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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

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The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Journal Article Publication Letters

What is this handout about.

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

What is a journal publication letter?

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

What do journal publication letters typically contain?

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

How should I prepare to write?

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

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

Consider the standards in your field:

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

Research the specific journal:

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

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

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

Consider how your manuscript fits into the publication:

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

Consider the audience for your manuscript:

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

Consider how your manuscript engages with the field at large:

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

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

Writing a draft

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

Consider the form

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Consider the content

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Possible pitfalls

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

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

Two templates

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

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

Works consulted

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Writing a Cover Letter for Journal Submission [Free Template]

  • Research Process
  • Peer Review

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

Updated on September 20, 2018

two researchers writing a cover letter for journal submissions

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

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

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

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

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

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

Finally, close with a brief paragraph indicating the following:

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

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

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

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

Ben Mudrak, PhD

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Cover Letter for Journal Submission Templates

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

English Editing Research Services

journal article cover letter example

Writing a Successful Journal Cover Letter (Free Templates)

journal article cover letter example

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.

journal article cover letter example

“ 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.

journal article cover letter example

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.

journal article cover letter example

“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.

journal article cover letter example

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

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

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

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

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

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  • Published: 14 October 2022

How to make cover letters instructive

Nature Biomedical Engineering volume  6 ,  pages 1087–1088 ( 2022 ) Cite this article

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Succinctly convey the study’s context, emphases, implications and limitations.

The title of this Editorial may be read as implying that cover letters to articles submitted to Nature Biomedical Engineering are neither useful nor informative. Indeed, most aren’t. We find that many cover letters for research articles express excitement about the work, restate the abstract of the manuscript, declare that the findings constitute a major advance and emphasize the importance of the main research topic. They also typically list authors, suitable reviewers and excluded experts, and any competing interests and other confidential information; yet most of this information is requested by the manuscript submission system or can be provided through it.

journal article cover letter example

Excitement, prominent advances and topical importance are, perhaps expectedly, more commonly relayed by authors than perceived or judged by editors (especially by those with a mindset for selectivity). Naturally, one’s own work is a labour of effort and passion; yet it is difficult to transmit enthusiasm to an editor accustomed to reading, often cursorily, many similarly worded cover letters each week. Novel, promising and transformative work, and platform technology with untapped potential are examples of swiftly skipped words in the angular gyrus of an editor’s brain as they skim through a cover letter to rapidly find the most useful bits of information.

There’s more than love for one’s work shaping the style of cover letters. Competition for publishing in a journal that peers perceive to be of high reputation drives many authors to overemphasize the findings of their work and the broader relevance of the subject area 1 . And misgivings about the work being misjudged by an editor insufficiently knowledgeable about the topic may drive some authors to avoid conveying seemingly complex context or background information, and to magnify the implications of their results.

It is therefore unsurprising that some editors disregard cover letters when assessing the suitability of a manuscript for their journal, or read the manuscript before opening the cover-letter file so as to appreciate and assess the work in the form meant to be communicated. Also, the widely held belief that editors of Nature-branded journals select manuscripts largely on the basis of the cover letter is a myth; manuscripts are examined 2 . Are cover letters for first submissions therefore a wasted effort? Are they an unhelpful relic of the pre-internet era? Do they bias manuscript selection? Many arguments can be made for and against these questions. Instead, discussing how cover letters accompanying first submissions of original research articles can be made more instructive would be more fruitful. That’s our aim for the remainder of this piece.

First, and foremost, know your audience. Manuscripts are written for the many; cover letters should be written for an audience of one (or for a team of very few). When writing a manuscript, knowing your intended audience primordially means appropriately crafting the context of the scientific story 3 . Similarly, consideration of the current scientific experience of the manuscript’s prospective handling editor and of their editorial colleagues — should this information be known or available — can inform how the cover letter is framed. Has the journal published related work? Does it have a reputation for quality in the subject area or for publishing similar types of scientific advances? Are the editors likely to be familiar with current challenges and opportunities in the field, and knowledgeable about its standards of rigour and reporting? Are the editors aware of any relevant controversies?

Second, help the editors understand and assess the main contributions of your work. At Nature Biomedical Engineering , for research manuscripts that fit the journal’s scope we assess the degree of advance, broad implications and breadth and depth of the work. To perform this task well, we need to place the manuscript in its appropriate context 4 . We find that a cover letter is particularly informative when it helps us to identify the relevant type of advances in the study. Do the authors feel that the main contribution of the work involves the development of new technology to widen its biomedical applicability? Or does the value of the work mostly lie on the performance and translatability of a slightly improved workflow? Are any of the methods or their implementation new? Was the study’s aim to minimize the usability and cost of a device, or to expand its functionality? Is the mechanism of action underlying the discovered phenomena a notable contribution? And are the mechanistic insights being leveraged to improve the understanding of the disease or the intervention? We also appreciate it when cover letters provide suitable context for the work: for instance, which recently published studies are most relevant, and why? Is the work merely using state-of-the-art technology or methodology, or building on it? Has the same problem been addressed by other approaches? Has the same hypothesis been investigated from different angles? What types of validation support the robustness of the findings?

Third, describe the realistic implications of the work. The temptation is to dream big; yet, the credibility of the inferences improve when they are suitably constrained. Hence, state the main challenges that lie in the way. Similarly, describe the study’s limitations and whether they arise from the assumptions made, or from the methods, models or data acquired or used.

The style and format of research manuscripts are constrained for good reasons: they make it easier to find and interpret the information. The freedom of free-form writing can make cover letters more challenging to write well. We can offer a few more pieces of advice: constrain their length, structure and detail 5 , and explain your work and its context accessibly 6 . And, as if writing for a semi-supervised learning agent (pictured), use natural language.

Nat. Biomed. Eng. 1 , 771 (2017).

Nature 556 , 5 (2018).

Nat. Biomed. Eng. 2 , 53 (2018).

Nat. Biomed. Eng. 6 , 677–678 (2022).

Nat. Biomed. Eng. 5 , 1111–1112 (2021).

Nat. Biomed. Eng. 6 , 105 (2022).

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How to make cover letters instructive. Nat. Biomed. Eng 6 , 1087–1088 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41551-022-00957-4

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Published : 14 October 2022

Issue Date : October 2022

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1038/s41551-022-00957-4

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Writing and formatting

In this section:

  • NEW! Featured Author Support
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  • 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 .

