Cover Letter For A Paper

How To Write a Cover Letter for a Research Paper
The cover letter written to accompany a research paper when it is submitted for publication in a scientific or academic journal offers an unparalleled opportunity to persuade a busy editor that the manuscript merits serious consideration, fits the journal’s publishing agenda and is worthy of peer review. Accordingly, cover letters are notoriously difficult to write well, and many concerns and priorities must be juggled to achieve a professional and effective letter.

It is always wise to begin by consulting the journal’s guidelines for authors. Any instructions relevant to cover letters and their content should be followed with precision. You may be asked to state that the research is original, that it complies with the journal’s ethical standards, that all authors have approved the manuscript, that there are no conflicts of interest and that every trace of authorial identity has been removed from the manuscript in preparation for blind review. It is also common to confirm that the paper has not been submitted or published elsewhere. If part of the research has already been presented or published, explain this carefully, highlighting what is new in the manuscript you are submitting. Even if information of this kind is not requested in a cover letter, it is usually helpful to provide it.

Information about potential reviewers for your paper can be a little trickier. If your field of study is extremely small or highly specialised, such a list might prove particularly helpful for the editor, but it is generally best to mention experts by name only if the journal requests this either in its guidelines or via personal contact. If you are providing a list of possible reviewers, be sure to make your decisions on ethical intellectual grounds and not to include anyone for whom there may be a conflict of interest –a co-author, for instance, or close colleague would be inappropriate. Avoiding specific names while describing with precision the type of knowledge and expertise required to assess your research adequately can be a diplomatic alternative.

Your cover letter should certainly describe your manuscript and publishing intentions clearly. Open with the fact that you are submitting your research paper for publication in the journal, and be sure to provide the titles of both your paper and the journal. Then you can briefly describe your topic and its background, your research questions and methods, and your findings and conclusions as well as the gaps they fill in current knowledge or the practices they may affect. The primary goal is to convince the editor that your research is necessary, your findings important and your paper of interest to readers of the journal who will ultimately cite your work. Since a cover letter should be fairly short (a single traditional page is ideal), you will need to be selective as well as concise and choose information that successfully highlights the unique strengths and significance of your research. A sincere and objective assessment of your work and its meaning will be more effective than unsubstantiated exaggeration and grandiose claims.

Thinking from the perspective of the journal editor can be most helpful. Widen your view beyond imagining what publication in the journal will mean to you and your career by recognising that the relationship between author and publisher is a symbiotic one. Try to focus on how your paper fits the journal’s aims and scope. Why did you decide to send your writing to that particular journal? How does your work relate to articles it has already published, especially in recent months and years? Why would your research be of interest to the journal’s readers? How might they make use of your methods, results and conclusions? Familiarising yourself with the journal, its publications, its aims and its scope will help you prioritise and phrase key descriptions of your work.

Ensure that you write your cover letter with extreme care and then proofread, edit and revise your prose until it is polished to perfection. It is essential that you communicate with the utmost clarity and that your letter promises the editor an equally well-written paper, so errors in language, awkward wording and logical ambiguities must be avoided at all cost. Jargon should also be avoided, and elements such as discipline-specific terminology and unusual abbreviations and acronyms are best if used sparingly and carefully defined, keeping in mind that the journal editor may not share your specialisation. The format of a traditional business letter will enable a tidy presentation of the current date, your name, title and contact information as well as the name, title and contact information of the editor. Be sure to use a proper salutation such as ‘Dear Dr Smith,’ to maintain a polite professionalism throughout your letter and to express gratitude for the editor’s consideration before formally signing off.

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Our editing services for authors of scientific papers and books are especially popular, but we have the experience and expertise to proofread and edit books in every scholarly discipline as well as beyond them, and some of our carefully trained proofreaders and editors work exclusively on helping students improve the formatting and language of their theses and dissertations. Whether you are preparing a conference paper for presentation or publication, polishing a professional report to share with your colleagues, or tackling the daunting task of editing and perfecting any kind of academic or scientific document, a qualified member of our expert team can provide invaluable assistance and give you greater confidence in your written work. Our translation services for scientific and academic documents have also proven immensely helpful for many of our international clients.


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Three Cover Letter Templates to Journal Editors
Each cover letter is unique, and those addressed to journal editors by scientists and academics when they submit their writing for publication are no exception. As an opportunity to present original research in the best possible light, a cover letter is indispensible for persuading a busy editor that a manuscript is worthy of peer review. A letter can only achieve this goal, however, if it is well written, contains everything the particular journal’s author instructions request for cover letters and offers specific and detailed information about why the research reported and the paper itself are perfect for the journal and of special interest to its readers. The originality that should characterise an excellent cover letter therefore prevents the wholesale use of a universal template without significant alterations, but the three sample letters that appear below may prove helpful for scholars who are planning, formatting and drafting a professional cover letter to a journal editor.

