterly.
  • Do not use too much jargon or acronyms. Keep your letter straightforward and easy to read.
  • Avoid too much detail. Keep your cover letter to a maximum of two pages.
  • 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:

First Time Authors-Here's The Key To Getting Published

Free tips and resources for first time authors looking for publishing deals.

Subscribe to RSS

Subscribe via Email

Example Cover Letter For Manuscript Submission

Writing a Strong Cover letter  for Manuscript Submission

When you send your manuscript to a publisher or literary agent, you will need to include the following information;

– A letter of motivation

– A biography of the author

– A synopsis of your manuscript

– Selection of sample chapters

The first thing the editor or literary agent will see when they open the envelope for submission is your cover letter. It is so often overlooked by aspiring writers, and yet, if the letter you wrote is not up to par, then chances are the editor or literary agent will not continue to read the rest of your submission.

So what information to include in your cover letter for manuscript submission? Well, in general terms, there are three important things in your letter should focus on you, your book, and why your book is worthy of publication.

Summerdale publications Stewart Ferris reports that “when writing about himself, the goal of a paragraph that summarizes the highlights of what qualifies you to write this book. The editor has to know if you have had success before publishing, if you have the necessary preparation for writing his book, and if you write more books on the subject. ”

Then you need to think about what information to include in your cover letter that is directly related to the manuscript or book in question itself. You want to focus just maybe a paragraph of your letter on the content of the book itself, to give the reader a taste of what is to come in the synopsis, and finally in the complete manuscript. Focus briefly on the “who, where, when and what is happening” on the story line.

You must also include the reasons why his book should be published in his letter. Think about why the publisher would not be taking a big risk on the introduction of his book. Maybe you have some contacts that allow easy campaign to promote the book. Or maybe you’ve completed a large piece of market research that shows that there is real demand for your book. In addition, you may be aware of ways that could lead to a rapid and reliable market for his book – which can be a university professor with a guarantee that your book will become an essential text for your university, once published by example.

Finally, remember that your writing is on permanent display throughout the presentation of manuscripts.  So try to include a sentence or two that summarize the essence of your beautiful book.

If you send your manuscript by e-mail, your cover letter comes before your story that the main body of your e-mail, and always acts as your introduction. Your cover letter should be single-spaced, written in standard block or semi-block format, and a double space between paragraphs. If you mail your manuscript, you should consider writing your cover letter on plain white 8 ½ “by 11” paper.

As mentioned earlier, the number of parts in a letter may vary. But regardless of how many sections there are, some information that is normally specified in the cover letter includes the title of your story and your word count history. If you send your manuscript by mail, as opposed to e-mail, you can also specify that the self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) is closed and there is no need to return the manuscript .

What not to include in your cover letter for manuscript submission is a detailed description of its history. I also noticed some recent submission guidelines where publishers have emphasized the authors not to include photos of themselves with their offers. Make sure to always read the most recent guidelines published and send only what publishers require that you send. Disobeying submission guidelines can sometimes mean an automatic rejection of its short history.

Not all publishers will be required to send letters with his manuscript short story, but when a letter is necessary, try to think of your cover letter as well as a courtesy, the introduction of a tool, rather than an argument of sale. Let your cover letter to introduce, and let your story speak for itself. This is more acceptable and less rejected.

' src=

The numbered requirements which you posted tell you exactly what the company wants you do. Generally the type preferred is Times New Roman. You should be able to format your word processor to create the book’s pages as the company is asking. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to determine how many pages you’ll have, and, if your manuscript is completed, you can just print it. The paper which you use in your printer would naturally be good quality and the proper size. The normal font size is 10 point, but you can control that, too, in your word processor.

How do i correctly send my story to these publishers? How do i make my novel in this format? For example, what does it mean by typewritten pages?

How should I write my story, the font size, are the pages supposed to be back and front written or what?

How do i write it in this structure they gave me?

This is what they said to me… FORMAT FOR SUBMISSIONS 1. Submissions should consist of a book-length manuscript with a contemporary setting that will be suitable for readers ages 12 to 18.

2. Manuscripts should be no shorter than 100 typewritten pages and no longer than 224 typewritten pages. Include a brief plot summary with your covering letter.

3. Each manuscript should have a cover page listing the title of the novel; the author’s name, address, and telephone number.

4. Manuscripts should be typed double-spaced on 8-1/2″ x 11″ good quality white paper, and pages should be numbered consecutively. The type should be at least 10 point. The author should retain a copy of any manuscript submitted.

Writer’s Market: What else do I need? I’m purchasing the 2009 version of WM, but having never submitted any of my writing as a freelancer before, what else do I need to know that’s not included in this book? For example, will it tell me how to write a query letter, the dos and don’ts of my manuscript, and so on? At this point I have no idea if I should be sticking to a certain number of pages, what the format of my manuscript should be, and so on.

