Posted on January 20th, 2020 by Mª Amor Pérez-Rodríguez – Translation: Erika-Lucia Gonzalez-Carrion
The protocol rules dictate a series of guidelines for introducing a person. But what does it mean to present/introduce? The Royal Spanish Academy defines presenting as “Making manifestation of something, to put it in the presence of someone” and “Making the public known to someone or something.” Hence, in the case at hand, the cover letter for a publication in a journal, the protocol is to introduce and publicize the work that is submitted for the consideration of the editor or publishers.
Each journal has its own regulations and characteristics. Therefore, among the routines necessary for the acceptance of a work, the formal issues of the publication that we have selected must be thoroughly known. This will allow our cover letter to be in accordance with your requirements.
For its writing, we have to present evidence of the interest of the article that is sent. That is, to convince in terms of originality, quality, the contribution it implies and its possible impact on the field defined by the journal.
The composition of the cover letter will ultimately depend on the publication or sending standards established by the magazine. Some stipulate indications or requirements for its elaboration.
The main aspect, like any letter, is that it is addressed to the editor or publishers by name, to have the date in which it is sent and the name of the journal to which it is addressed.
The body of the letter must contain the most detailed and convincing information that can be elaborated, to anticipate the editor or publishers who receive the work, the benefits of it. This requirement usually serves the editorial team to make a first estimate of the interest and adequacy of the article to the thematic field of the journal. It also gives an idea of the rigor of the author or authors who subscribe to it as soon as they know the regulations and standards of a scientific publication. Finally, it implies a commitment on the part of these when presenting the relevance and opportunity of the manuscript as a significant contribution to knowledge.
In the cover letter is must be clear:
- The title of the manuscript and the type, depending on the typology that the selected journal accepts.
- The justification and purpose of the research that is presented.
- The contribution implied by the study and/or the main findings.
- The interest of the study for its dissemination among the scientific community and potential readers.
In relation to the impact of the paper, many journals value this aspect quite a lot when deciding on the acceptance of a manuscript. Therefore, it is important to check the quality, impact and visibility policies of the publication and establish in the text of the letter to what extent the article would contribute to it.
The letter must include the names of the authors of the manuscript and their roles.
And, finally, in the case of the presentation of a scientific text, our letter must accomplish with the parameters of idiomatic and stylistic correction that anticipate the good writing of the manuscript by itself.