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Do you always need a cover letter for manuscript submission?


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Ya, I've never submitted without a cover letter. Def more than a formality at some journals since you can't submit with the online submission system without uploading a cover letter. It is a good chance to argue your point. I know that some editorial committees/editors will look at in detail it before deciding to send your ms out for review. I have seen cover letters that just say "Thank you for your consideration of this manuscript, titled 'How I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb.'" But those were rejected.

 

I have never seen a cover letter when reviewing a paper, so I think it is considered for the editorial office's eyes only, if that helps.

 

Did your supervisor give you the okay to submit a paper and you guys hadn't thought about the cover letter? Happens to me all the time. I just poach sentences from the abstract, end of intro and start of discussion and try to hobble one together myself. It helps that I have a jpg of my boss' signature and his letter head to work from. Keep it short!

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Thanks! Gah, more work...yea being first author is no walk in the park. And all this work could be for nothing if no publication acceptance *sighs*. Oh well, good learning experience I guess.

 

What about word count? Where do you start counting words? Just from the "abstract" to the end of acknolwedgments?

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Yo, you are almost there! Once it is submitted, there is nothing to do for a few weeks. You can take a minute to rest on your laurels. My very first first author paper we submitted to a dinky little online journal and they rejected it, but we had done so much more in the meantime that we resubmitted it to a solid journal and it got accepted! Getting the acceptance letter... that experience was one of the moments that helped me fall in love with research. Acceptance letter the day before CIHR apps due --> CIHR funding --> more research --> solid grad student app for med school --> acceptance!

 

Depends on the journal for word count. Usually I go from the beginning of the intro to whatever is right before the references start. Figure/table legends do not usually count. Some journals want everything included though.

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