Basically, I’m trying to find out if the WM only gives listings, or if it will guide me step-by-step through the submission process.I would appreciate any guidance regarding websites or other publications for the first time writer, if you feel that WM does not cover some of the things I need to know.

Thanks in advance!

It does cover the basics, including how to format a manuscript and write a querry letter. Each book has articles on the publishing industry, submission process, and some author interviews.

consider joining absolutewrite.com/forum (the watercooler) for more assistance. It’s a large and knowledgable group with a wealth of information to share.

Leave a Reply

Name (required)

Mail (will not be published) (required)

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

About my blog

Glad you stopped by! Don't forget to sign up on the email list so you can get a free writing guide!

Recent Posts

  • Effective Tips On Discovering the Best Book Publishing Companies In Chicago
  • Literary Agents In Michigan
  • Literary Agents In Minnesota
  • Literary Agents In Missouri
  • Literary Agents Mystery Fiction
  • Young Adult Literary Agents Uk
  • Literary Agents Los Angeles Nonfiction

Recent Comments

  • Uncategorized
  • September 2016
  • February 2012
  • January 2012
  • December 2011
  • November 2011
  • October 2011
  • September 2011
  • August 2011
  • February 2011
  • January 2011
  • December 2010
  • November 2010
  • October 2010
  • February 2010
  • January 2010

Powered by Flexibility 3

web analytics

  • Discoveries
  • Right Journal
  • Journal Metrics
  • Journal Fit
  • Abbreviation
  • In-Text Citations
  • Bibliographies
  • Writing an Article
  • Peer Review Types
  • Acknowledgements
  • Withdrawing a Paper
  • Form Letter
  • ISO, ANSI, CFR
  • Google Scholar
  • Journal Manuscript Editing
  • Research Manuscript Editing

Book Editing

  • Manuscript Editing Services

Medical Editing

  • Bioscience Editing
  • Physical Science Editing
  • PhD Thesis Editing Services
  • PhD Editing
  • Master’s Proofreading
  • Bachelor’s Editing
  • Dissertation Proofreading Services
  • Best Dissertation Proofreaders
  • Masters Dissertation Proofreading
  • PhD Proofreaders
  • Proofreading PhD Thesis Price
  • Journal Article Editing
  • Book Editing Service
  • Editing and Proofreading Services
  • Research Paper Editing
  • Medical Manuscript Editing
  • Academic Editing
  • Social Sciences Editing
  • Academic Proofreading
  • PhD Theses Editing
  • Dissertation Proofreading
  • Proofreading Rates UK
  • Medical Proofreading
  • PhD Proofreading Services UK
  • Academic Proofreading Services UK

Medical Editing Services

  • Life Science Editing
  • Biomedical Editing
  • Environmental Science Editing
  • Pharmaceutical Science Editing
  • Economics Editing
  • Psychology Editing
  • Sociology Editing
  • Archaeology Editing
  • History Paper Editing
  • Anthropology Editing
  • Law Paper Editing
  • Engineering Paper Editing
  • Technical Paper Editing
  • Philosophy Editing
  • PhD Dissertation Proofreading
  • Lektorat Englisch
  • Akademisches Lektorat
  • Lektorat Englisch Preise
  • Wissenschaftliches Lektorat
  • Lektorat Doktorarbeit

PhD Thesis Editing

  • Thesis Proofreading Services
  • PhD Thesis Proofreading
  • Proofreading Thesis Cost
  • Proofreading Thesis
  • Thesis Editing Services
  • Professional Thesis Editing
  • Thesis Editing Cost
  • Proofreading Dissertation
  • Dissertation Proofreading Cost
  • Dissertation Proofreader
  • Correção de Artigos Científicos
  • Correção de Trabalhos Academicos
  • Serviços de Correção de Inglês
  • Correção de Dissertação
  • Correção de Textos Precos
  • 定額 ネイティブチェック
  • Copy Editing
  • FREE Courses
  • Revision en Ingles
  • Revision de Textos en Ingles
  • Revision de Tesis
  • Revision Medica en Ingles
  • Revision de Tesis Precio
  • Revisão de Artigos Científicos
  • Revisão de Trabalhos Academicos
  • Serviços de Revisão de Inglês
  • Revisão de Dissertação
  • Revisão de Textos Precos
  • Corrección de Textos en Ingles
  • Corrección de Tesis
  • Corrección de Tesis Precio
  • Corrección Medica en Ingles
  • Corrector ingles

