Write A Cover Letter For Research Paper Example: For Journal Submission

Trying to get your article submitted to a journal can be daunting, but a well-constructed cover letter is key to making a strong first impression. This guide is designed to help you craft an effective cover letter for your research paper, ensuring it stands out to journal editors.

From articulating the essence of your work to adhering to specific submission guidelines, we’ll walk you through the essential components and insider tips to elevate your manuscript’s chance for review and publication.

What Is A Cover Letter?

A cover letter for journal submission is a critical document that accompanies your research manuscript when you submit it to a scholarly journal.

It serves as your first point of contact with the journal editor and provides a brief introduction to your study.

Cover Letter For Research Paper Example

The cover letter highlights:

  • the significance of your research,
  • its relevance to the journal’s scope, and
  • why it would interest the journal’s readers.

It also asserts that your manuscript has not been published elsewhere and is not under consideration by any other publication, ensuring the originality of your work.

The cover letter should include a concise overview of your research question, methodology, major findings, and the potential impact of your study within the field. It’s also the place to suggest potential peer reviewers for your manuscript and disclose any conflicts of interest. 

Why Write A Cover Letter For Research Paper Submission?

Writing a cover letter for your research paper submission is more than a formality; it’s a strategic tool that can boost your manuscript’s chances of being published. Here’s why it’s crucial:

Introduces Your Work To The Editor

A cover letter introduces your work to the journal editor. It’s your chance to “sell” your research, explaining why it’s a good fit for the journal.

By highlighting the key findings and their relevance to the journal’s readers, you draw attention to the value your research brings.

This brief overview helps editors quickly grasp the significance of your work, even before delving into the manuscript.

You Can Suggest Potential Reviewers

This letter allows you to suggest potential reviewers who are familiar with your research area. This insider tip can be invaluable.

By recommending experts who understand the nuances of your work, you increase the likelihood of a fair and informed peer review process.

Remember, a well-conducted review is pivotal for your manuscript’s acceptance.

Clarify Authenticity And Exclusivity

Lastly, the cover letter is where you clarify that your manuscript has not been previously published and is not under consideration by another journal.

Cover Letter For Research Paper Example

This statement upholds ethical standards and reassures the editor about the originality of your work.

It’s also the place to mention any conflicts of interest, ensuring transparency and integrity in the publication process.

In essence, a well-crafted cover letter is your first step towards engaging the editor and peer reviewers, making it a critical component of your submission package.

How To Write A Good Cover Letter For Research Article Submission?

Writing a good cover letter for your research article submission is akin to laying a strong foundation before building a house.

It sets the stage for your manuscript’s review and potential publication. Here’s how to craft one that catches the eye of the journal editor.

  • Get The Basics Right: Use the journal’s letterhead if available, or include your contact information at the top. Address the letter to the editor by name if possible, ensuring a personal touch right from the start.
  • Go Straight To The Point: The opening line should clearly state the title of your manuscript and your intention to submit it for review.
  • Give An Brief Overview: In the heart of the cover letter, provide a brief overview of your research. Here, you’re not just repeating the abstract. Instead, you’re framing your study within the larger conversation of your field.
  • Show Novelty: Highlight the novel aspects of your research, its relevance to the target journal’s scope, and why it would interest the journal’s readership. This section is your chance to “sell” your manuscript, so make every word count.
  • Suggest Potential Reviewers: Don’t shy away from suggesting potential reviewers. This shows you’re engaged with the community and understand the field’s landscape. Be sure to exclude anyone with a potential conflict of interest.
  • Confirm Ethical Standards: Assure the editor that your research adheres to standards and that all co-authors have consented to the submission. If your manuscript builds on previous work, this is the place to reference it and explain how your study advances their work.
  • Be Clear About Exclusivity: A statement confirming that your manuscript has not been published elsewhere and is not under consideration by another journal is crucial. This transparency fosters trust with the editorial team.
  • Thank The Editor: Conclude with a respectful note thanking the editor for considering your work, perhaps mentioning that you’re happy to provide additional materials or information if needed. This shows your willingness to collaborate and ensures a positive tone.

Keep your cover letter concise, ideally to a maximum of one page. Every sentence should serve a purpose, whether it’s establishing the significance of your research, demonstrating its fit with the journal, or ensuring ethical compliance.

Remember, a well-written cover letter can make a significant difference in how your manuscript is perceived. It’s worth investing the time to get it right.

Research Paper Cover Letter Template For A Journal Submission

Sometimes, combining every tips into a letter can be difficult. In this case, you may find a template useful. Here’s one for you to consider:

[Your Name] 
[Your Institutional Affiliation]
[Your Department]
[Your University/Institute Address]
[Your Email Address]
[Today’s Date]

[Editor’s Name]
[Journal Name]
[Journal Address] 

Dear [Editor’s Name],

I am writing to submit our manuscript entitled “[Your Manuscript Title]” for consideration as a [Research Article/Case Study/Review Article, etc.] in [Journal Name]. This manuscript has not been published and is not under review elsewhere.

Our research examines [briefly describe your research question or thesis and the gap in the literature your work addresses]. We have found [describe your major findings briefly, and why they are significant].

Given the scope of [Journal Name], we believe our findings will be of interest to your readership as they [explain how your findings add value to the field and align with the journal’s themes].

We suggest the following experts as potential reviewers for our manuscript due to their expertise in [briefly outline the areas of expertise]:

[Reviewer 1 Name, Affiliation],
[Reviewer 2 Name, Affiliation], and
[Reviewer 3 Name, Affiliation].

We have ensured that there are no conflicts of interest with these suggestions.

All authors have approved the manuscript and agree with its submission to [Journal Name]. We confirm that this work is original and has been conducted in accordance with the ethical standards of [your field/your institution].

Additionally, any supporting data or materials required for the review process are available upon request.

Thank you for considering our manuscript for publication in [Journal Name]. We look forward to the opportunity to contribute to your journal.


[Your Full Name]
[Your Job Title/Position, if applicable]
[Your Institutional Affiliation]

[Co-Author Name(s) and Affiliation(s), if applicable]

Cover Letter For A Journal Editor: Keep It Simple

A well-crafted cover letter is your first opportunity to engage journal editors and advocate for your research paper’s publication. 

By succinctly summarising your study’s significance, ensuring compliance with journal requirements, and maintaining ethical standards, your cover letter can significantly influence the editorial process.

Remember, a compelling cover letter not only showcases your research but also demonstrates your professionalism and attention to detail, enhancing your manuscript’s chance of a favourable review.

The Author

Dr Andrew Stapleton has a Masters and PhD in Chemistry from the UK and Australia. He has many years of research experience and has worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow and Associate at a number of Universities. Although having secured funding for his own research, he left academia to help others with his YouTube channel all about the inner workings of academia and how to make it work for you.