【學術期刊投稿信Cover letter要怎麼寫?】

學術寫作技巧

學術期刊投稿信 COVER LETTER

 

投稿信(cover letter)有什麼功能?

研究論文主要是證明研究的價值,而具有說服力的投稿信則是你向期刊介紹其重要性並將想法「洗腦」給期刊編輯的機會。

遺憾的是我們必須承認是否接收論文的其中一個主要因素是期刊的商業模式,編輯必須選擇能引起期刊讀者興趣的文章,也就是說論文必須要能夠幫期刊賺錢。 如果無法從論文的標題與內容判別能夠引起多少讀者興趣時,投稿信就是你說服期刊編輯的重要機會。

除了經營模式之外,許多期刊編輯也利用投稿信來篩選出沒有跟隨指示的投稿者。 舉例,期刊的要求作者在投稿信寫入介紹、推薦審稿者與道德實踐的陳述等內容卻出現缺漏,這樣的投稿信極可能導致被拒稿。不論該研究有多厲害,從作者錯失這些細節來看,很容易被認為作者粗心隨意,更可能進一步質疑研究品質與研究完整性。

投稿信(cover letter)應該要包括?

再次強調,照著投稿期刊的作者須知寫! 不論網路上或從別人那邊聽來了什麼資訊,期刊要求的內容都是優先順利。再強調一次剛剛講的,無法跟從期刊指示的話,會被拒稿。

接下來介紹一般需要包含在投稿信內的以及不可以出現的內容:

必要資訊:

  • 編輯姓名(確知的時候)
  • 你投稿的期刊名
  • 論文標題
  • 文章類別 (review, research, case study等)
  • 提交日期
  • 研究的簡短背景介紹與研究目的
  • 研究方法的簡介
  • 對科學界的意義 (該研究能如何促進我們對某概念的理解)
  • 通訊作者聯絡方式
  • 該論文先前沒有被刊登過也沒有接受其他期刊的發表審核以及所有作者都同意授權投稿到該期刊

一般常見需提供的資訊:

  • 該期刊先前發表過與自己論文類似的文章清單
  • 你或共同作者曾經參與過的論文清單或正在接受其他期刊審查的相關研究論文清單。你可以包含這些論文複本。
  • 提及任何與編輯先前有過的討論(例如:你之前在某個研討會與編輯討論過該主題)
  • 評估你的論文所需的技術專長
  • 推薦的審稿者以及他們的聯絡資訊
  • 必要的話,列出須避開的審稿者(此項也極可能在線上提交時被要求填入)
  • 其他期刊要求之陳述(例:符合道德規範、利益衝突、作者一致同意投稿之陳述或版權登錄等等)

不應該寫入:

  • 不要寫太多專業術語或縮寫
  • 不要誇大研究的發現或其重要性。盡量避免使用“novel”、“first ever”和“paradigm-changing” 等字眼,因為這些字眼隱射出偏見,會讓編輯懷疑你是否能夠客觀評估自己的研究。
  • 不要炫耀作者  列出一些可能會對你論文有興趣的人跟作者的名聲並不會引起期刊編輯的興趣,他們只想知道是否你的研究符合期刊的範圍,所以請專注在強調其關連。
  • 不要寫太長 即使你想要把研究解釋得很完善,我們建議cover letter應該要濃縮在一頁。畢竟這是一個研究的總簡介,不應該太長。
  • 避免詼諧 我們知道作者都很希望能夠獲得期刊編輯的注意,想引起注意的方法有很多種,但請不要寫歪!

該如何架構投稿信(cover letter)?

建議使用正確的學術用語,而且現在很多投稿都是透過電子郵件,以下我們提供調整好的電子投稿信範例給大家。如果是郵寄PDF或紙本,把你的聯絡方式移到頁面的左上方,但如果你使用的紙是pre-printed,你的聯絡資訊則應該要在頁面的中間。

 

ANNOTATED TEMPLATE
Journal Submissions Cover Letter

 

[Journal Editor's First and Last Name][, Graduate Degree (if any)]
TIP: It’s customary to include any graduate degrees in the addressee’s name.
e.g., John Smith, MD or Carolyn Daniels, MPH
[Title]
e.g., Editor-in-Chief, Managing Editor, Co-Editors-in-Chief
[Journal Name]
[Journal Address]

[Submission Date: Month Day, Year]

Dear Dr./Mr./Ms. [Editor's last name]:

TIP: Where the editor’s name is not known, use the relevant title employed by the journal, such as “Dear Managing Editor:” or “Dear Editor-in-Chief:”. Using a person’s name is best, however. Also, websites may be outdated, so call the journal to confirm to whom you should address your cover letter when in doubt.

TIP: Use “Ms.” and never “Mrs.” or “Miss” in formal business letters.

TIP: Never use “Dear Sirs:” or any similar expression. Many editors will find this insulting, especially given that many of them are female!

[Para.1: 2–3 sentences] I am writing to submit our manuscript entitled, ["Title"] for consideration as a [Journal Name][Article Type]. [One to two sentence "pitch" that summarizes the study design, where applicable, your research question, your major findings, and the conclusion.]

e.g., I am writing to submit our manuscript entitled, “X Marks the Spot” for consideration as an Awesome Science Journal research article. We examined the efficacy of using X factors as indicators for depression in Y subjects in Z regions through a 12-month prospective cohort study and can confirm that monitoring the levels of X is critical to identifying the onset of depression, regardless of geographical influences.