  • Tel: +81-3-5541-4400 (Monday–Friday, 09:30–18:00)


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

Writing a cover letter

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

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

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

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

Why do some journals ask for cover letters?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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What makes an effective cover letter?

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

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

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

1. Addressee's information and date of submission

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

2. Opening salutation

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

3. Purpose statement and administrative information

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

4. Summary of main research findings and implications

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

Common phrases in this paragraph:

Summarizing the purpose of your research

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

Presenting your main results

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

Highlighting the relevance of your findings

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

5. Statements or information required by the journal

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

Previous contact with the journal

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

Conflict of interests and financial disclosures

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

Suggested reviewers

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

Request to exclude reviewers

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

Concurrent/duplicate submissions

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

6. Closing salutation and your contact information

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

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

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

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

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How to Write a Cover Letter for Journal Submission

journal article cover letter example

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.

Enago Academy

Writing a Cover Letter for Journal Submission

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

Format of a Cover Letter

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

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

Points to Remember

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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 .

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Submitting your manuscript: Write the right cover letter

journal article cover letter example

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

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

Cover letter basics: What do we look for?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The cover letter:  Primary research or Trends  reviews?

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

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

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

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

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

Don't go it alone, visit Cell Mentor

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

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  • v.13(Suppl 1); 2019 Apr

How to choose a journal and write a cover letter

Duncan nicholas.

DN Journal Publishing Services, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 8UA, UK

Selecting a suitable journal for submitting a manuscript can be a complex and confusing task, and end in disappointment when a paper is rejected quickly for reasons that may not be clear to the author. There have been several articles written offering advice on journal selection, but this article is the most thorough of its kind, using recent evidence to inform the strategies presented. This article provides details on the factors involved in optimal journal selection, giving insights into how to identify suitable journals, why particular criteria are important and ideal methods to approach this task. The article also includes a spreadsheet tool for tracking information about potential titles of interest and submission details, and finally, provides notes on supporting your submission with an effective cover letter.

Why Publish in Journals

Publishing in scholarly journals is just one form of output from a research project, and one of the most significant pressures on modern academics is to produce papers and find suitable journals which will accept them.[ 1 , 2 , 3 ] This process is not always easy, particularly for Early Career Researchers, as the number of options and determining factors is increasingly complex. This paper provides detailed information on the journal selection process, but before considering this, I will first consider why journal publication remains such an important aspect of the research cycle.

Journals are the principal means researchers use to facilitate communication between other groups of researchers, between specialist fields, and to the public.[ 4 ] In addition to this, they play a key role in institutional assessment of individual researchers and groups.[ 5 ] Journals help to set intellectual, methodological, operational, technical, best practice, and many other forms of standards within their communities;[ 6 ] and through the peer review process, research is validated through the element of scientific publishing, which distinguishes it from all other communication mediums, certifying the authenticity and veracity of the research. The Publons Global Peer Review Survey[ 7 ] of over 14,300 researchers included the question “How important do you consider peer review for ensuring the general quality and integrity of scholarly communication?” Overall, 12,394 respondents answered this question, with 98% stating this was “important” or “extremely important.”

Does Choice of Journal Matter?

A report by the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers[ 8 ] estimates the number of active journals at around 33,100 English-language, plus a further 9,400 non-English-language journals (a total of 42,500), publishing over 3 million articles a year. Though the numbers diminish rapidly when considering one specific field these figures still indicate the scale of the journal selection task, as well as the competitive nature of article submission, and the question remains: does journal choice matter?

To answer this question, this article will discuss several aspects of research publishing which may help guide or influence the decision on which journals are suitable for any particular paper. Some choices may be guided by external pressures such as funder or institutional requirements; other factors relate to the topic of the research in hand, matching aims, and scope or instructions of a journal and other factors will be personal preference.

Create a Journal Information Spreadsheet

The first step in identifying suitable journals for a paper is to create a means of capturing, comparing, and contrasting the information about each of the journals which might be deemed suitable. Creating a personalized information sheet about journals in your field will be a resource that can be returned to, updated, and expanded over time. An Excel spreadsheet template is included as supplementary material, with 29 fields of information covering everything that will be discussed in this paper. Table 1 shows an excerpt from the supplementary table .

Excerpt of the first 12 column details from the supplementary journal selection information spreadsheet

How to Identify a Journal

The following sections offer a process for identifying journals, three key methods for creating a list of potential journal names, and strategies to investigate the details of each.

Your Reference List

The first place to begin identifying suitable journals to submit is through the references which inform your own work. The journals which publish the articles you have cited are likely to be relevant choices for your own work; particularly, those which inform the most fundamental aspects of your paper such as the background research through which you developed your research questions; on which your methodology is drawn; and any work which your findings either corroborate or contradict.

Indexing Databases

You may wish to identify journals not referenced in your paper. Indexing databases such as Google Scholar, Web of Science, Scopus, PubMed, or any of the many field-specific databases offer search and filtering options to identify articles and journals of interest.

Use the “advanced search” functions in these websites with keywords or short phrases of significant details and limit the publication years to the current and previous year (e.g., 2017–2018). The search results will show a list of recently published works that tell you these journals are currently active and interested in those topics.

The results from these platforms may include book titles, conference proceedings publications, or other formats which you are not interested in. Filter the results list for the most appropriate matches, adding relevant journal titles to your list. You can also use these databases to retrieve a certain amount of useful information to add to your journal information spreadsheet.

Depending on your personal preference or mandates from funders or institutions, you may be required to publish your work as open access (OA). If you wish to identify only open access journals, use the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)[ 9 ] and Science Open[ 10 ] as your search databases. Science Open indexes articles available as open access through which you may identify journals, even if they are not full OA titles. DOAJ, as the name suggests, is a comprehensive database of 12,205 open access journals, and almost 3.5 million articles (at time of writing). DOAJ has thorough criteria for assessing journals for inclusion in its database, aiming to include only journals which publish and perform peer review to a high standard; therefore, it serves as a useful resource for helping identify potentially “predatory” journals (a concept which will be discussed in detail later in this article).

