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How to Write a Cover Letter for Journal Submission
If you’re looking for solid advice on how to write a strong journal submission cover letter that will convince journal editors to review your research paper, then look no further! We know that cover letters can impact an editor’s decision to consider your research paper further.
This guide aims to explain (1) why you should care about writing a powerful cover letter, (2) what you should include in it, and (3) how you should structure it. The last segment will include a free downloadable submission cover letter template with detailed how-to explanations and some useful phrases. Finally, be sure to get journal manuscript editing , cover letter editing , and other academic editing services by Wordvice’s professional editors to ensure that you convey an academic style and error-free text, along with including all of the most important content.
Why does a good cover letter matter?
While your research paper’s role is to prove the merits of your research, a strong introductory cover letter is your opportunity to highlight the significance of your research and “sell” its concept to journal editors.
While your research paper’s role is to prove the merits of your research, a strong introductory cover letter is your opportunity to highlight the significance of your research and “sell” its concept to journal editors.
Sadly, we must admit that part of the decision-making process of whether to accept a manuscript is based on a business model. Editors must select articles that will interest their readers. In other words, your paper, if published, must make money . When it’s not quite clear how your research paper might generate interest based on its title and content alone (for example, if your paper is too technical for most editors to appreciate), your cover letter is the one opportunity you will get to convince the editors that your work is worth further review.
In addition to economic factors, many editors use the cover letter to screen whether authors can follow basic instructions . For example, if a journal’s guide for authors states that you must include disclosures, potential reviewers, and statements regarding ethical practices, failure to include these items might lead to the automatic rejection of your article, even if your research is the most progressive project on the planet! By failing to follow directions, you raise a red flag that you may be careless, and if you’re not attentive to the details of a cover letter, editors might wonder about the quality and thoroughness of your research. This is not the impression you want to give editors!
What to Include in a Cover Letter for a Journal Submission
We can’t stress this enough: Follow your target journal’s instructions for authors ! No matter what other advice you read in the vast webosphere, make sure you prioritize the information requested by the editors of the journal you are submitting to. As we explained above, failure to include required statements will lead to an automatic “ desk rejection ”.
With that said, below is a list of the most common elements you must include in your cover letter and what information you should NOT include:
- 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.
Corresponding Author Institution Title Institution/Affiliation Name [Institution Address] [Your e-mail address] [Tel: (include relevant country/area code)] [Fax: (include relevant country/area code)]
Additional Contact [should the corresponding author not be available] Institution Title Institution/Affiliation Name [Institution Address] [Your e-mail address] [Tel: (include relevant country/area code)] [Fax: (include relevant country/area code)]
Quick Cover Letter Checklist Before Submission
- Set the font to Arial or Times New Roman, size 12 point.
- Single-space all text.
- Use one line space between body paragraphs.
- Do not indent paragraphs.
- Keep all text left justified.
- Use spelling and grammar check software. If needed, use a proofreading service or cover letter editing service such as Wordvice to review your letter for clarity and concision.
- Double-check the editor’s name. Call the journal to confirm if necessary.
- SpringerLink shop
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].
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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English Editing Research Services
Writing a Successful Journal Cover Letter (Free Templates)
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.
“ 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.
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.
- 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.
“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].
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.
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.
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.
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 .
Cover letter sample for paper publish
- Why choose INNSpub
- Aim and scope
- Rapid publication
- Affiliated journals
- Peer-review process
- Manuscript preparation
- Plagiarism policy
- Special issue track
- APC information
- Cover Letter
- Copyright Agreement
- Article sample
- Publication certificate
The cover letter is a key document that tells the editor that you are submitting your manuscript for consideration. It should draw the editor’s attention, give information about the originality and importance of your findings, and specify that all authors have approved of the submission and the manuscript has not been submitted to more than one journal concurrently. In the world of writing, this cover letter is called a query letter. Part informational, part sales pitch and the query letter should summarize your manuscript and sell it as a good match for the publisher’s audience. You also must describe your credentials and exhibit enthusiasm for your work. Strong cover letters not only introduce your manuscript – they offer an important opportunity to influence journal editors to consider your manuscript for publication. After preparing your manuscript and selecting a target journal, one more task remains before submission i.e., writing a cover letter. Before you initiate, check your target journal’s author instructions for any cover letter requirements, such as certain specifically worded statements. No matter what else you decide to include, always make sure that your cover letter contains any required information and statements described in your target journal’s author instructions. Every cover letter should contain the following elements:
- The manuscript is original (i.e., you wrote it, not copied it)
- An introduction stating the title of the manuscript and the journal to which you are submitting.
