Making Your Career through Publishing Original Papers

Cover Letter

Now that online electronic submissions are becoming the most common method of submission of manuscripts for consideration for publication, many international journals are paying increasing attention to the cover letter. To help the Editor-in-Chief decide on the importance and area of the content of the paper, and on whether publishing ethical details such as COI disclosure have been attended to, it facilitates matters if these are described in the cover letter. If the field of specialty of the manuscript is clear, the Editor-in-Chief finds it easier to decide on what associate-editors or reviewers to send the paper to for evaluation.

Samples of Cover Letters

Cover Letters

For Original Research Papers (Word:29KB) Word

For Case Reports (Word:30KB) Word

For Editorials (Word:30KB) Word

For Review Articles (Word:29KB) Word

For Resubmission (Word:30KB) Word

Important elements to consider including

According to the Recommendations (formerly the Uniform Requirements), our cover letters include the most of important points. However please check the following list to ensure that you cover any other less usual points that may be requested by the Instructions to Authors, or the letter from the Editor-in-Chief, but have not been included in the above formats.
For example, if you need to specify possible redundant publication, you should not only cite the paper, which may be or may not contain redundancy, and include a copy of that paper so that the Editor-in-Chief may make an informed decision.

A cover letter should include:

  • Type and format of the submitted article
  • A mini-abstract in the 2nd paragraph (if required)
  • State that the manuscript follows a checklist provided by the target journal, if any.
  • State the assignation of the copyright, if required.
  • Specify possible redundant publication.
  • State financial or other potential conflicts of interest (COI) in detail.
  • State that all authors have read and approved the manuscript.
  • State that all authors have met the requirements of authorship.
  • Suggest 3-4 suitable potential reviewers.
  • Names of reviewers whom you do not wish to be involved in the review process, with the reason
  • Contact information of the corresponding author: name, address, telephone, fax number, and e-mail address

Some journals require COI disclosure on the electronic submission form to complete the submission or resubmission, but even so, a COI disclosure statement in the cover letter will certainly not hurt.

Watch the related lecture videos in "How to Create Your Academic Career"