Additionally, the Journal/Author Name Estimator (JANE)[ 11 ] is a useful independent platform created by academics to help authors identify suitable journals based on the abstract or keywords of a paper.

Publisher Websites

To identify journals within a specific publisher you may use their own platforms to search for keywords and topics. Most well-established publishers provide some searching and filtering functionality in their websites, but some, such as Elsevier's “Journal Finder”[ 12 ] and Springer's “Journal Suggester”[ 13 ] offer more sophisticated text-matching. Like the JANE journal locator, these platforms allow you to use your article title or abstract to produce a list of results with a similarity match score that helps you filter the most relevant options.

Aims and Scope

Once you have a list of journal titles you will need to investigate further to determine how suitable these journals really are for your manuscript. It is very important to understand the types of research a journal publishes as failure to fit this criteria is the main reason for immediate rejection of articles; “About 20-30% of the manuscripts can very quickly be categorized as unsuitable or beyond the scope of the journal.”[ 14 ]

To achieve this you will need to visit the homepages of each journal and thoroughly read around the site as well as recent articles. This may be time-consuming, but the information you obtain through this process can be referred to when you submit future papers.

The aims and scope, “about” section or other such mission-statement related page is where the journal should make clear the specifics of the subject in which it specializes. Is it a broad scope multi-disciplinary journal such as PLoS,[ 15 ] Nature,[ 16 ] or RIO[ 17 ]? Is it a large-scale multidisciplinary journal within a single field, such as eLife,[ 18 ] The Lancet[ 19 ] or New England Journal of Medicine[ 20 ]? Or does it have a very narrow focus for a specific field, such as The Lancet Oncology,[ 21 ] Clinical Infectious Diseases,[ 22 ] or Blood[ 23 ]?

If the journal mentions a national or geographical area in the title, this could mean different things which should be explained in the aims and scope. If the journal is named as regional, does it publish work which focuses on a country or geographical area, or is it simply based in that region (e.g., European Scientific Journal[ 24 ])? It may consider work from outside the region that compares populations or other findings from the area, giving the work relevance to the journal community, such as this publication, the Saudi Journal of Anesthesia, which states that it aims to “stimulate associated scientific research and communication between hospitals and universities in Saudi Arabia, the Arab countries and the rest of the World.”[ 25 ]

International journals may not simply accept papers from anywhere in the world. It could be that they accept only those papers which are created through an international authorship, involve an international range of participants or subjects, or provide evidence that is collected or relevant on a global scale (e.g., International Journal of Psychology[ 26 ]).

Make notes of whether the geographic scope will be relevant to want you need to achieve with your own work.

If the aims are not clear, look at the titles of several issues worth of papers to give you a clearer sense of what papers the journal publishes. You should get a good idea of the topics and geography of articles, as well as what the journal has been interested in over the previous year. Does your paper fit with their publication trends? Will it help to continue this trend, or will it add something new and relevant? Or does it seem unsuitable?

The aims and scope may also state the community of the journal. Is the journal intended for primary researchers, society members, people working in applied settings, industry, or the public? Does it appear that your paper is relevant to that audience?

Instructions for Authors

It is important to check this section thoroughly and to ensure your paper is formatted according to all requirements. This is one of an author's least favorite aspects of journal submission, with different journals having different instructions that create significant time reformatting should you need to submit to subsequent journals after your first. However, as inconvenient as these formatting requirements may be some journals can be very strict on enforcing them and along with the aims and scope, failure to conform to formatting instructions is A common reason for immediate rejection of papers.[ 27 , 28 ]

The types of research articles a journal accepts may be in the aims and scope or instructions for authors, but usually the latter. Look for lists of article types and details of formatting requirements for each, such as original empirical research, single studies, multivariate analysis, review articles (narrative reviews summarizing recent developments in a field, or systematic/meta-analysis, which provide statistical analysis of data over a wider timeframe). Some journals are review only some do not accept review articles at all. Case reports particularly in practical journals and applied specialities such as nursing or occupational health, and other shorter form papers, such as letters to editor, discussion or response to articles, book reviews may also be detailed.

This list is by no means exhaustive. There are many types of articles and different terminology used for each type, but be sure the journal accepts the type of paper you are writing.

Word limits are another of the more important aspects and these may differ between article types. Word counts can often apply to titles, abstracts, main text, and figure captions, so be sure to make a note of what the word count includes. There may also be limits to the number of keywords, figures, tables, and references.

Is there a preferred manuscript structure? Does the journal allow or disallow headings and are there formatting conventions? Should the abstract be structured (e.g., with headings for Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion), or is a single paragraph of text allowed?

Is there a standardized referencing or formatting style given, such as Harvard, APA, or Chicago, or does the journal describe its own formatting in detail? Is there a set template for formatting manuscripts provided in the website, or can you use a LaTeX editing template though Overleaf,[ 29 ] Authorea,[ 30 ] or other service?

Accessibility and Discoverability

Does the journal describe any social media presence, marketing activity, and the indexing databases in which it is listed? This aspect of journal selection will inform you of where your article may be found, the likelihood of your paper being promoted by the journal and discovered by readers. If the journal claims to be indexed in particular databases, can you verify this is the case by searching and finding them?

Speed of Peer Review and Publication

Journals are becoming increasingly transparent about their peer review processes and many may even provide statistics on the average peer review times or time from first submission to publication. For example, the Elsevier “Journal Finder” tool provides such peer review and production timeframes for the journals it returns in the search results. This information can be helpful for adjusting your own expectations of how long the process should take. The website SciRev provides subject-area level data on several measures of peer review timeframes, based on research in 2017 by Huisman and Smits,[ 31 ] with which you can benchmark journal processes; for example, the average time for a first decision on a fully reviewed paper in the Medicine category is 8 weeks, and from first submission to acceptance is 12 weeks.[ 32 ]

Publication Models

Is the journal closed-access subscription-based, fully open access, or a hybrid of the two? What are the fees for open access? Does it offer waivers for residents of certain countries (e.g., adopting the Research4Life program). In addition to OA fees, are there additional charges for color figures or any pages over a certain number? It is important to look for this information first in case you are met with an invoice for payments during the production stages.

The licensing and copyright options of the journal should also be made clear. If the journal is a subscription model, can you see the terms of passing copyright to the publisher before you submit? Can you obtain them to determine whether you are happy with the conditions? If the journal is open access, does it mention the Creative Commons licenses under which open access articles can be published? Does it offer a choice of options?