- The reason why your study is important and relevant to the journal’s field.
- The question your research answers.
- Your major experimental results and overall findings.
- The most important conclusions that can be drawn from your research.
- A statement that the manuscript has not been published and is not under consideration for publication in any other journal
- A statement that all authors approved the manuscript and its submission to the journal.
- Any other details that will encourage the editor to send your manuscript for review.
- There are no conflicts of interest to disclose
- List potential reviewers ( only if requested by the journal )
- Mention any researchers who should not review your manuscript
Format of a Cover Letter
Subject: Submission of a manuscript for evaluation and publication in your reputed journal
I am enclosing herewith a manuscript (research article/review article/short communication/scientific essay/letter to editor) entitled “Title of the manuscript” for possible evaluation and publication in “Journal name” of ‘Publisher name’. The Corresponding author of this manuscript is …………………………………. and the contribution of the authors as mentioned below with their responsibility in the research.
Detail of each author with his/her contribution to this paper is as under:
With the submission of this manuscript, I would like to undertake that:
- All authors of this research paper have directly participated in the planning, execution, or analysis of this study;
- All authors of this paper have read and approved the final version submitted;
- The contents of this manuscript have not been copyrighted or published previously;
- The contents of this manuscript are not now under consideration for publication elsewhere;
- The contents of this manuscript will not be copyrighted, submitted, or published elsewhere, while acceptance by the Journal is under consideration;
- There are no directly related manuscripts or abstracts, published or unpublished, by any authors of this paper;
- I have no conflicts of interest to disclose;
- My Institute’s (Put the name of your institute here) representative is fully aware of this submission.
The present work was completed during the “…………” period as a part of the “……………” project. The work was done under the supervision of “………………” working in “…………..” organization/ institute. The project was sponsored by (If any) “……………” and……………… were the significant findings of this article. If you feel that the manuscript is appropriate for your journal, we suggest the following reviewers, but we do respectfully request that “Name of a reviewer” not review our manuscript:
[List reviewers and contact info, if requested by the journal]
Waiting for your positive reply.
(Signature of the corresponding author on behalf of all authors)
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- Cover Letter
- Cover Letter for Journal Submission: Sample & How To Write
Cover Letter for Journal Submission: Sample & How To Write
You spent months doing research and documenting it in a neat manuscript. Make sure it gets published with this guide to cover letters for journal submissions
As seen in:
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. You must have an audience. But not just any audience—you need scientists like you to read and review your paper. And to reach them, you must send your work to scientific journals.
To make sure your groundbreaking findings get published in reputable journals, you must write a professional cover letter for journal submission.
This guide will show you:
- A cover letter for journal submissions better than 9 out of 10 others.
- A sample cover letter for manuscript submission that gets your work published.
- A step-by-step guide on how to write a cover letter for a journal submission.
- How a neat abstract can put your scientific career on the right track.
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Check this cover letter for journal submission sample:
Cover Letter for Journal Submission Sample
Sushmita Devi, M. Sc.
Psychology Research Fellow, Indian Institute of Psychology & Research, Bangalore
+91 82 97651366
The International Journal of Indian Psychology
Sardar Patel University
Vallabh Vidyanagar, 388120
Dear Mr. Sur,
I'm honoured to submit my manuscript entitled " Life dissatisfaction and anxiety levels among teenage Instagram users in Bangalore " to be considered for publication as a case report in The International Journal of Indian Psychology.
