The cover letter is your opportunity to explain to the journal editor how your research is novel and why your manuscript should be published in the particular journal. A clear, direct and interesting cover letter can increase the chances of a journal editor sending your manuscript for peer review. Some journals require manuscript submissions to be accompanied by a cover letter, and also require specific statements to be included (e.g., conflict of interest; clinical trial registration; deposition of sequence data into public databases).
We have prepared two templates for you to use: a short version and an extended vdersion. Choose the template with the style and amount of content that you prefer.
The short version is likely to be most appropriate for case studies and short communications. It includes four main paragraphs:
- Introduction to the manuscript
- Broad context and objectives of the work
- Importance of the findings
- Required statements
The extended version will be more appropriate for full-length research articles. As such, it provides more detailed descriptions of the background, objectives and importance of the study. It also contains paragraphs on:
- Potential reviewers
- Excluded reviewers
Before you begin preparing your cover letter:
- Read the journal instructions to check their requirements for cover letters, for example, whether reviewers must be recommended
- Identify the novel aspect of your research and its importance
- Read the journal’s aims and scope and consider why your manuscript is suitable for the particular journal
Your cover letter is very important. It is your chance to impress the journal editor by clearly showing the significance and novelty of your research.