The publication model may affect whether the journal complies with any funding body or institutional mandates that determine where you must publish your article.

Archiving Policies

Does the journal allow you to post articles to preprint servers during the peer review stage? Will it consider papers that are already available as a preprint. Will you be allowed to post a preprint on your website after acceptance?

Both the publication models and policies around preprints can have implications for the readership and sharing potential for your work both during review and postpublication, and the rights you retain as the author of your work.

Ethics Statements and Adherence to Guidelines

Does the journal provide any ethics statements about its editorial processes, expectations of its editors, reviewers, and authors, and give information about other ethical or legal requirements it expects authors to adhere to or comply with on submitting articles.

Journal ethics may fall into two categories, both of which will be important for you to take note of Editorial/publishing ethics and research ethics. Research ethics are likely to be requirements you will need to state when submitting your article, such as evidence of institutional review board acceptance of methodologies or patient consent. Publication ethics refers to expectations regarding plagiarism, simultaneous submission to multiple journals, agreement from all authors to submit and several other measures.

The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)[ 33 ] is the definitive body on publishing ethics. Many journals are members of this organization and will display badges or statements from COPE on their websites. This should reassure you that the journal intends to conduct itself to a high standard and give you recourse should you feel anything unethical occurs in the handling of your paper. COPE provides many resources for authors which you should familiarize yourself with if you are new to the submission process or have not visited their website before.

Journal Metrics

Does the journal have a Clarivate Web of Science Impact Factor (IF) or Elsevier Scopus Journal rank score (SJR) or CiteScore, or Google Scholar H-Index? Are you required to submit to a journal with one of these metrics?

The recent Author Perspectives on Academic Publishing report by Editage,[ 34 ] based on a survey of 6,903 researchers found the highest rated factor which influenced authors' choice of journal was Impact Factor. However, the survey also reported that “one reason why authors find journal selection so difficult is that they struggle to find a journal that both has the required Impact Factor and is likely to accept their manuscript.” This finding illustrated that although Impact Factor is desired criteria for various reasons, it is not an efficient or effective means by which most authors can, or should, use to determine which journal to select. Of the 42,500 journals worldwide mentioned at the start of this paper, just 11,655 across 234 disciplines[ 35 ] have an Impact Factor. This alone illustrates how restrictive the options to authors can be when limiting the criteria to these metrics.

This paper acknowledges that the requirement to publish in Web of Science or Scopus indexed journals exists, and authors often need to select a journal based purely on metrics such as the Impact Factor or SJR, but also cautions against using this as an isolated search criteria where possible, and supports the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA),[ 36 ] which was established to “ensure that hiring, promotion, and funding decisions focus on the qualities of research that are most desirable – insight, impact, reliability and re-usability – rather than on questionable proxies” (statement from DORA Roadmap, June 27, 2018).

In addition to the Impact Factor, a journal may provide additional alternative article-level metrics on its webpages. These may be in the form of usage, pdf download, or other readership statistics, or Altmetrics[ 37 ] or Plum Analytics[ 38 ] information. These latter platforms are at the forefront of the alternative metrics movement and may give you insights into how articles from a journal are used, the communities which discuss the papers and other forms of impact, attention, and presence which are not based on citation metrics. Alternative metrics capture mentions on social media platforms, news media, blogs and websites, the use of articles in policy or other official documents, discussions on postpublication peer review sites, additions to bibliography platforms such as Mendeley, and many other sources. All this activity gives insight into the presence of the journal, what topics have been of particular interest, and the reaction with which your paper may be met.

Taken alone, the validity and integrity of using all metrics discussed in this section for assessment purposes and journal selection is questionable and inadvisable; however, these metrics do offer some function when using the database sources of these metrics as search tools in combination with other factors discussed in this paper.

Editorial Board

Look at the editorial board of the journal. Do you recognize any of the names? Are any of the board members cited in your paper? If so, it is likely that your paper is within the scope of the journal. If you do not recognize any of the board and no information is provided about their field, or even institution, you could search for some of the key members online to see if they are specialists in the area of your article.

If you are unable to find any of the members online, or their details do not match what is provided on the journal site, then you should leave this journal off your list, a situation which brings us to the final part of the journal selection section of this article: predatory publishing.

Predatory Publishing

No article discussing journal selection and open access would be complete without mention of “predatory publishing.” This term refers to publishers or journals that take advantage of the open access publishing model to be money-making operations with no regard for the scientific endeavour. This is a simplified definition of a more complex socioeconomic phenomenon that this paper will not analyze in great detail but is important enough to mention, as there is some evidence that these journals are damaging the reputation of open access as a legitimate publishing option,[ 34 ] which is a perception that needs countering.

The most commonly used term for these journals appears to be “predatory publishers” or “predatory journals.” They are also known as “fake journals,” “scam journals,” “trash journals,” “illegitimate journals,” among other terms. I prefer the term “shell journals,” as this accurately describes the lack of rigorous scholarly service, particularly peer review, and technical infrastructure required to ensure the integrity and permanence of scientific research. The term “deceptive journals” is also particularly appropriate, as often these journals make claims of integrity, peer review processes, indexing database status, or metrics to convince inexperienced authors that the journal is a more viable platform than it actually is. The core problem of these journals is perhaps in identifying what they lack, rather than how they act.

There is an increasing body of research and gray literature that aim to provide rubric for identifying problematic journals, most famously the controversial, and now closed, Beall's List, and more recently a scoping review by Cobey et al .,[ 39 ] yet none have been able to provide decisive, noncontradictory statements around any single measure or process for assessing such journals. Identification of these journals often requires a combination of problems to be apparent, and the ability to recognize the details which signify these problems. The methods and details discussed in this paper will help to identify suitable journals with confidence and ensure that by meeting all criteria required for your paper, journals with poor practices that do not offer what you need will be weeded out, regardless of who the publisher of that journal is.

Writing a Cover Letter

Cover letters are something of a controversial topic, with some journal editors ignoring them, but others paying close attention to all they receive. The number of submissions each editor must deal with may play a role in preference for reading cover letters or not but that does not mean you should ignore this step.

