Most of the authors generally ignore the importance of a cover letter. Although it looks like a requirement, the cover letter is in fact a significant part of the submission procedure.
It provides the author with an opportunity to introduce his manuscript to the editor and tell them its significance.
The author can also explain how their manuscript fits into the ambit of the journal.
Cover Letter Definition:
The Cover Letter is also known as a covering letter, motivation letter, or letter of motivation that simply introduces you, it is generally attached to your resume or CV.
The cover letter highlights the novelty of the research and provides insights into the important key points of your study. It is suggested that the author should include a cover letter even when it is not mandatory.
As it is a very good option to catch the editor’s eye even before they decide to review the manuscript. The acceptance or rejection of your manuscript counts mainly on the merit of your cover letter.
To facilitate you, this article explains how to write a cover letter for successfully submitting your article in a reputable journal.
What to include in a cover letter?
You should first check the cover letter suggestions provided by the journal. This allows you to include all the necessary requirements. Occasionally, the journals recommend using specific statements or words and tone to write the cover letter.
It is also required by some journals to highlight important key findings and the novelty of your research paper in your cover letter. Hence, using them is beneficial. Following are some of the important things to include:
- The novelty of your research
- Highlight important key points of manuscript
- State objectives of the study and targeted solution
- State why this study fits the scope of that journal
- If known, use a name to address the editor
- Use the journal’s name where necessary
- Acknowledge that your paper is unique and no other journal is requested for submission.
- A brief note on the research you have done. It should explain its importance.
- If possible the letter should be typed on letterhead. Relevant headings should be included. The top-left of the letter should show your address and the date.
What is the format of a cover letter?
The recommended size for a cover letter is a page. However, the word count in a cover letter does not matter, if you be effective in the given range as stated by the journal.
Highlight the significance and uniqueness of your research, and try to relate it with the domain of the targeted journal. As for the format of the cover letter, bellow mentioned are some important tips:
How to write the introduction of a cover letter?
The introductory paragraph is the first paragraph of your cover letter. It introduces the author and states the objective of the letter. It also includes the title of the manuscript and the name of the journal.
How to write the body paragraph of a cover letter?
After the introductory paragraph comes to a body paragraph. This paragraph manifests the objective of the manuscript. In this paragraph bring questions that your research answers and major findings of your research.
You should also mention the importance and relevance of your manuscript. In short, mention everything you think would increase the interest of the editor and give sufficient worth to your work.
How to write the closing paragraph of a cover letter?
The closing paragraph confirms that the manuscript is not under consideration for a peer review in any other journal. In this paragraph, you can also state that the manuscript was reviewed by all the co-authors and recommended for submission to a journal.
The editors generally commend transparency, so mention possible conflict of interest. Finally, add some words to thank the editor for his consideration and end the letter. Don’t forget to write ‘Yours sincerely,’ your full name, title, and signature at the end of the cover letter.
What to avoid in a cover letter?
- Do not include the abstract of the manuscript in the cover letter. However, explain the objective of the research and its importance. Also, prove why it is fit for the journal.
- Don’t make the language difficult. Using too much jargon is not recommended. Ensure that your letter is straightforward and understandable.
- Succinctly mention all the relevant details. The letter should not be too long.
- The letter should not contain any grammatical or spelling mistakes. You should necessarily get it revised by a language expert.
- Never add humor. It does not give a positive impression. Give your letter a formal outlook.
Download Cover Letter Template for Manuscript Submission into a Journal
Our editorial board created a Cover Letter Template for our young researchers that they can use to submit their research manuscripts into the journals. This cover letter template is free to use and can be downloaded here:
MANUSCRIPT SUBMISSION COVER LETTER SAMPLE/TEMPLATE
Insert Journal Name here,
Insert Date here,
Subject: Submission of a Manuscript
On behalf of my co-authors, I would like to submit a manuscript as a research article enclosing herewith a manuscript entitled “Title of your research manuscript” for possible publication in ‘Journal Name here’.
This manuscript has not been submitted for publication nor has been published in whole or in part elsewhere.
I attest to the fact that all authors listed on the title page have read the manuscript, attest to the validity and legitimacy of the data and its interpretation, and agree to its submission to online ‘Journal Name here’.
The contents of this manuscript will not be copyrighted, submitted, or published elsewhere, while acceptance by the Journal is under consideration.
We confirm that we have read and have abided by the statement of ethical standard for manuscripts submitted to ‘Journal Name here’. The authors have no conflict of interest to declare.
Some aspects of our work:
1. Why is this topic important?
This study is a step forward towards the application of bio-derived organic-inorganic polymer composite material for the removal of cationic organic dye from wastewater.
2. Why are the results significant?
The results are significantly important due to the fact that these hybrid polymer composite materials can actually be used for the removal of organic dyes and possibly in future studies can be conducted for the hydrogen production aspect of this kind of polymer composite.
This means the results are of significant importance and I must mention that our polymer composite material ”Manuscript Title” rapidly removes the dye from wastewater in just under six minutes.
3. What is the key result?
‘Manuscript Title’ has a very high degradation rate as compared to only ZnS powder catalysts which are due to the excess of hydroxyl radicals in CBA and excess production of hydroxyl radicals in the reaction system from chemical as well as photocatalytic reactions.
4. What is the advance on previous work?
We claim our work to be more advanced in terms of faster and better dye removal efficiency by using a bio-derived inorganic-organic hybrid polymer composite material.
5. Why are you submitting it to this journal?
We believe that our work is a good fit for the readers of the ‘Journal Name here’ because some further major studies on this polymer composite material can be carried out to find its applications for removal of a variety of water containments as well as its use as a catalyst for hydrogen production.
This journal’s readers are the right people who will definitely be interested to understand the major aspects of this study.
6. Why will the journal’s audience be interested in this paper?
This paper is based on the synthesis and application of a novel inorganic-organic bio-derived hybrid polymer composite catalyst, which is one of the main niches of this journal.
That means the readers of this journal will definitely be interested in reading this paper as it is a new material and it can be used for a variety of other applications as well if synthesized with some further minor modifications that will definitely broaden its use.
7. What applications is the technology described in the manuscript going to be useful for?
We synthesized this bio-derived inorganic-organic hybrid composite catalyst for the application of dye removal from wastewater.
This kind of material can also find its applications in hydrogen production if synthesized with some minor modifications.
So, this study is of significant importance because it features a novel concept and material to make new polymers for a variety of different applications.
Please consider our work for inclusion in ‘Journal Name here’. I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest.
Engr. Yousaf Saeed,
Email: Insert email here,
Corresponding author; Name of Professor,
Email: Insert email here,
Insert Your Institute Name and address here.
My Recommendations on Writing a Cover Letter for Journal Submissions
Many journals allow you to a write list of potential reviewers and researchers with whom you don’t want to share your manuscript. Use this option very carefully when it is mandatory.
Besides, proofread the cover letter a few times and always look for expert advice. Remove unnecessary details. Every mentioned point should be directly related to the research.
Use scientific language and a professional tone while writing a cover letter for a journal.