如何为期刊投稿撰写封面函

19 December 2021

要点速览:

  • 一封行文得体的封面函,能为期刊投稿锦上添花
  • 本文的 检查表 是撰写有效封面函的实用指引
  • 下载 我们的封面函示例,并以此作为范本

除了概述投稿论文的重点,你的封面函(cover letter,也称投稿信/自荐信)应该运用说服力「推销」你的作品,令编辑希望细阅全文,然后把它转交同行审稿人。

一般期刊每星期都会收到数以百计的投稿,所以一封好的原稿封面函,可以让你的作品脱颖而出。据本公司联席总编辑Rachel Baron博士解释,封面函写得不好,往往令人留下坏印象,做成反效果:

Your cover letter should not only summarise the key message of your submitted paper, but also convincingly “sell” your work and make the editor want to read the full paper and send it out to peer reviewers.

A good manuscript cover letter can make your submission stand out from the hundreds of submissions a journal may receive each week. A bad cover letter, on the other hand, may work against you by making a poor first impression, as explained by Dr. Rachel Baron, our Co-Chief Editor:

虽然过渡到数码投稿系统后,封面函的重要性有所降低,但是很多期刊仍然需要或建议投稿人在提交作品时附上封面函。例如,《 Nature》便表明:

“Although optional, the cover letter is an excellent opportunity to briefly discuss the importance of the submitted work and why it is appropriate for the journal.”

不论你的目标期刊有否要求你投稿时附上封面函,又或你无论如何都决定写上一封,花点心思和时间写出得体有效、令人印像深刻的封面函仍是相当值得的。我们将透过本指南为你展示如何以六个步骤实现这个目标。

A. 为原稿撰写封面函

第一步:注意上款称谓,显示专业细心

第二步:简列原稿重点(例如标题或种类)

第三步:概述研究

第四步:满足期刊特定要求

第五步:標準聲明

第六步:專業結語

整合全文速查表

B. 封面函示例[免費下載]

小提示:

你的目標期刊可能會要求封面函必須限制在1頁之內。即使不設頁數或字數上限,封面函最好還是在1至2頁內完成(單行間距),你應該善用有限空間作出最佳表述。

A. 为原稿撰写封面函

 

第一步:注意上款称谓,显示专业细心

写上款时应得体专业,向合适的收件人问好。切勿以「Hello」、「Greetings」或「To whom it may concern」等通用句子来做上款。

先浏览目标期刊的网站,以找出期刊编辑的名字,常见的职衔包括「总编辑」(Editor-in-Chief)、「主编」(Chief Editor)、「编辑」(Editor)、「行政编辑」(Executive Editor)或「责任编辑」(Managing Editor)等。主题范围广泛的期刊可能要求你联络负责个别主题或文章种类的资深或副主编。你可以从期刊写有「编辑委员会」(Editorial Board)、「期刊员工」(Journal Staff)或类似的页面上找到相关负责人。

 Dear Sir/Madam,

 Hello,

 Dear Dr Huang,

 Dear Mr Horton:

 Dear Ms Li

 Dear Editor-in-Chief:            (只有在你无法找到编辑姓名时才使用编辑的职衔)

视乎你遵循美式、英式或其他格式,上款(例如Dr. Huang还是Dr Huang)以至信函其余部份的标点符号写法也有所不同。我们建议你选定一种格式后在全信中贯彻使用。

 

第二步:简列原稿重点(例如标题或种类)

请于首段落说明信函目的。除了原稿标题也应包括投稿种类(例如原创研究论文、文献综述、研究简报、信函、个案报告)。请以目标期刊的术语来表明你的文章种类,这样可以显示你注重细节和熟悉期刊风格。

你也可在首段提及任何特别情况,包括此前曾否联络期刊,或原稿是否再次投稿。全信应以正式英语撰写,并采用一致的标点和拼写格式(例如以下第一个例子采用美式英语,而第二和第三个例子则为英式英语)。

 I am writing to submit my paper, “Title of your manuscript,” to Journal Name as an Original Article.

 On behalf of my co-authors, I am submitting the attached Brief Communication, ‘Title of your manuscript’, to Journal Name for fast-track consideration for the upcoming special issue on X.

 My co-authors and I were pleased to receive your favourable response of 1 April 2021 to our pre-submission enquiry regarding a state-of-the-art review on X. Accordingly, we would like to submit the enclosed manuscript, ‘Title of your manuscript’, for consideration for publication as a Review Article in Journal Name.