As a psychology research fellow at the Indian Institute of Psychology & Research in Bangalore, I have focused on working with youth from various socioeconomic backgrounds. While serving as a counsellor, I've noticed high general anxiety levels, body image issues, eating disorders, and overall life dissatisfaction among 13–18-year-olds who used Instagram regularly and extensively.
I’ve conducted interviews with 168 individuals who declared active use of Instagram, defined as posting on their profiles at least once per day and interacting with the platform for more than 4 hours a day. Each individual filled out a self-assessment questionnaire to provide an overview of their self-esteem and to describe their Instagram habits. After gathering this preliminary data, I have discussed the answers with each participant and further evaluated their mental health.
Since social media is increasingly recognized as a major influence on children and teenagers, it’s also more often seen as a problem by parents and teachers. I believe that the findings presented in my case report may appeal to child psychologists, counsellors, social workers, and educators. Understanding the correlation between Instagram use and mental wellbeing can lead to the creation of health campaigns and establishing ways to enhance the positive effect of social media while minimizing the negative outcomes.
This manuscript examines a different aspect of the issues covered in the following papers also published by The International Journal of Indian Psychology:
- "The effect of Instagram addiction on quality of life among undergraduate students in Mysuru" by Schwann S Akanksh, Lancy D’Souza, Manish S, published in December 2020.
- "Social Media Use and Social Anxiety among Adolescents" by Cheryl Jolly, published in February 2022
- "Social Media Usage and Social Appearance Anxiety in Young Adults" by Teresa Sharon M A, Zidan Kachhi, Dr. Deepthi Vijayan, published in August 2021.
I declare that this manuscript is original and has not been published before. It is not currently being considered for publication elsewhere. No financial support was received for this study.
As the only author, I have approved the final version of the manuscript and agree to be accountable for all aspects of this work.
I believe that the following individuals would be well suited to reviewing my manuscript:
- Dr. Ehsaan Muni, University of Calcutta, Associate Professor specializing in child and adolescent mental health disorders: [email protected]
- Dr. Nupoor Golla, Banaras Hindu University, Assistant Professor specializing in cross-cultural health psychology: [email protected]
- Dr. Baldev Mutti, Bangalore University, Assistant Professor specializing in child psychology: [email protected]
To the best of my knowledge, none of the above-suggested persons has any conflict of interest, financial or otherwise.
I look forward to hearing from you,
Indian Institute of Psychology & Research
St. Anthony's Friary, #85, Hosur Road, Bangalore-560095
See? Not that complicated! Yet, it brings you a few steps closer to getting that research paper published.
Thinking of improving on your resume to better present yourself to the academic community? Check this guide: How to Write a Resume for a Job: See a Good Sample & Guide
Now, let’s see how to write a cover letter for journal submission:
1. Start With the Proper Cover Letter for Journal Submission Template
Appearances matter. You wouldn’t wear a baggy T-shirt and shorts to an academic conference. In the same way, you don’t want your cover letter for journal submission to look sloppy.
Follow these steps to create a professional template:
Cover Letter for Journal Submission Checklist
- Add your contact information, degree, name of the institution
- List the editor’s name, the name of the journal, address, and submission date
- Greet the editor by name: Dear Mr./Mrs. XYZ
- Say the title of your manuscript
- Explain your motivation behind this paper
- Summarize the research in an abstract
- Highlight why readers might be interested in your paper
- Mention past papers from this journal that explored similar themes
- Add mandatory declarations
- Point to potential reviewers
- Regards + your info
Interested in writing a cover letter as well? Read more: How to Write a Cover Letter: Examples & Full Guide
2. Begin Your Cover Letter for Journal Submission Strong
Scientific journals receive hundreds of submissions on a daily basis. Even if your research is truly groundbreaking, they might overlook it.
