Example of a poor cover letter, (from Springer):
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,
A Researcher, PhD
❖ 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.
❖ If known, address the editor who will be assessing your manuscript by their name. Include the date of submission and the journal you are submitting to.
❖ First paragraph: include the title of your manuscript and the type of manuscript it is (e.g. review, research, case study). Then briefly explain the background to your study, the question you sought out to answer and why.
❖ Second paragraph: you should concisely explain what was done, the main findings and why they are significant.
❖ Third paragraph: here you should indicate why the readers of the journal would be interested in the work.
Take your cues from the journal’s aims and scope. For example if the journal requires that all work published has broad implications explain how your study fulfills this. It is also a good idea to include a sentence on the importance of the results to the field.
To conclude, state the corresponding author and any journal specific requirements that need to be complied with (e.g. ethical standards).
TIP: All cover letters should contain these sentences:
Before submitting your manuscript, thoroughly check its quality one more time. Evaluate it critically—could anything be done better?
Be sure that:
❖ The manuscript follows the Instructions for Authors
❖ All files are in the correct file format and of the appropriate resolution or size
❖ The spelling and grammar are correct
❖ You have contact information for all authors
❖ You have written a persuasive cover letter
Make sure all files in your article are in the prescribed format.
Submission Guidelines from Duke University Press, (The Philosophical Review)
The Journal of Family Theory & Review publishes original work consistent with our mission.
GENERAL: Manuscripts must be submitted online. For detailed instructions on uploading your manuscript, please visit the Journal of Family Theory & Review online submission site http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/jftr and log on. If you need assistance select Get Help . Once logged on select Author Center, and then select Submit a new manuscript. If you do not have a user ID, click the Create an account icon and follow the online instructions. Any major word processing software may be used for the preparation of manuscripts, and both DOS-based and Macintosh operating systems are acceptable. The author checklist must be completed during the submission process.
Please note that all submissions are prescreened for suitability. Papers that fail to comply with manuscript preparation guidelines may be rejected without peer review at the discretion of the Editor, particularly in cases where the paper does not comply with APA style guidelines, or clearly falls outside the scope of the journal.
The Journal of Family Theory & Review is a peer-reviewed journal published by the National Council on Family Relations.
Please note that the web link is to a commercial journal submission service, ScholarOne Manuscripts. There is a fee for this service. See their Author User Guide.