• Most journals require a cover letter to be submitted with a manuscript
  • Many ask that statements regarding funding, conflicts of interest, or copyright transfer be included in this letter – be sure to comply!
  • Some will ask for a brief overview of your paper – this is your opportunity to summarize your entire manuscript in one or two sentences! Leave out all background or introductory information, and simply state what you found and why it’s important.
  • If a journal accepts different types of articles (reviews, original articles, images), be sure to state what type of article you are submitting
  • Many journals ask authors to suggest reviewers or even editors for their manuscripts: take advantage of this! If you know experts in the field, especially if they are favorable to your hypotheses or studies, suggest them as reviewers for your manuscript. While reviews are still anonymous (the reviewers won’t know whose paper they are reviewing), the journal will appreciate the suggestion(s) as this saves them time and likely helps you with knowing your paper is in the hands of a colleague who knows the subject matter well. This will also likely help speed up the review process.
  • Close the letter by thanking the editor or journal for their consideration of your work
  • Place the letter on official department, division, or professional letterhead

Sample Cover Letter


Dr. John Smith, Editor-in-Chief
Journal of Ophthalmology

Dear Dr. Smith:

We are submitting our manuscript entitled “Taking antioxidants plus zinc reduces the risk of advanced age-related macular degeneration for high-risk patients,” for consideration for publication as an Original Article in Journal of Ophthalmology. This work has not been previously published and is not currently under consideration for publication  elsewhere. All authors have contributed significantly and have read and approved the submitted work.

Results from our randomized, controlled trial of drug X demonstrate significant improvement in patient symptoms. Drug X is a simple, cost-effective treatment that clinicians can implement easily and quickly into routine practice.

[Any required text: disclosures, funding, author participation, IRB/ACUC approval]

Thank you for your consideration of this manuscript. We look forward to hearing from you.


A. Thomas Jones, MD
Associate Professor