起首部份不应遗漏任何重要资料,包括标题、文章种类、期刊名称,切勿使用非正式英语,也不要过份进取。

Please consider my article for publication in your journal!

I’d be glad if you’d accept our paper for publication in Journal Name

小提示:

谨记检查目标期刊(及其主编)的名字均拼写正确,特别是把曾被拒发表的原稿向另一期刊投稿时。

第三步:概述研究

下一段是封面函其中一个最重要的部份,你应该在此说服编辑,说明你的原稿值得审阅。

虽然直接抄贴原稿摘要的想法非常吸引,但是封面函摘要的目的和风格均不尽相同。原稿摘要一般以类似的语言和类似的资料排序概述原稿(引言、方法、结果、结论),目的是吸引读者细阅全文。

虽然封面函摘要也应概述原稿,但应以投稿该期刊和相关领域的价值为焦点,务求说服编辑细阅原稿摘要。你应使用简明浅白、非专门性的语言,因为期刊编辑不一定是你所属领域或主题的专家。行文上也应避免自吹自擂、感情用事、过分随性或用词冗赘。

以你原稿的最重要讯息或特点做开始。你可以重点指出研究的新意,或介绍你所采用方法如何创新,也可以简述结论的长处。你也可以阐明原稿如何符合目标期刊的目标和范围,指出你研究的实用和理论影响如何与特定读者群息息相关。

Our 2-year trial of Z for X among Y shows that delaying Z administration to bedtime doubles its efficacy. This shift in timing is a simple, safe, and cost-effective way to increase drug efficacy and reduce X prevalence. The results are robust and applicable worldwide, given the strong study design (randomised cross-over trial of 1 million patients in 5 continents), and would be immediately useful for health care professionals who read Journal Name.

X is a horrendous affliction affecting half of Y. Currently, the most common treatment regimen for X is Z, but it is sadly only of 50% clinical efficaciousness. This milestone clinical investigation aimed to achieve a massive reduction in morbidity and mortality by effecting a great improvement in the effectiveness of Z as treatment of X among Y. Utilising a groundbreaking chronotherapeutic modality approach, we carefully designed a randomised cross-over trial…

小提示:

在两页长的封面函中,可进一步说明你为什么恳请考虑在某指定文章种类发表作品,又或提供希望加快刊登的理据;你也可以加入其他相关或具深入见解的资料。然而,请勿要求豁免投稿或出版费用,也不要建议由或不由哪位准审稿人进行审阅,除非期刊准许或要求你这样做(见下一节)。

第四步:满足期刊特定要求

某些期刊可能要求你在封面函中提供特定资料,最常见的相关资料包括:

  原作者
  资金、利益冲突
  渉及人类或动物实验的道德许可
  临床试验注册
  数据可用性或共享
  如原稿获接纳,所有作者是否愿意把版权转移给期刊

某些期刊会要求你表明原稿曾否被其他期刊拒绝,如属此情况便须附上上次审稿的报告和你的逐点回应。某些期刊也要求提供:

  所提交原稿所有作者的姓名和关联机构
  字数和图表总数
  补充档案的数目和大小
  作者是否愿意支付彩页费用
  封面图像建议

期刊也可能会要求或建议你列出可担任中立审稿工作的同行审稿人名单(包括所属机构和电邮地址),和/或你认为不应邀请担任审稿人的名单和理由。你也可能被要求从期刊网站的名单中,提名可以处理特定课题的副主编/学术编辑。你也可能被要求限定可用审稿模式(例如单或双匿名,或开放身份审稿),指明选用哪一种同行审稿的模式。

因此,请务必细阅期刊的作者须知Instructions for Authors)页。

举例来说,要满足 PLOS ONE 的要求「提供任何不应担任审稿人的名单」,你可以这样写:

✓  We request that Prof X from the University of Y not be invited as a peer reviewer, because the journal uses double-anonymised review, but we recently sent her a non-anonymised draft of our manuscript for informal pre-submission review.

✗  Please under no circumstances whatsoever, don’t send our paper to Prof X from the University of Y to review because she gave us a really negative review for another paper in another journal 3 years ago.

小提示:

满足期刊对封面函的所有要求和投稿要求(例如原作者/供稿作者和其他声明;版权转移表格;期刊有否要求原稿除了标题页外需不具名;或附带图表是否需要以独立文档提交),将可令你的出版旅程更加畅顺,也可避免因为重新投稿所致的延误。

第五步:标准声明

封面函末段应写上几乎所有期刊都预期你纳入的标准声明。例如:

表明所有作者均已同意向目标期刊投交原稿的声明:
  本文所有作者均已细阅及通过本原稿,并同意向《期刊名称》投稿。(All authors have read and approved the manuscript and have agreed to submit it to Journal Name.)

