What is the ideal length of a cover letter?
I will shortly submit my first manuscript. The journal requires a cover letter to be submitted. Although I know what to put in the cover letter, I am not sure how long it should be? Please help.
Congratulations on completing your first manuscript!
There is no ideal length for a cover letter. However, a lot of journals specify guidelines for what they would like mentioned in the cover letter. You would have to carefully check the author guidelines for things they would like included in the cover letter as well as the length of the cover letter they are expecting and tailor the cover letter according to their requirements. However, there are some basic points that you can keep in mind while drafting your cover letter such as-
- Keep the letter clear and concise. Do not describe things too much in detail. Briefly describe whatever is essential for the editor to know. Try to restrict your content to a single page, unless the journal has specifically asked for a longer letter or more details.
- Emphasize on why your article is a good fit for the journal. Talk about how your paper fits the aims and scope of the journal.
- Talk about how your work is unique and how it contributes significantly to your field of research.
- Mention essential information such as- publication of the work previously in the form of a thesis, presentation of the work at a conference, publication of the paper on a pre-print server etc. Also mention if there are any potential conflicts of interest.
- Also an important point to keep in mind is that you need to personalize the letter, find out the name of the editor of the journal and address him/her by name. Do not use a generalized salutation.
Additionally, if you need professional help with drafting your cover letter, Enago’s publication support offers you a Cover Letter Drafting service. These cover letters are carefully drafted by our journal experts and editors to make your research stand out from the competition. We will help you communicate the novelty of your research in crisp, clean prose that demonstrates the importance of your findings thereby increasing the chance of acceptance by the journal.