Cover letters

A good cover letter will help "sell" your manuscript to the journal editor. It is not enough to send a manuscript to a journal editor like this:

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:

Common phrases:

  • Please find enclosed our manuscript, "[manuscript title]" by [first author's name] et al., which we would like to submit for publication as a [publication type] in [name of the journal].
  • To our knowledge, this is the first report showing...
  • We believe our findings would appeal to the readership of [journal name].
  • Please address all correspondence to:
  • We look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

All cover letters should contain these sentences:

  • We confirm that this manuscript has not been published elsewhere and is not under consideration by another journal.
  • All authors have approved the manuscript and agree with its submission to [insert the name of the target journal].

Submission checklist

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 completed online registration for the submission process for your target journal
  • You have written a persuasive cover letter
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