Importance of submitting a cover letter during manuscript submission

A cover letter is an introductory letter that includes a brief about the type of research. An author prepares a cover letter featuring the key points about the research and subject area. It is an opportunity for authors to persuade and convince the editorial board why their research is worth publishing. By reviewing the cover letter, the editors decide whether the quality of the manuscript meets their journal standards

The authors should check the word count specified in the journal before writing the cover letter. Authors can note down the key points and draft a cover letter by checking the instructions and guidelines provided online. The cover letter contains relevant details about the research findings and the significance of the research.

A standard cover letter includes the key statements about the relevance of research and its benefits to the research community. It contains a summary of the manuscript where authors highlight the main research findings and conclusions. It helps the editors access vital information required to review the manuscript. A cover letter’s essentials are as follows:

  • Author’s contact information
  • Author’s affiliation
  • Argument
  • Outline
  • Title of research paper
  • Type of manuscript
  • Research background
  • Submission date
  • Statement of purpose
  • Summary of research findings/implications
  • Information as stated in the guidelines

Some journal publishers also expect information such as research methodology. Authors should leave an inquiry mail to the editors in case there are no guidelines available on the publisher’s website.

A cover letter is written to inform the editors about the following points:

  • Research objective
  • Similar papers published
  • Author’s contribution to the research community
  • Reason for publishing
  • Strengths of the research work
  • Previous review/submission of paper

Why should authors submit a cover letter?

A cover letter is written is to help editors review the manuscript and research quality. Submission categories and summary of the manuscript are included in the cover letter so that the editors can get an overview of the research. Authors should also provide information stating that their research work is original and that it complies with the ethical standards of the journal.

A cover letter reflects the quality of work done by the author and is indicative of the author’s manuscript drafting skills. It also works as the first point of contact between the author and the editors. Avoid excessive use of scientific terminologies and acronyms while explaining the objective and purpose of research. The author should focus on the following points while drafting a cover letter:

  • Address the problem areas, findings, and research implications
  • State the purpose of writing the cover letter and describe the article type and format
  • Do not use information or rephrase text from the abstract section
  • Submitting a cover letter shows that the author has followed the ethical research and publishing practices
  • Ensure that you have obtained ethics approval from the concerned institutional review committees
  • Discuss the relevance of research and explain what makes it important

What to include in the cover letter?

  • List of articles published by the author
  • Relevant work done by the author
  • Technical specifications to evaluate the manuscript
  • Names of potential reviewers
  • Disclosure or statements
  • Terms of submission

How to format the cover letter?

  • Use Arial, Times New Roman, or Calibri font, size 12 point
  • Use single spacing
  • Ensure one-line space between paragraphs
  • The entire text should be justified
  • Proofread and edit the text

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