A good cover letter need only includes a few key features to effectively support your submission.

First, address the editor by name, but be sure you have the right name and the correct name of journal, especially if you are submitting to a second or subsequent choice journal. Author addressing the wrong editor and journal is a situation which occurs more often than you would expect and does not make a good impression.

If there are several coeditors, you could address the person you feel is the specialist on the topics of your paper. If you do not know this information, mention all by name, or simply address your letter to “Dear Editors.”

Next, the important pitch to the editor about the value of your article: Briefly describe the main theme of your paper, the relevance it has to the journal, and the contribution your paper makes to existing knowledge.

To support the description of your paper, you could check to see whether the journal has published papers on similar topics in the previous year (which you are likely to have done when researching your list). Does your paper fit with their publication trends? Will it help to continue this trend, or will it add something new that remains relevant? Make these statements in your letter and mention specific papers. It is a nice touch to imply that you are familiar with the content of the journal and helps to reinforce your claims that your paper is relevant and should be reviewed.

You may also include suggestion of three to six reviewers for process. These suggestions may not be used, but any work you can do to make the job of the editor handling the review process easier will be appreciated. These could be names of authors cited in your references, editorial board members, or other scholars you are aware of in the field. You should not suggest any colleagues, collaborators, close acquaintances, or other individuals who would have a conflict of interest in reviewing your paper.

You may also name individuals who should not review your paper. These could be close collaborators, competitors, or others you feel would not be able to give your paper a bias-free review.

Finally, formal declarations should be provided, stating your work is original, has not been simultaneously submitted to another journal, that all named authors give permission for the paper to be submitted, that you have no conflicts of interest in the findings and conclusions presented in the paper, and name any funding bodies which supported the work. You may also name any individuals who provide feedback or presubmission comments on your paper. If you have uploaded your paper to a preprint server, you should provide the reference.

This information should be no more than half a page but will efficiently convey to the editor why your paper is suitable for the journal and how it will be of interest to its readers.

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Conflicts of interest.

There are no conflicts of interest.

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How to Write an Effective Cover Letter for Journal Submission | Example Cover Letter

Dr. Sowndarya Somasundaram

Cover Letter for Journal Submission

Table of contents

Key points to include:, points to avoid:, example cover letter for journal submission.

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

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

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

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

  • Editor’s name (you can find this on the journal webpage ).
  • Name of the journal
  • Your article’s title
  • Brief description of the novelty of the research and emphasis on your major research findings.
  • A statement that your paper is not currently under consideration by another journal
  • Contact information for you and any co-authors
  • Confirm that you have no conflicts of interest
  • A list of potential reviewers (If asked by the journal)
  • Any researchers/reviewers who should not review your manuscript (If asked by the journal)
  • Keep your cover letter to a maximum of one page (brief introduction and overview).
  • Don’t copy your abstract into your cover letter; instead explain significance and novelty of your work in your own words.
  • Don’t use too much jargon or acronyms; instead use simple, easy and straightforward language.
  • Avoid spelling and grammar errors and ensure your letter is professional before submitting.

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

Dr. / Prof. (Editor’s name)


Journal name

Dear Dr. /Prof. ( Editor’s name)

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

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

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

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

Thanking you

( Your name )

journal article cover letter example

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

You May Also Love to Read:

How to  Publish in High Impact Journals? | iLovePhD

How to  Write a Research Paper? Research Paper Format | iLovePhD

How to Write a  Thesis ? PhD  Thesis  Format | iLovePhD

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Cover Letter Ninjas

Cover Letter For Journal Submission: Sample and Tips

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If you submit an article for journal publication, it’s good practice to include a cover letter. You can use the letter to introduce yourself and tell the editor why the research you have done is important. Remember, the journal editor will want to know why your work is a perfect fit for their publication and why their audience will benefit from reading it.

If your cover letter and article are of top-notch quality, this increases your chance of making it to the peer review stage. That makes it worth the time you will spend writing and perfecting your cover letter for journal submission. 

Not sure where to begin? Take a look below. We’ve got some great writing tips as well as an example cover letter for journal submission.

Journal Submission Cover Letter Sample in .docx Format

Here is a sample cover letter. Feel free to use it as an aid to composing your own submission! 

cover letter sample for journal submission

Download example (Word version)

Cover Letter Example For Journal Submission – Text Format

Dear Dr. James Brower,

My name is Dr. Eileen Ninja. I am respectfully submitting the attached article: “Impacts of Urban Ecological Restoration on Healthcare Outcomes” on behalf of my colleagues (Dr. Jensen Williams, and Byron James) for publication in ‘Modern Ecology Journal’. It is our belief that the work we have done will serve as a valuable reference for other researchers in the urban ecology discipline.

Our article reflects field research and post-research analysis conducted from January 2017 – January 2020. This work has not been published in any other journals. We affirm that we are the owners of this work and give permission for its publication, solely in the journal listed above. As research lead, I further affirm that I have full consent and agreement of my co-researchers in making this submission.

The submitted article summarizes research that we did on several urban ecological restoration projects within inner-city neighborhoods in medium to large cities in the Midwestern United States as well as the Great Lakes Region. Specifically, we researched the potential impacts of urban restoration or ‘greening’ projects on air quality-related health conditions.

As our research builds upon several articles previously published in the Modern Ecology Journal, we believe it will be relevant to your readers. Further, it reaches both new conclusions and introduces new questions for future research use.

I have attached the manuscript in its final form, as well as consent to publish from my colleagues. I look forward to your feedback.


Dr. Eileen Ninja

Journal Submission Cover Letter Writing Tips

Writing a journal article is hard, penning a cover letter is easier. But still, it’s nice to have some pointers, right? Take a look at these tips to help ensure your cover letter really nails it.

Keep a Loose Structure in Mind

Most academic journals don’t have a specific template for you to use for submission letters. Although, you should research to make sure that is the case. 

That said, your letter should follow a loose structure that includes:

  • Introducing yourself and your fellow researchers.
  • The title of your article.
  • A summary of the research.
  • Your reasons that it will be of use to that journal’s readers.
  • Your methodology.
  • A statement that you own the work, have the right to submit it and have obtained permission from the other researchers.
  • A list of attachments.

Think of this as a bit of a checklist that you can keep at the back of your head as you work on the letter. 