TIP: Useful phrases to discuss your findings and conclusion include:

  • Our findings confirm that…
  • We have determined that…
  • Our results suggest…
  • We found that…
  • We illustrate…
  • Our findings reveal…
  • Our study clarifies…
  • Our research corroborates…
  • Our results establish…
  • Our work substantiates…

[Para. 2: 2–5 sentences] Given that [context that prompted your research], we believe that the findings presented in our paper will appeal to the [Reader Profile] who subscribe to [Journal Name]. Our findings will allow your readers to [identify the aspects of the journal's Aim and Scope that align with your paper].

TIP: Identify the journal’s typical audience and how those people can utilize your research to expand their understanding of a topic. For example, if many of your target journal’s readers are interested in the public policy implications of various research studies, you may wish to discuss how your conclusions can help your peers to develop stronger policies that more effectively address public concerns.

TIP: Include context about why this research question had to be addressed.

e.g., “Given the struggle policymakers have had to define proper criteria to diagnose the onset of depression in teenagers, we felt compelled to identify a cost-effective and universal methodology that local school administrators can use to screen students.”

TIP: If your paper was prompted by prior research, state this. For example, “After initially researching X, Y approached us to conduct a follow-up study that examined Z. While pursuing this project, we discovered [some new understanding that made you decide the information needed to be shared with your peers via publication.]“

e.g., Given the alarming increase in depression rates among teenagers and the lack of any uniform practical tests for screening students, we believe that the findings presented in our paper will appeal to education policymakers who subscribe to The Journal of Education. Although prior research has identified a few methods that could be used in depression screening, such as X and Y, the applications developed from those findings have been cost-prohibitive and difficult to administer on a national level. Thus, our findings will allow your readers to understand the factors involved in identifying the onset of depression in teenagers better and develop more cost-effective screening procedures that can be employed nationally. In so doing, we hope that our research advances the toolset needed to combat the concerns preoccupying the minds of many school administrators.

[Para 3: Similar works] “This manuscript expands on the prior research conducted and published by [Authors] in [Journal Name]” or “This paper [examines a different aspect of]/ [takes a different approach to] the issues explored in the following papers also published by [Journal Name].”

  1. Article 1
  2. Article 2
  3. Article 3

TIP: You should mention similar studies recently published by your target journal, if any, but list no more than five. If you only want to mention one article, replace the preceding sentence with “This paper [examines a different aspect of]/ [takes a different approach to] the issues explored by [Authors] in [Article Title], also published by [Journal Name] on [DATE].”

[Para. 4: Additional statements often required] Each of the authors confirms that this manuscript has not been previously published and is not currently under consideration by any other journal. Additionally, all of the authors have approved the contents of this paper and have agreed to the [Journal Name]‘s submission policies.

TIP: If you have previously publicly shared some form or part of your research elsewhere, state so. For example, you can say, “We have presented a subset of our findings [at Event]/ [as a Type of Publication Medium] in [Location] in [Year].”

e.g., We have since expanded the scope of our research to contemplate international feasibility and acquired additional data that has helped us to develop a new understanding of geographical influences.

[Para. 5: Potential Reviewers] Should you select our manuscript for peer review, we would like to suggest the following potential reviewers/referees because they would have the requisite background to evaluate our findings and interpretation objectively.

  • [Name, institution, email, expertise]
  • [Name, institution, email, expertise]
  • [Name, institution, email, expertise]

To the best of our knowledge, none of the above-suggested persons have any conflict of interest, financial or otherwise.

TIP: Include 3–5 reviewers since it is likely that the journal will use at least one of your suggestions.

TIP: Use whichever term (“reviewer” or “referee”) your target journal uses. Paying close attention to a journal’s terminology is a sign that you have properly researched the journal and have prepared!

[Para. 6: Frequently requested additional information] Each named author has substantially contributed to conducting the underlying research and drafting this manuscript. Additionally, to the best of our knowledge, the named authors have no conflict of interest, financial or otherwise.

Sincerely,

 

[Your Name]

Corresponding Author
Institution Title
Institution/Affiliation Name
[Institution Address]
[Your e-mail address]
[Tel: (include relevant country/area code)]
[Fax: (include relevant country/area code)]

Additional Contact [should the corresponding author not be available]
Institution Title
Institution/Affiliation Name
[Institution Address]
[Your e-mail address]
[Tel: (include relevant country/area code)]
[Fax: (include relevant country/area code)]

投稿信(Cover letter)最後檢查清單

  1. Set the font to Arial or Times New Roman, size 12 point.
  2. Single-space all text.
  3. Use one line space between body paragraphs.
  4. Do not indent paragraphs.
  5. Keep all text left justified.
  6. Use spelling and grammar check software. If needed, use professional proofreading and editing services such as Wordvice to review your letter for clarity and concision.
  7. Double-check the editor’s name. Call the journal to confirm if necessary.

投稿信(Cover letter)其他參考資源

  1. http://blogs.nature.com/methagora/2013/09/how-to-write-a-cover-letter.html
  2. https://www.springer.com/gp/authors-editors/authorandreviewertutorials/submitting-to-a-journal-and-peer-review/cover-letters/10285574
  3. http://www.biosciencewriters.com/Writing-Cover-Letters-for-Scientific-Manuscripts.aspx
  4. jgimed.org/authors/JGIM-cover-letter-templates.doc
  5. http://www.nature.com/ni/journal/v9/n2/full/ni0208-107.html

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