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Matt Weiner

As one of many area editors at Ergo, I'm not sure that there's even a means to include a cover letter with a submission, and if someone included a cover letter I wouldn't see it. And I'm pretty sure every submission gets sent to one area editor or other. So I'm pretty sure that in this case, preparing a cover letter would be pointless.


I cannot read Harmon's mind, but I do not think she means that once you have submitted an R6R to one journal you can also send it out to another - while waiting for a decision. I think she meant: instead of sending it to the journal that invited you to R6R, you can send it to another journal instead.

Marcus Arvan

@mindreader: yeah, she meant that one can submit to another journal after receiving an RnR verdict at the first journal (and then later submit the RnR to the first journal if the paper is rejected at the other one). I see how my OP here didn’t make that suitably clear. I’ve altered the post to make this clearer.


In the past, I've ignored the cover letter box for journal submissions; however, I recently sent an article to Mind & Language without a cover letter and they sent it back saying that I had to resubmit with a cover letter. The cover letter I ended up writing them was only a few sentences long saying that I was the sole author of the paper and that it wasn't under review anywhere else, and that seemed to be enough to get the article into the review process.


My standard cover letter is normally boiler-plate, two short sentences. I have done customizable cover letters on initial submissions before. Normally, I do them if there is some special issue--trying to explain why I think the paper does fit the aims of the journal, or how the paper seems superficially similar to something they published but is quite different, etc.

My impression is that many scientific journals care much more about impact factor and citation that philosophy journals. So some norms in the sciences may include listing things like conferences where the paper has been presented at. Those would indicate that the paper is not only good enough to be accepted, but good enough to receive lots of citations.

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