The content of the three sample letters is entirely fictional, with the dates, names, titles and situations invented. The specifics pertinent to your own research, your manuscript and the journal you are targeting will give you the raw material to emulate these templates. The format of a traditional business letter has been observed, so contact information for the authors and editors has been provided as complete mailing addresses. This formality may not be strictly necessary when communicating with a journal editor via email, where such details are often truncated, but the complete forms are always acceptable, and proper names and titles are a necessity. If possible, the official letterhead of the university, department or other research body with which you are affiliated should be used along with your name, phone number and professional email address.

Descriptions of the research and manuscript in each of the three examples have been kept simple so that the meaning will be clear to readers of all specialisations, but there are certainly successful cover letters that delve into a good deal more detail. Letter 2 below, for instance, might productively say more about the specific lights used and tomato plants grown and provide numbers and percentages as well. Do keep in mind, however, that the clarity and accessibility offered by a short and simple approach is also valuable, particularly when writing to an editor who may not share your precise specialisation.

Letter 1 adopts the perspective of a doctoral candidate who has rewritten the literature review chapter of his thesis as a bibliographical study and is seeking publication for the first time. Letter 2 introduces a research paper written by several authors and demonstrates how to act as the corresponding author when submitting a multi-author manuscript. Letter 3 posits that the author met the journal editor at a recent conference where an earlier version of the paper now being submitted for a theme issue of the journal was presented.

Letter 1: A Doctoral Candidate Seeking His First Publication

Joe Student
Department of English
University of the Western Shore
San Francisco, CA, USA 98765
777-999-8888
joestudent@westernshore.edu

Dr. Brian Editing
Editor-in-Chief
Journal of Analytical Middle English Bibliography
New York, NY, USA 12345
editorinchief@jamebiblio.com

November 8, 2017

Dear Dr. Editing,

I am writing to submit my article entitled ‘A Bibliography of Hoccleve Studies from the Fifteenth Century to 2017: Patterns of Readership and Response’ for publication in the Journal of Analytical Middle English Bibliography. This manuscript is based on a chapter of my doctoral thesis, supervised by Dr Hoccleve Specialist, and has not been published or submitted elsewhere for consideration.

I believe this manuscript is appropriate for the Journal of Analytical Middle English Bibliography because it combines a complete list and critical summary of previous studies with an in-depth analysis of not only individual contributions, but also the larger patterns of scholarship and their possible significance through the centuries. As I argue in the paper, the autobiographical nature of Hoccleve’s writing and the bouts of madness he claims to have experienced are topics upon which perspectives and approaches swing on a particularly long pendulum. Shifts in opinion regarding the literary quality of Hoccleve’s poetry are similarly striking. Current trends and the annotated Hoccleve bibliography will likely prove of special interest to many of your readers, enabling future research and encouraging scholarly self-awareness.

If you decide to consider the manuscript for publication, I suggest the following two experts as qualified reviewers:

Dr. Medieval Scholarship
Professor of English, Southern University
medscholar@southern.edu

Dr. Manuscript Expert
Director of Medieval Studies, Northern University
msexpert@northern.edu

Many thanks for your time and consideration. I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Joe Student

Joe Student
Ph.D. Candidate and Teaching Assistant
Department of English
University of the Western Shore

Letter 2: A Corresponding Author Submitting an Article Written by Several Researchers

Jane Researcher
Private Plant Research Institute
9201 Pink Greenhouse Place
Coquitlam, BC, Canada, V0V 1A1
604-604-6044
janeresearcher@plantinstitute.ca

Dr Samuel Botanist
Managing Editor
Growing Our Greenhouse: A Journal of Current Research
2020 Glass Hill
Colorado Springs, CO, USA, 59678
samtheorchidman@gogjournal.com

November 22, 2017

Dear Dr Botanist,

I am delighted to submit an original research article entitled ‘LED Lights Increase Vitamin C Content in Greenhouse Cherry Tomatoes’ for publication in Growing Our Greenhouse: A Journal of Current Research. My colleagues and I at the Private Plant Research Institute in Coquitlam conducted the research and coauthored the manuscript; a full list of the names and affiliations of all ten coauthors is attached. We have all approved the manuscript for submission to Growing Our Greenhouse, and I have been chosen as the corresponding author.

The article is particularly appropriate for the journal’s section dedicated to the cultivation of fruits and vegetables. It is, in fact, a continuation of the research presented in our article ‘Can LED Lights Really Replace the Sun for Tomatoes?’ which was published in that section of Growing Our Greenhouse two years ago. Then we were analysing the results of our first two seasons of growing tomatoes under LED lights. One of the unexpected discoveries we made as we determined which plants and lights produced the best results was that vitamin C content appeared to increase when the ripening fruit was exposed to LED light.

