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  • How to write a cover letter for journal article submission

How to write a cover letter for journal submission

Download our cover letter template.

When you submit your article to a journal, you often need to include a cover letter. This is a great opportunity to highlight to the journal editor what makes your research new and important. The cover letter should explain why your work is perfect for their journal and why it will be of interest to the journal’s readers.

sample journal article cover letter

When writing for publication, a well-written cover letter can help your paper reach the next stage of the manuscript submission process – being sent out for  peer review . So it’s worth spending time thinking about how to write a cover letter to the journal editor, to make sure it’s going to be effective.

To help you, we’ve put together a guide to explain how to write a cover letter for journal article submission. You will receive cover letter instructions of what you should include and what you shouldn’t, and a word template cover letter.

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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. This may include a list of relevant articles written by you or your co-authors that have been or are currently being considered for publication in other journals.

Key points to include in your letter to the editor:

Editor’s name (you can usually find this on the journal page on  Taylor & Francis Online ).

Your manuscript’s title.

Name of the journal you are submitting to.

Statement that your paper has not been previously published and is not currently under consideration by another journal.

Brief description of the research you are reporting in your paper, why it is important, and why you think the readers of the journal would be interested in it.

Contact information for you and any  co-authors .

Confirmation that you have no  competing interests  to disclose.

sample journal article cover letter

Things to avoid:

Don’t copy your abstract into your cover letter, instead explain in your own words the significance of the work, the problem that is being addressed, and why the manuscript belongs in the journal.

Don’t use too much jargon or too many acronyms, keep language straightforward and easy to read.

Avoid too much detail – keep your cover letter to a maximum of one page, as an introduction and brief overview.

Avoid any spelling and grammar errors and ensure your letter is thoroughly proofed before submitting.

Key information for cover letter

Click to enlarge your PDF on key information to include in your cover letter .

Cover letter template

If you need further help to write a cover letter for a journal, you can download and use our sample template as a guide.

sample journal article cover letter

You might find that the submission system for your chosen journal requires your cover letter to be submitted into a text box rather than as a separate document, but it is still a good idea to write a draft first to make sure you have included everything.

Always make sure to check the journal’s  instructions for authors  for any specific additional information to include.

Submission ready

Use our submission checklist  to make sure you’ve included everything you need to.

If you need more guidance, take a look at our other  information and resources to help you make your submission .

sample journal article cover letter

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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.

TIP: All cover letters should contain these sentences:

Submission checklist

Before submitting your manuscript, thoroughly check its quality one more time. Evaluate it critically—could anything be done better?

Be sure that:

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How to Write a Cover Letter for Journal Submission

sample journal article cover letter

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:

Other commonly requested information:

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:

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:

[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.

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

Writing a Journal Cover Letter [Free Template]

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

effective cover letter closing

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:

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.

Journal Cover Letter Templates

Click here to download a Microsoft Word template for a standard journal cover letter (also available with instructions in Chinese , Japanese , Korean , Portuguese , and Spanish ). A full set of the information in this post can be found here .

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

Ben Mudrak, PhD

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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:

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

2. Opening salutation

3. Purpose statement and administrative information

4. Summary of main research findings and implications

Common phrases in this paragraph:

Summarizing the purpose of your research

Presenting your main results

Highlighting the relevance of your findings

5. Statements or information required by the journal

Previous contact with the journal

Conflict of interests and financial disclosures

Suggested reviewers

Request to exclude reviewers

Concurrent/duplicate submissions

6. Closing salutation and your contact information

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!

sample journal article cover letter

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sample journal article cover letter

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

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.

Key points to include:

Points to avoid:

Example 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:

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 )

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.

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sample journal article cover letter

Writing a Successful Journal Cover Letter (Free Templates)

sample journal article cover letter

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:

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:

sample journal article cover letter

“ 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 :

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 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.

sample journal article cover letter

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:

sample journal article cover letter

“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:

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:

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.

sample journal article cover letter

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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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

Roma Kończak

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:

Want to write your cover letter fast? Use our cover letter builder. Choose from 20+ professional cover letter templates that adapt to your content and already have all the formatting in place. Make your document look perfect with zero effort! 


cover letter for journal submission example

That’s a sample cover letter for a journal submission made with our builder. See more cover letter templates and create your cover letter here .

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

[email protected]


Bangalore, 01.02.2022

Chief Editor

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: 

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:

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

Interested in writing a cover letter as well? Read more: How to Write a Cover Letter in India: 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.

Cover Letter for Journal Submission Sample

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:

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 .

When making a resume and a cover letter in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check . Start building a professional resume template here for free .

Create the perfect resume

When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.

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:

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.

The reviewers.

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:

matching set of cv and cover letter

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

Key Takeaway

This is the easiest formula to write a cover letter for journal submission:

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!

Roma Kończak

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