Select Page

Always Include a Cover Letter When Submitting a Manuscript

Posted by Rene Tetzner | Apr 27, 2021 | How To Get Published | 0 |

Always Include a Cover Letter When Submitting a Manuscript

Always Include a Cover Letter When Submitting a Manuscript An aspiring author recently pointed out to me that, as much as he would like to include a covering letter when he submits a scholarly article to the acquisitions editor of a scientific journal, there is often no box or option in online submission forms for pasting or attaching such an introductory letter. In addition, there is often no indication of where within a manuscript submitted for consideration an author might place such a letter to introduce the research and document. The lack of obvious instructions does not necessarily mean that a covering letter cannot be included or even that the acquisitions editor does not want to read one, but it does mean that the determined author will have to devise an effective strategy to have his or her opportunity for a brief explanation to orient this all-important reader.

The first thing to do is to read all of the publisher’s instructions and guidelines for authors with your eyes alert to any information about covering letters, which may alternatively be called cover letters or introductory letters. If you discover that the journal or press specifically states that a covering letter is not wanted, do not include one. It is always best not to antagonise a busy acquisitions editor with extraneous information, and a good paper can stand on its own when necessary. If the instructions do not mention covering letters at all or suggest that a covering letter is not required but do not in any way prohibit the inclusion of one, it is usually acceptable and often helpful to send such a letter along with your submission.

what to include in a cover letter for manuscript submission

However, you will need to determine exactly where and how to present your letter. It is important not to give the impression of sneaking the letter into your submission or pulling one over on an editor. Neither of these strategies is respectful or effective, but do examine online submission forms for approaches that may be. The form may not have a ‘paste your covering letter here’ box or an ‘attach your covering letter here’ option (though it may, so keep your eyes open), but it might very well have an ‘additional information about your paper’ or even a ‘special instructions’ box that will give you an opportunity to say one or two key things about your research and manuscript. Such boxes can be used much as a covering letter would be to provide information about the importance of your work and its appropriateness for that particular journal, but do be sure to keep a close eye on word and character limits, give your statements serious thought before submitting the form and do not provide information that is explicitly prohibited.

Another option is to make your covering letter the first page of your manuscript, though special care is necessary if you decide to do this. Some journals have very strict guidelines about the content and organisation of manuscripts submitted for publication and will not tolerate additions any more than omissions. If the peer review process of the journal is blind, all personal information about you will have to be eliminated from the manuscript, and a covering letter would not be appropriate. In such cases, however, personal information is usually provided to the editor separately, and that, too, may offer an opportunity to include a brief statement akin to a covering letter, particularly if you are able to send this personal information as a separate document. If, on the other hand, all personal data must be provided through the boxes of an online form, there may be nowhere to include such information, and it will probably be better to go without a covering letter than to include one where it may cause problems. Do keep in mind, however, that an online box or other option for offering an author biography provides yet another excellent opportunity to introduce your research and manuscript briefly but effectively.

what to include in a cover letter for manuscript submission

You might be interested in Services offered by Proof-Reading-Service.com

Journal editing.

Journal article editing services

PhD thesis editing services

Scientific Editing

Manuscript editing.

Manuscript editing services

Expert Editing

Expert editing for all papers

Research Editing

Research paper editing services

Professional book editing services

Related Posts

Choosing the Right Journal

Choosing the Right Journal

September 10, 2021

Example of a Quantitative Research Paper

Example of a Quantitative Research Paper

September 4, 2021

What Is a Good H-Index Required for an Academic Position?

What Is a Good H-Index Required for an Academic Position?

September 3, 2021

Acknowledgements Example for an Academic Research Paper

Acknowledgements Example for an Academic Research Paper

September 1, 2021

Our Recent Posts

Examples of Research Paper Topics in Different Study Areas

Our review ratings

  • Examples of Research Paper Topics in Different Study Areas Score: 98%
  • Dealing with Language Problems – Journal Editor’s Feedback Score: 95%
  • Making Good Use of a Professional Proofreader Score: 92%
  • How To Format Your Journal Paper Using Published Articles Score: 95%
  • Journal Rejection as Inspiration for a New Perspective Score: 95%

Explore our Categories

  • Abbreviation in Academic Writing (4)
  • Career Advice for Academics (5)
  • Dealing with Paper Rejection (11)
  • Grammar in Academic Writing (5)
  • Help with Peer Review (7)
  • How To Get Published (146)
  • Paper Writing Advice (17)
  • Referencing & Bibliographies (16)