The research reported in the manuscript I am submitting today was designed to investigate further the apparent increases in vitamin C. Its methodology is similar to that of our earlier study, but we used only those cherry tomato plants that we had already shown could thrive under LED lights. We also established a larger number of experimental groups to explore the effects of variables such as light colour, light intensity, hours of exposure, ambient temperature and presence or absence of sunlight. Our findings were convincing to say the least, with vitamin C content doubling and sometimes trebling in fruit exposed to additional LED light. Even fruit given only LED lighting and deprived of all natural sunlight far exceeded the vitamin C content of those tomatoes exposed to natural sunlight alone.

We trust that your readers will find our hands-on empirical method as effective as they have in the past and benefit from our practices and discoveries as they grow and experiment in their own greenhouses.

Thank you for your continuing interest and consideration.

Yours sincerely,

Jane Researcher

Jane Researcher
Research Director, Private Plant Research Institute

Letter 3: A Conference Participant Submitting a Paper to the Journal Editor She Met

Sheila Presenter
Chair, School of Business Management
Yorkshire University
2121 University Road
York, North Yorkshire, UK, YO33 7EE
01904 323232
spresenter@yorkschbusman.ac.uk

Dr Margaret Publisher
Editor-in-Chief
Journal of Innovative Business Studies
178B West Central Avenue
London, UK, EC9M 6BB
margareteditor@IBSjournal.co.uk

25 November 2017

Dear Dr Publisher,

It was a pleasure meeting you and discussing our similar interests at the Business Management conference in London a couple of weeks ago. As promised, I have revised my presentation and am submitting it for your consideration for the upcoming issue of the Journal of Innovative Business Studies dedicated to management innovations. The new title of the manuscript is ‘Empathy as a Management Strategy Yields Significant Increases in Efficiency and Productivity.’

You might recall that we discussed the challenges of reshaping my presentation, which was designed to generate in conference attendees the emotional responses it discusses, to conform to the structural requirements of the Journal of Innovative Business Studies. The journal’s author instructions were actually very helpful, and I believe the overall argument of the paper is now clearer as a result of the rearrangement. I also took a look at the recent Journal of Innovative Business Studies articles by Sally Scholar and John Researcher that you recommended. The former was particularly helpful and I have cited it more than once in my closing discussion. That discussion has benefited significantly from our long talk at the conference and I hope you do not object to my acknowledgement of your insight.

As you know, the research presented in the manuscript is original and has not been published or submitted elsewhere. My methods comply with the journal’s ethical standards, I have no conflicts of interest to disclose and I have removed all traces of my identity in preparation for blind review. I would respectfully request that Stephen Harsh not review the manuscript, however. His knowledge in this area is extensive, but you may remember from his comments at the conference that he does not share my approach to management or view my recent research with a positive eye. I believe the following two experts would serve as more appropriate reviewers of my paper:

Frederick Newapproach
CEO, Management Innovations UK Inc.
fnewapproach_ceo@managementinnovations.co.uk
Samantha Kindheart
Chair, Department of Business Management
University of the Wolds
skindheart@univofwolds.co.uk

I look forward to seeing you at the upcoming conference in Leeds. In the meantime, let me take this opportunity to thank you for your interest and consideration.

Best regards,

Sheila Presenter

Sheila Presenter
Chair, School of Business Management
Yorkshire University

Why Our Editing and Proofreading Services?
At Proof-Reading-Service.com we pride ourselves on our large and extremely dedicated team of academic and scientific professionals. Our proofreaders and editors are highly educated native speakers of English and their areas of specialisation range so widely that we are able to help our clients improve and perfect all kinds of research manuscripts for successful publication. Many members of our team work predominantly on articles intended for publication in scholarly journals, ensuring that formatting and references conform to author guidelines with precision and correcting grammar, punctuation, spelling and simple typing errors so that our customers are able to report their research in the clear and accurate ways required to impress acquisitions editors and earn publication.

Our editing services for authors of scientific papers and books are especially popular, but we have the experience and expertise to proofread and edit books in every scholarly discipline as well as beyond them, and some of our carefully trained proofreaders and editors work exclusively on helping students improve the formatting and language of their theses and dissertations. Whether you are preparing a conference paper for presentation or publication, polishing a professional report to share with your colleagues, or tackling the daunting task of editing and perfecting any kind of academic or scientific document, a qualified member of our expert team can provide invaluable assistance and give you greater confidence in your written work. Our translation services for scientific and academic documents have also proven immensely helpful for many of our international clients.


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