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As a researcher who has invested time and effort perfecting a manuscript after years of research, you might be aware of how disappointing it is to receive a “revise and resubmit” notice from your target journal.
The good news, however, is that there is still scope for your manuscript to be accepted subsequently—an outcome which is far more desirable than a complete rejection!
How can you improve the chances of your manuscript getting accepted upon resubmission? A well-written cover letter accompanying your manuscript can definitely help!
So, what is a cover letter?
A cover letter is a brief document that introduces your research, submitted along with the manuscript. Here are a few important points to note about it:
- It is usually written and submitted by the corresponding author.
- It is required by most peer-review journals.
- It should include the name of the editor and the journal, the importance of the manuscript, and other relevant details.
- It should include the date of and a brief statement to note the resubmission
What tips should you follow to write a cover letter for resubmission?
Here are some important tips you can follow to ensure that your cover letter is appreciated by the editors and prompts them to revisit your work:
The cover letter to the editor should be brief, formal, and polite. Even if the remarks on your manuscript are rude, do not get upset. Remember that they are not a criticism of you as an individual, but about your work. They are meant only to improve your work.
Provide accurate details
Include your manuscript details such as the title, the corresponding authors’ names, the manuscript number, and a brief statement to note the resubmission.
Draw attention to the changes made
Highlight all the changes you have made to the manuscript. This will form a positive impression on the editor and encourage him/her to consider that your resubmitted work is fit for publication. For example: “I have made every attempt to fully address these comments in the revised manuscript.”
Be positive in your approach
After mentioning the changes you have made to your work, acknowledge that your reviewer’s comments and feedback have helped you enrich your manuscript. For example: “I believe the additional analyses discussed above have helped to substantially improve my manuscript.”
Respond to specific comments
Make sure that you respond to every comment of the reviewers or the editor separately. In case you were unable to make the changes, explain or state the reasons underlying the same. For example: “This is a good point that has led to a rewrite of this section of the paper. As suggested, I agree that…”
Include a note of thanks to the editor for the opportunity to improve and resubmit your manuscript. For example: “I would also like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude/thanks to the reviewers for the positive feedback and helpful comments that supported these revisions.”
Add a preview for the content
Do not forget to add an at-a-glance roadmap on how and where to check for revisions in the manuscript. It will make it easier for the editor or reviewers to go through the draft. For example: “Below, I have outlined how I have handled Reviewer 1’s comments. I have reiterated each suggestion in (bold/italics).”
In addition, ensure that you dedicate sufficient time to draft the cover letter. This way, it will not come across as a last-minute, hurried addition, but as an informative, comprehensive, and well-thought-out document.
Despite these tips, should you still require help, Elsevier Author Services is here to help you. Our experts can guide you through the entire process and help you produce an excellent paper ready for publication!