Presubmission inquiries allow you to ask several editors from different journals at the same time whether your paper might be something they would be interested in seeing. Although it is unethical to submit your paper to multiple journals simultaneously, this is allowed for these inquiries. This can save you time by having editors tell you that this is not a subject that they would publish, and for the one with the most positive feedback, you have them anticipating your submission, which can make it stand out from the competition.
The presubmission inquiry should summarize your study in one or two pages; include the abstract and why you think that your paper would be appropriate for that journal. You can and should do this before the paper is finished. Editors and associate editors often attend scientific meetings.
Introduce yourself to them and develop a professional relationship. Offer to review for them and explain why you are a good reviewer for specific topics.
Tell them about your research and invite them to your talk or poster. Tell them what you like about their journal and offer ideas for making it stronger.
Table If you can, include a few of these elements in your cover letter. Naturally, however, some reviewers will be biased against your study, and getting a fair evaluation from them would be difficult. Many journalists permit — even encourage — authors to submit the names of potential reviewers, and obviously, the editor will screen out colleagues at your institution and your previous coauthors. If possible, recommend a reviewer who understands your point of view, keeps an open mind, and is qualified to evaluate your paper. Remember, the first thing that some reviewers look for is whether you referenced their previous publications and whether you commented favorably on their findings.
You can avoid insulting the recommended reviewers by including their relevant publications in your references but stay within ethical boundaries. Recently, authors were caught recommending themselves and colleagues as reviewers for their own paper using fake e-mail addresses.
You can also recommend a very specific type of expert who would be qualified to review your research without naming someone. Further, let the editor know whether there is anyone you do not want to review your paper. Editors usually honor these requests. You and your coauthors should discuss the list of preferred reviewers at least several days before you begin the online submission. Principle — Be candid about what information in your paper has been published or presented before.
Reassure the editor that the information in your paper has not been published before. Also state that you will not submit the manuscript to another journal until the review process is complete.
Be sure to describe and submit a copy of any part of the research that has been published e. Also, tell the editor about any closely related papers but then explain what NEW information this paper provides. On the title page and in the cover letter, identify the author who is responsible for manuscript negotiations. Make sure that the address is clear and complete, especially if it is outside the country of the target journal.
Although few authors do this, you should be aware that providing information about yourself and your coauthors can be helpful at some journals; at others, it makes no difference.
In your cover letter, you can briefly provide information, such as your credentials and the experience that makes you uniquely qualified to write this paper. Although you may have explained in the Methods section where the study was conducted, in the cover letter, you can explain the advantages of conducting a study there. Explain that each coauthor has seen and approved the final draft of the manuscript.
Be concise and focus on the key elements of your study, the ones you think are especially noteworthy. Instead of explaining everything, define very well the main points, focusing on the findings relevant to the journal. The third paragraph should point out how your study will interest the readers of the journal. Describe how your manuscript contributes to the field and how it is pertinent to the journal by referencing other work recently published in the journal.
If possible, point out how your paper builds on, or is otherwise directly linked to a paper previously published in the journal.
Describe what is known in the field, what new information you are presenting, how your study is novel, and how it offers direct applications, including further research studies that can be based on your findings. You should mention the manuscript has not been previously published and is not currently in press, under review, or being considered for publication by another journal.
Also, mention whether there are any potential conflicts of interest.
All authors approved the final version of the manuscript and agree to be accountable for all aspects of this work. This post contains some tips, which can also be found in our downloadable resources:. I am about to submit a medical case report and have no…. Sign up to get job alerts relevant to your skills and experience. You are now a Monster member—and you'll receive more content in your inbox soon. Get Updates.
If the study involved human subjects or an animal experiment, state that informed consent was provided or appropriate ethical standards were followed. Some journals require that you provide a list of possible reviewers. Be sure to provide their complete contact information. If any of the journal editors has expressed interest in your work during a prior interaction for example, on social media or at a conference , mention this in your cover letter.
Some journals require the inclusion of specific information and the use of certain phrases in the cover letter. They also might have some formatting constraints, such as font size, length, etc.