Debi D-H

Don’t Repeat Your Research Abstract

Some researchers make the mistake of copying their research abstract into their cover letter and calling it a day. This is a blunder. Because the reader will still take the time to check it out. So by copying it to your letter, you lose a chance to provide some extra background. 

Instead, describe your research using your own words. Address the main points only. Your goal should be to describe it in a way that is easy to read and understand. Aim for a clear and concise description that is three or so sentences long.

Make it Relevant to The Audience

Your most important task here is to make a compelling case that the journal readers are going to be interested in reading about your research. Remember that there are thousands of academic journals. Each of these deals with a very specific subset of an academic discipline . You must research carefully to ensure that you are reaching out to the most relevant publications. 

Once you have done that, you should be able to easily describe why it would be relevant. Keep in mind that the key points are going to be, how your work expands on other research, how it draws conclusions that will be relevant to other researchers, or how it reveals questions for researchers to explore in the future.

Final Tip: Keep it Brief

Remember that your job is to summarize your research in order to show the publisher that it is well-done and relevant to their audience. If you find that your letter is more than one page long, chances are you need to do a bit of editing. Remember, the details are best left to your research article, and that will be reviewed by your peers.

Other Cover Letter Samples

A convincing call center cover letter example, a convincing credit controller cover letter example, a cool health coach cover letter example, executive assistant cover letter example.

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.

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How To Write A Cover Letter For Journal Submission

journal article cover letter example

Quick Takeaways:

  • A well-written cover letter is a valuable item in your submission package
  • Use our checklist as a guide to craft an effective cover letter, and
  • Download our example cover letter and use it as a template

Your cover letter should not only summarise the key message of your submitted paper, but also convincingly “sell” your work and make the editor want to read the full paper and send it out to peer reviewers.

A good manuscript cover letter can make your submission stand out from the hundreds of submissions a journal may receive each week. A bad cover letter, on the other hand, may work against you by making a poor first impression, as explained by Dr. Rachel Baron, our Co-Chief Editor:

Watch the rest of this webinar:  Ready To Submit For Publication? How To Ensure Your Paper Makes An Impact

In this guide:

  • 1) Meaning of ‘et al.’
  • a) Table: Correct use of ‘et al.’ by style guide
  • b) Unusual scenarios

Although the transition to digital submission systems has decreased the significance of cover letters, many journals still require or recommend one.  Nature , for example, states,

“Although optional, the cover letter is an excellent opportunity to briefly discuss the importance of the submitted work and why it is appropriate for the journal.”

Whether your target journal requires a cover letter or you’ve decided to write one nevertheless, it’s worth taking the time to write an effective and compelling letter. In this guide, we’ll show you how you can do so in six simple steps.

A. Writing a Cover Letter for Your Manuscript

Step 1: address the recipient professionally, step 2: state the manuscript essentials (e.g., title & type).

Step 3: Summarise your study

Step 4: Meet journal-specific requirements

Step 5: include standard declarations, step 6: sign off professionally, putting it all together: a quick checklist.

B.  Example Cover Letter [Free Download]


Your target journal may set a 1-page limit for cover letters. Even if it doesn’t impose a page or word-count limit, cover letters are best kept to 1–2 pages long (with single-line spacing), so it’s important to make the optimum use of the limited space available.

It’s important that you greet the right person as the letter’s recipient, and that you do so professionally. Avoid using a generic greeting, such as ‘Hello’, ‘Greetings’, or ‘To whom it may concern’.

Browse through your target journal’s website to find out the name of the journal editor, who usually carries the job title ‘Editor-in-Chief’, ‘Chief Editor’, ‘Editor’, ‘Executive Editor’, or ‘Managing Editor’. Journals with a broad scope may require you to name the senior or associate editor who handles a specific topic or article type. Typically, this information is listed on a page titled ‘Editorial Board’, ‘Journal Staff’, or something similar.

✗  Dear Sir/Madam,

✓  Dear Dr Huang,

✓  Dear Mr Horton:

✓  Dear Ms Li

✓  Dear Editor-in-Chief:             (use the editor’s title only if you can’t find the name of the editor)

The use of punctuation in your greeting (e.g., Dr. Huang vs Dr Huang), as well as in the rest of the letter, will vary depending on whether you’re following US, UK, or other   convention. We recommend that you pick one style and follow it throughout the letter.

In your first paragraph, explain why you’re writing the letter. Remember to include not only the title of your manuscript but also the type of submission (e.g., original research article, review article, short communication, letter, case report). Use your target journal’s terminology for the name of the article type, to show attention to detail and that you are familiar with the journal’s style.

Also mention any special circumstances, including if you’ve had previous contact with the journal or if the manuscript is a resubmission. Use formal English and consistent punctuation and spelling style (e.g., US, as in the first example below, or UK, as in the second and third examples) throughout the letter.

✓  I am writing to submit my paper, “Title of your manuscript,” to Journal Name as an Original Article.

✓  On behalf of my co-authors, I am submitting the attached Brief Communication, ‘Title of your manuscript’, to Journal Name for fast-track consideration for the upcoming special issue on X.

✓  My co-authors and I were pleased to receive your favourable response of 1 April 2021 to our pre-submission enquiry regarding a state-of-the-art review on X. Accordingly, we would like to submit the enclosed manuscript, ‘Title of your manuscript’, for consideration for publication as a Review Article in Journal Name.

Omitting any of the key pieces of information (i.e., article name, article type, journal name) or sounding informal or too pushy can result in a poor opening.

✗ Please consider my article for publication in your journal!

✗ I’d be glad if you’d accept our paper for publication in Journal Name

Do check that you’ve correctly named, and correctly spelt, your target journal (and its Editor-in-Chief), especially if you are submitting a rejected manuscript to a new journal.

Step 3: Summarise your study

The next paragraph is one of the most important parts of the cover letter. This is where you convince the editor that your manuscript is worth reviewing.

As tempting as it may be, don’t simply copy and paste the abstract of your manuscript, as the purposes and styles of an abstract and a cover letter are different. In your abstract, you summarise the manuscript using similar language and a similar order of information (introduction, methods, results, conclusion), so as to entice readers to read the full text.