Hoping to see your name in The Lancet ? Then start with putting it in your cover letter! Make sure to also include your contact information, degree, and the academic institution that backs you up. Then, list the information of the chief editor you’re addressing.
But that’s not all!
The first paragraph of your cover letter for journal submission must present the title of your manuscript. It’s also worth noting the type of article, such as review, case study, research, etc. Then, explain why you’ve conducted your research and mention the main findings.
This example presents the themes of the manuscript in a clear and concise manner. It includes all the essential information.
While the title of the article sounds promising, the information provided by the author doesn’t explain why they chose this particular subject and what they focused on.
Pro Tip: Many journals, including Nature , Science , and Elsevier , list the exact information required in the cover letter for journal submissions. Make sure to check the requirements of your preferred journal before writing your cover letter!
3. Put the Abstract in the Middle of Your Cover Letter for Journal Submission
The editor’s attention spiked after the intro, but now it dropped.
Because you started rambling about your unique findings without mentioning how you got to these conclusions. They’ve decided you’re just a dreamer with no facts to back up your ideas.
Don’t try to shake the world—first, prove you know what you’re talking about:
- Describe your scientific methods and type of data you’ve collected.
- Mention why your study is important and who might benefit from it.
- List articles that covered similar themes.
See? There’s no need for a lengthy essay here.
Check this cover letter for journal submission sample to see what I’m talking about:
Cover Letter for Journal Submission—Middle Part
You’ve got it all! This shows the editor you know what you’re talking about. You aren’t a pseudo-scientist trying to push your intuitive beliefs on others.
Ouch. That’s really vague. It doesn’t seem convincing—maybe the author isn’t really a scientist?
Pro Tip: Writing about your research in English may not be as natural to you as chatting with fellow researchers over lunch. Studies show that many papers from non-English speaking authors are regularly rejected by editors because of incorrect grammar. If you need to improve your language skills, consider joining courses specifically for scientists, such as Coursera’s English for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics .
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4. Add Mandatory Declarations to Your Cover Letter for Journal Submission
Now, this is a very easy part.
Most journals require authors to include various statements. They provide backing for the journal in case of legal issues.
Those may include:
- Statement that none of the material has been previously published or is currently under consideration for publication in another journal
- Statement that informed consent was obtained for investigations on humans
- Statement that animals’ care during the study was in accordance with local guidelines
- Statement regarding possible conflict of interest, funding sources, competing interests, etc.
To make sure you included all required clauses, always check the requirements of the journal.
Cover Letter for Journal Submission—Mandatory Clauses
It’s clear and easy to understand. The required statements are covered here.
There aren’t enough details here. It’s always best to just paraphrase the clauses listed in submission requirements.
Pro Tip: Always be upfront about a potential conflict of interest, especially when your research was financed by a private institution. There’s no shame in getting private funding! In the U.S., over 70% of research and development is funded by the private sector .
5. Finish Your Cover Letter for Journal Submission
Now it’s time for the last step: the ending!
But before you can click “send” on your submission, there’s one more important thing.
That’s one of the goals of your submission—to get your article reviewed by other scientists. This way, you become more trustworthy. It will also help to gain interest in your research, which might lead to future job opportunities.
Think of 3–5 persons from the academic community who might be interested in your research. It’s best if they study similar themes or published articles on related topics. Pay attention to potential conflicts of interest!
Cover Letter for Journal Submission—Ending
It’s pretty clear why these individuals could be interested in reviewing this article—they all specialize in similar topics.
A great cover letter that matches your CV will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here . Here's what it may look like:
See more cover letter templates and start writing.
This is the easiest formula to write a cover letter for journal submission:
- Use the proper format for a cover letter for journal submission to make sure you include essential information.
- State the reasoning behind your article.
- Show your methods to prove you’re a serious scientist.
- Point to readers who could benefit from your research.
- Include mandatory statements.
- Mention potential reviewers.
Now get to writing!
Not sure how to customize your cover letter to the journal’s requirements? Having trouble describing your research methods? Leave a comment below. I’ll be happy to assist you!
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