How important is it to include a cover letter with a manuscript submission?
It seems that opinions differ. A 2013 article in Science Careers asked if it was a “relic;” but in a recent editorial, a journal editor reassures his readers that yes, he reads every cover letter — and yes, it’s important. (If you agree with him, let us know in our poll, below.)
In “Dear Authors: We Do Read Your Cover Letters,” James Kenar, editor of the Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society, insists on their importance:
The cover letter serves as an important persuasive tool in an author’s arsenal. Used effectively, it provides an excellent opportunity for the author to communicate and lobby directly with the editor and grab their attention. The cover letter introduces the manuscript and supplies critical insights into the merits of the work to the editors. A concisely written cover letter is a valuable document that summarizes the research for editors and reviewers and may make the difference between a granted peer-review or outright rejection.
What do you think?
Hat tip: Rolf Degen
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