In your cover letter, however, you summarise the manuscript but focus on the value of your contribution to the journal and discipline, so as to persuade the editor to read the abstract. Use plain, non-technical language because the editor may not be an expert in your particular field or topic, and avoid sounding too self-promotional, emotional, informal, or wordy.

Start with the most important message or feature of your manuscript. You can highlight the novelty of your study, innovation of your approach, or strength of your conclusions. Also explain how your manuscript matches the aims and scope of the target journal by stating how the practical or theoretical implications of your study are relevant to the specific readership.

✓ Our 2-year trial of Z for X among Y shows that delaying Z administration to bedtime doubles its efficacy. This shift in timing is a simple, safe, and cost-effective way to increase drug efficacy and reduce X prevalence. The results are robust and applicable worldwide, given the strong study design (randomised cross-over trial of 1 million patients in 5 continents), and would be immediately useful for health care professionals who read Journal Name.

✗ X is a horrendous affliction affecting half of Y. Currently, the most common treatment regimen for X is Z, but it is sadly only of 50% clinical efficaciousness. This milestone clinical investigation aimed to achieve a massive reduction in morbidity and mortality by effecting a great improvement in the effectiveness of Z as treatment of X among Y. Utilising a groundbreaking chronotherapeutic modality approach, we carefully designed a randomised cross-over trial…

In 2-page cover letters, you could further justify your request for considering your paper for a certain article category or fast-track (expedited) publication, or include other relevant or insightful information. However, don’t request any waivers of submission or publication fees and don’t make any recommendations for or against potential reviewers unless allowed or required by the journal (see next section).

Some journals may require you to provide specific information in the cover letter, the most common of which are related to:

●   Authorship ●   Funding, conflicts of interest ●   Ethical approval for experiments involving humans or animals ●   Clinical trial registration ●   Data availability or sharing ●   If all authors are willing to transfer copyright to the journal if the manuscript is accepted

Some journals ask you to state if your manuscript has been previously rejected by another journal, in which case past review reports should be enclosed, along with a point-by-point response. Some journals ask for:

●   Names and affiliations of all the authors of the submitted manuscript ●   Word count and number of tables and figures ●   Number and size of supplementary files ●   If the authors are willing to pay for colour-page charges ●   Suggestions of images for cover art

Journals may also require or recommend that you list potential impartial peer reviewers (with institutions and email addresses) and/or people who you think shouldn’t be asked to be reviewers, with reasons. You may be asked to nominate an associate editor from a list in the journal’s website who can act as the topic-specific handling/academic editor. You may also be asked to specify your choice of peer review model from a limited selection of available models (e.g., single- or double-anonymised, or open-identity review).

It’s therefore important to read the journal’s Instructions for Authors page.

For example, to meet the requirement of  PLOS ONE  to ‘list any opposed reviewers’, you could write:

✓  We request that Prof X from the University of Y not be invited as a peer reviewer, because the journal uses double-anonymised review, but we recently sent her a non-anonymised draft of our manuscript for informal pre-submission review.

✗  Please under no circumstances whatsoever, don’t send our paper to Prof X from the University of Y to review because she gave us a really negative review for another paper in another journal 3 years ago.

Meeting all of the journal’s cover letter requirements, as well as submission requirements (e.g., authorship/contributorship and other declarations; copyright transfer form; if the journal requires that the manuscript be anonymized except the title page; or if figures and tables should be submitted in a separate file) will make your publication journey smoother by avoiding delays due to resubmission(s).

In the concluding section of your cover letter, you should include certain standard declarations that nearly all journals expect. For example,

●   Statement clarifying that all of the authors agree with the decision to submit the manuscript to the target journal: ●   All authors have read and approved the manuscript and have agreed to submit it to  Journal Name.

●   Statement of originality and exclusive submission to the journal: ●   The manuscript has not been previously published and is not being considered by another journal for publication.

●   Declarations associated with obtaining permission to use copyrighted material: ●   Our manuscript includes a figure published by Chan et al. (2020). We have obtained the necessary permission to reproduce the figure in our manuscript.

●   Who the Corresponding Author is: ●   Please note that I am the designated Corresponding Author for this submission.

Finally, professionally thank the editor for reviewing your submission, without being too flattering or sounding insincere.

✓  We thank you for considering our submission and we look forward to hearing from you.

✗  We are extremely indebted to you for graciously considering this humble manuscript for possible publication in your highly esteemed journal. Please reply soonest! Thanks!

Check if your target journal requires you to declare and enclose copies of similar manuscripts in preparation, submitted to other journals, posted to a preprint site, or previously presented at a conference. Check if your target journal considers preprint posting as prior publication.

End your cover letter by signing off professionally, and providing full contact details (e.g., mailing address, fax number, telephone number, email address). For example,

Yours sincerely, [First and Last Name of Corresponding Author] Job title Department of _________ University of ________ University address Fax: Phone: Email:

If you haven’t addressed the recipient by name but have instead used the editor’s title, replace ‘Yours sincerely’ with ‘Yours faithfully’.

If you’ve followed our guidelines above, you should have an effective cover letter. Good luck with your submission! Reach out to  [email protected]  should you require any editorial assistance.

Our downloadable draft manuscript submission cover letter, written in US style, deals with a fictitious case but is customisable and is annotated with helpful Comments. Please edit or replace text as needed and delete all Comments when finalising your letter. Remember to use non-technical, jargon-free but formal language, and avoid abbreviations, or spell them out at first mention.

journal article cover letter example

Our latest online workshop built on the success of face-to-face workshops we developed specifically for local universities. Over 30 faculty members joined the session, presented by our Chief Operating Officer, Mr Nick Case, to learn from our case studies on editing research proposals.

The response to our workshop, which included a constructive and insightful Q&A session, was very positive.Drawing on our extensive experience working with hundreds of Hong Kong researchers targeting the GRF and ECS every year, we used examples of poor and subsequently improved proposals to show the attendees how they can make their applications stand out.

Wondering why some abbreviations such as ‘et al.’ and ‘e.g.’ use periods, whereas others such as CV and AD don’t? Periods are typically used if the abbreviations include lowercase or mixed-case letters. They’re usually not used with abbreviations containing only uppercase letters.

