Cover letter for article submission to journal?


Hi there..

I'm having my first encounter with trying to publish something, and am a bit confused regarding the role of the cover letter for the submission of articles. The journal I'm targeting wants four copies of the article in paper for first submission, and doesn't state anything about cover letter policies. I have read conflicting information about this on the net -- some say you should advertise your paper and state why the journal should publish it, others say a few lines of "enclosed you find blabla for your consideration" would suffice. My supervisor seemed to think the latter variant ok, but I'm still a bit confused. How do you normally do it? I'm in the social sciences, in case that's relevant.


I'm not accustomed with this approach to submitting articles to journals.

But, if I were doing this, I would agree with what your supervisor says. I may consider adding an additional page with a short abstract or synopsis so it's easy for the editor to decide who are the most appropriate people to read it.


Also I'm thinking to include two versions of the file on the disk, one with my details the other one without my name etc for blind review. Is this a good idea? Or are the author details normally stated in the cover letter and the article file is without any names etc.?

Sorry if this is a daft question to ask, thing is the journal doesn't state any e-mail address of the coordinating editor (otherwise I would have asked her) and my supervisors are away.


Yes, abstract and biographical note are included on the first page (they asked for two title pages for each print, one without and one with the personal details). I just thought it feels a bit silly to simply stick the paper copies into the envelope without any accompanying letter. But I think you are right and I'll just keep the letter short, matter-of-factly and not redundant.


Don't know if you've already posted this off now, but I found this article helpful:

Gump, Steven E.
Writing Successful Covering Letters for Unsolicited Submissions to Academic Journals
Journal of Scholarly Publishing - Volume 35, Number 2, January 2004, pp. 92-102

You can get it as an e-journal if your uni subscribes.


Thanks a lot, alicepalace and missspacey!