Formal Cover Letter for Scientific Journal Submission

Writing a scientific article for respectable journals is long, existing and time consuming process for the young scientists in most of the disciplines. Above all of that hard work in which proving hypothesis or quoting respectable articles published in other journals, the young scientists often neglect the fact that a Cover Letter for scientific journal is requested as a prerogative for an article to be published. Only with a proper cover letter addressed to the editorial board or the editor of the journal the article could be published, because without that reference the article could be easily rejected by the referrals of the journal. The letter is in fact a guide to the contents of the article, so many of the journals with good reputation will value the cover letter as much as the article itself and without it, will not go further with consideration of the paper. Therefore, writing a cover letter for scientific journal’s article submission should be taken seriously and thoroughly. In the following line we will try to write some advices for this kind of letter.

  1. How irrelevant it may seems the use of the same text format and language as in the article is essential when it comes to this kind of cover letters. Also, if the writing style is more formal or scientific, the cover letter should also be written in the same manner, as the addressing the editorial board or the editor of the scientific journal. Informality is not appreciated as the letter is about to be sent to a highly scientific people, usually academic professors so it should be written highly formal demonstrating that the author should strive towards highest standards of writing and behavior in general. Having in mind that the most of the articles are presented at conferences or workshops, an information about the intention of presenting the article should be incorporated in this letter. As character of the letter is highly formal, the structure of the paragraphs should be polite, academic and scientific and sentences long and structured. Layout of the letter should be standardized, containing the names and surname of the person(s) that is addressed to and the name and surname of the sender at the bottom of the letter
  2. The cover letter should prove that the author possess a writing style and maturity in order to become a published author. So it is important that the letter is tailored for the purpose, or to be adjusted to the journal that is aimed for. Every cover letter should be written as specially created for the scientific journal board or editor that is sent to, and adjusted like it is a motivational or cover letter for a job application. Also, it is of particular importance that the cover letter contains a proper description of the paper and the knowledge that it is going to be shared by publication of the article, in addition to the explanation of the contribution that the paper brings to certain scientific field.

In addition of the explanation of the purpose of the research contained in the article, the researcher should explain some of the methods used in the paper of to mention some of the articles used in research. Mentioning such references may sound as irrelevant, but it should enhance the chances of publication of the research, especially if the references or methods are original.

  1. Quality of a research is based upon the capacity to be explained to readers that are not experts in the field of that research. Having that in mind, research in the cover letter should express the paper and research contained in terms that it will enable variety of experts to be familiar with the topic and the key findings of the research. This explanation is aimed for the editors that are experts in the field of research but not in the special subtopic covered by the paper. So the writer should imagine that s/he is explaining the topic to an intellectual person which is non-expert in the field. Finding the proper measure between triviality and expertise in the process is essential when it comes to explaining the research in the letter
  2. Every article is written to have impact and to bring influence in the scientific circles of the journal or the author, so it is important that the impact should be explained and thoroughly expressed in the cover letter. The impact of research is important not just for the author but also for the institution in front of which s/he is affiliated with. The impact will also affect the visibility of the research and the reputation of the journal that is accepting it for publication, so paragraphs explaining the impact are crucial in the cover letter for scientific journal article publication.
  3. In order to sustain the respect and language of the letter, author should avoid using specific phrases but instead it is better to express himself/herself with own words, because only with clear language that is similar with the one used in the article, the author will gain reputation not just by the editorial board of the journal, but within the scientists in the specific area. That reputation is important for future professional development of the author.