Unusual Scenarios

The response to our workshop, which included a constructive and insightful Q&A session, was very positive.Drawing on our extensive experience working with hundreds of Hong Kong researchers targeting the GRF and ECS every year, we used examples of poor and subsequently improved proposals to show the attendees how they can make their applications stand out. The response to our workshop, which included a constructive and insightful Q&A session, was very positive.Drawing on our extensive experience working with hundreds of Hong Kong researchers targeting the GRF and ECS every year, we used examples of poor and subsequently improved proposals to show the attendees how they can make their applications stand out. The response to our workshop, which included a constructive and insightful Q&A session, was very positive.Drawing on our extensive experience working with hundreds of Hong Kong researchers targeting the GRF and ECS every year, we used examples of poor and subsequently improved proposals to show the attendees how they can make their applications stand out.

Author Resources

Check out AsiaEdit’s professional research grant proposal editing service. Read more about our training services covering all aspects of academic writing tailored for local institutions.

More resources on research grant proposal writing: On-demand Webinars Preparing an effective research proposal – Your guide to successful funding application Preparing an effective research proposal – Your guide to successful funding application (Part 2)

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Felix is a BELS-certified academic editor with a decade of experience in editorial operations and management . He is passionate about science communication and takes pride in helping researchers disseminate their work. Felix has been with AsiaEdit since May 2020.

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  • Cover Letter Writing Guide - Penn Career Services  - A writing guide on cover letters prepared by Penn Career Services that covers the purpose of cover letters, cover letter etiquette,  
  • Job Search Letters - Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)  - These OWL resources will help you write job application letters, thank you and follow up letters, as well as effective acceptance and rejection letters. Also included are links to other OWL resources geared for entry-level and skilled labor positions.
  • Microsoft Office Templates - Access a wide selection of MS Word templates with formatting for various styles of resumes and cover letters. 

Cover Art

  • Skill Sumo Future Proof: How to Craft a Cover letter This video, from Academic Video, will teach you how to craft a cover letter.
  • What to Include in the Resume and Cover Letter. From Sage Video, this online tutorial provides tips for developing your resume and for writing cover letters.
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  • Last Updated: Feb 20, 2024 9:17 AM
  • URL: https://guides.library.upenn.edu/WRIT0020-302


  1. Sample Cover Letter For Research Paper Submission : Learn about writing

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  4. Publishing Journal Articles: Strategies for your Success


  1. How to write a cover letter for journal article submission

    Get a quote What should my cover letter include? Before you start to write, please check the instructions for authors (IFAs) of your chosen journal, as not all journals will require one. You should also check the IFAs for any journal specific information on what to include.

  2. Cover letters

    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.

  3. Cover letters

    Sample Cover Letter for Manuscript Submission (PDF, 73KB) Sample Cover Letter for a Revised and Resubmitted Manuscript (PDF, 91KB) Last updated: July 2022 Date created: September 2019 Cite This Webpage

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

    Updated 02/12/2023 As seen in: 4 likes comments Every day, you help the world to move forward. Conducting research, performing tests, and working on scientific experiments are a part of your routine. The data you've collected must be processed and presented in a neat manuscript. But wait. Who's going to read it? Oh, right.

  5. Journal Article Publication Letters

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

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

    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.

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

    Publishing and Ethics / By Edanz-Learning-Team 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.

  8. How to make cover letters instructive

    Novel, promising and transformative work, and platform technology with untapped potential are examples of swiftly skipped words in the angular gyrus of an editor's brain as they skim through a...

  9. Writing a cover letter

    Writing and formatting 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

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

    1. Title of the paper and corresponding author details: Although mentioning these details seems obvious, you should ensure that these are included in your cover letter. 2. A short summary of your findings: In just 3-4 sentences, you should summarize the most important findings of your study. It would be best to avoid technical details here.

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

    Dear Dr. Simpson, I am enclosing a submission to the Journal of Poetry and Psychology entitled "Poetry and the Cognitive Psychology of Metrical Constructs." The manuscript is 40 pages long and includes four tables and two figures. I wish for the manuscript to be given a masked review.

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

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

  13. How to Write a Cover Letter for Journal Submission

    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.

  14. 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 ...

  15. Writing a Cover Letter for Journal Submission

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

  16. What should be included in a cover letter?

    Last updated on March 08, 2022 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.

  17. Submitting your manuscript: Write the right cover letter

    Submitting your manuscript: Write the right cover letter. 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 ...

  18. How to choose a journal and write a cover letter

    A good cover letter need only includes a few key features to effectively support your submission. First, address the editor by name, but be sure you have the right name and the correct name of journal, especially if you are submitting to a second or subsequent choice journal.

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

    1. Review the list of requirements Often, a journal has a list of requirements for writers to follow when submitting a piece of work. It may require that you include certain documents, like previously published work or legal compliance documents.

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

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

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

    When you submit an article or manuscript for publication in a journal, it's a good idea to include a cover letter. Cover letters can help give the journal editor a better understanding of what your paper is about and why it could be a good fit for their journal.

  22. Cover Letter For Journal Submission: Sample and Tips

    Dear Dr. James Brower, My name is Dr. Eileen Ninja. I am respectfully submitting the attached article: "Impacts of Urban Ecological Restoration on Healthcare Outcomes" on behalf of my colleagues (Dr. Jensen Williams, and Byron James) for publication in 'Modern Ecology Journal'.

  23. How To Write A Cover Letter For Journal Submission

    A. Writing a Cover Letter for Your Manuscript. Step 1: Address the recipient professionally. Step 2: State the manuscript essentials (e.g., title & type) Step 3: Summarise your study. Step 4: Meet journal-specific requirements. Step 5: Include standard declarations. Step 6: Sign off professionally.

  24. Critical Writing Seminar: Craft of Prose : Cover Letter Resources

    Knock 'em Dead Cover Letters (eBook) by Martin Yate. ISBN: 9780996662321. Publication Date: 2015. Step-by-step guide for how write cover letters and every type of letter you will use in a job hunt. How to build, edit and polish professional letters for maximum impact and how to use them to get four times the interviews.

  25. How to write an engineer cover letter (With examples)

    Adapt these steps and guidelines as you see fit, as they are a good template for writing a good engineer cover letter. The steps are as follows: 1. Research the role and company. Before you start writing, you need to acquaint yourself with the company you are applying to and the specific role. An effective cover letter should always be tailored ...