IMAGES

  1. Sample Cover Letter For Manuscript Submission Journal Springer

    what to include in a cover letter for manuscript submission

  2. Journal Submissions Cover Letter Sample.pdf

    what to include in a cover letter for manuscript submission

  3. Cover Letter Format For Journal Submission

    what to include in a cover letter for manuscript submission

  4. How to write a cover letter for journal submission

    what to include in a cover letter for manuscript submission

  5. FREE 8+ Sample Cover Letter Templates in PDF

    what to include in a cover letter for manuscript submission

  6. Cover Letters for Literary Magazines • Mandie Hines Author

    what to include in a cover letter for manuscript submission

VIDEO

  1. How to write a cover letter to journal editor

  2. Upcoming Livestream topic submission of book manuscript to publisher the process 3/2/2024 at 11am

  3. Standard Manuscript Paper ( Yellow Cover)

  4. Late Submission Of Documents Cover Letter

  5. 11

  6. How do I make a manuscript for a renowned journal? Let's know about it

COMMENTS

  1. How to write a cover letter for journal submission

    Avoid too much detail - keep your cover letter to a maximum of one page, as an introduction and brief overview. Avoid any spelling and grammar errors and ensure your letter is thoroughly proofed before submitting. Click to enlarge your PDF on key information to include in your cover letter.

  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. How to write a cover letter for manuscript submission

    When you submit a manuscript to a journal, you often must include a cover letter. The cover letter is a formal way to communicate with the editor of your chosen journal and is an excellent opportunity to highlight what makes your research new and publication-worthy. The objective of a manuscript cover letter is to compel the publication's ...

  4. 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. ... Include the date of submission and the ...

  5. 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 ...

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

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

  7. Scientific Publishing in Biomedicine: How to Write a Cover Letter?

    3.1. First Cover Letter (Submit Letter) One point of view is that the cover letter's content should be covered in the manuscript's abstract ().A typical cover letter includes the name of editor (s) and the journal, date of submission, the characteristics of the manuscript (i.e., title, type of the manuscript, e.g., review, original, case report), the importance of the work and its ...

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

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

  9. Journal Article Publication Letters

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

  10. Writing a cover letter

    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

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

    Permission is pending from the publisher for the poetry that is reproduced. will be serving as the corresponding author for this manuscript. All of the authors listed in the byline have agreed to the byline order and to submission of the manuscript in this form. I have assumed responsibility for keeping my coauthors informed of our progress ...

  12. 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.

  13. Submitting your manuscript: Write the right cover letter

    A well-written letter indicates that you take your submission seriously and that you are an author who pays attention to detail. 8. Check every detail. Avoid mistakes such as directing the cover letter to the editor (s) of a different journal, or to a different journal altogether. This might suggest that you've submitted your article elsewhere ...

  14. Crafting Effective Cover Letter for Journal Submission

    While the preparation of the manuscript itself is undeniably significant, the cover letter serves as a strategic tool that can significantly shape an editor's perception of your 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 ...

  15. How to Write a Cover Letter for Your Manuscript

    Address the editor directly. By adding personal touches to your cover letter, you can better connect with the journal editor. A great way to make a strong first impression is to include the editor's name and credentials, as well as the full name of the journal. You can often find this information on the journal's website.

  16. A Creative Cover Letter For Manuscript Submission

    Cover Letter For Manuscript Submission Example - Text Format. Dear Ms. Jeffries, My name is Thomas Ninja, and I am a Ph.D. candidate studying Modern Culture at the University of Pennsylvania. I am submitting my manuscript titled, 'The Cultural Impact of The Art of Ninjutsu' for consideration as a Cultural Studies Journal research article.

  17. Cover Letters for Journal Submission

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

  18. Cover letters

    Authors usually must include a cover letter when they first submit their manuscript to a journal for publication.The cover letter is typically uploaded as a separate file into the online submission portal for the journal (for more information on using an online submission portal, see Section 12.10 of the Publication Manual).. The cover letter should be addressed to the journal editor; any ...

  19. Ready To Submit: Writing a Cover Letter

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

  20. What should be included in a cover letter?

    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).

  21. Example Cover Letter For Manuscript Submission

    Writing a Strong Cover letter for Manuscript Submission When you send your manuscript to a publisher or literary agent, you will need to include the following information; - A letter of motivation - A biography of the author - A synopsis of your manuscript - Selection of sample chapters The first thing the editor or

  22. Cover letter for your manuscript : Springer Support

    A cover letter can be used to help convey a work's importance to the editors. It should also be used to highlight any potential issues such as related manuscripts currently under consideration in any other Springer Nature publication, as well as indicating whether you have had any prior discussions with a Springer Nature editor about the work described in the manuscript.

  23. Always Include a Cover Letter When Submitting a Manuscript

    Always Include a Cover Letter When Submitting a Manuscript An aspiring author recently pointed out to me that, as much as he would like to include a covering letter when he submits a scholarly article to the acquisitions editor of a scientific journal, there is often no box or option in online submission forms for pasting or attaching such an introductory letter.