有关原创性和仅向该期刊投稿的声明:
  本原稿此前从未发表,且并没有由其他期刊考虑。(The manuscript has not been previously published and is not being considered by another journal for publication.)

有关使用有版权资料已获许可的声明:
  本原稿附有Chan et al. (2020) 发表的图表,并已获准在本原稿复制该图表。(Our manuscript includes a figure published by Chan et al. (2020). We have obtained the necessary permission to reproduce the figure in our manuscript.)

谁是通讯作者:
请注意我是本投稿的指定通讯作者。(Please note that I am the designated Corresponding Author for this submission.)

最后,以专业的文笔感谢编辑审阅你的投稿,但不要使用过份奉承或诚意不足的语气。

✓  We thank you for considering our submission and we look forward to hearing from you.

✗  We are extremely indebted to you for graciously considering this humble manuscript for possible publication in your highly esteemed journal. Please reply soonest! Thanks!

小提示:

请检查你的目标期刊有否要求你作出声明,并附上筹备中、已向其他期刊投稿、已向预印本网站投稿,或此前已在学术会议上发表的其他类似原稿副本。查明你的目标期刊会否视预印本发表为已曾出版。

第六步:专业结语

封面函应以专业方式签署和附上适当结语,并提供完整联络资料(包括:邮寄地址、传真号码、电话号码、电邮地址)。例如:

Yours sincerely,
[First and Last Name of Corresponding Author]
Job title
Department of _________
University of ________
University address
Fax:
Phone:
Email:

如果你在上款未有写上收件人姓名,而用了编辑职衔,结语便不应使用「Yours sincerely」而是换成「Yours faithfully」。

整合全文速查表

 
步骤任务重点
1注意上款称谓,显示专业细心找出期刊编辑的名字并以此为上款称谓,而不是使用通用开首问候语。
2简列原稿重点自我介绍(选填,因为你的签名/地址已清楚显示有关资料),列明原稿标题和投稿种类。
3概述你的研究,并解释你的原稿如何符合文章的主旨和范畴切勿一字不漏地重覆摘要。
4满足期刊特定要求请细阅作者须知,因为你可能需要提供某些指定资料,例如审稿人推荐名单。
5标准声明在信中附上关于向期刊投稿的一致决定、原创性、版权问题、通讯作者等的声明,并专业地感谢编辑。
6专业结语提供你的完整联络资料。
 

只要按照上述指引,你便可以写出一封得体有效的封面函。预祝你投稿成功!如果你需要其他编辑上的协助,欢迎电邮至 cs@asiaedit.com 联络我们。

我们草拟了一份原稿投稿封面函供你下载。封面函以美式英语撰写和附上有用注解,信中个案是虚构的,你可以自行修改细节。在定稿前,请按需要编辑或取代相关文字,并谨记删除所有注解。别忘记用字行文要正规,但避免使用专门技术用词和专业术语,缩略语可免则免,如需使用,请在其首次出现时以全写表达。

Our latest online workshop built on the success of face-to-face workshops we developed specifically for local universities. Over 30 faculty members joined the session, presented by our Chief Operating Officer, Mr Nick Case, to learn from our case studies on editing research proposals.

The response to our workshop, which included a constructive and insightful Q&A session, was very positive.Drawing on our extensive experience working with hundreds of Hong Kong researchers targeting the GRF and ECS every year, we used examples of poor and subsequently improved proposals to show the attendees how they can make their applications stand out.

QUICK ASIDE

Wondering why some abbreviations such as ‘et al.’ and ‘e.g.’ use periods, whereas others such as CV and AD don’t? Periods are typically used if the abbreviations include lowercase or mixed-case letters. They’re usually not used with abbreviations containing only uppercase letters.

Unusual Scenarios

Our latest online workshop built on the success of face-to-face workshops we developed specifically for local universities. Over 30 faculty members joined the session, presented by our Chief Operating Officer, Mr Nick Case, to learn from our case studies on editing research proposals.

The response to our workshop, which included a constructive and insightful Q&A session, was very positive.Drawing on our extensive experience working with hundreds of Hong Kong researchers targeting the GRF and ECS every year, we used examples of poor and subsequently improved proposals to show the attendees how they can make their applications stand out. The response to our workshop, which included a constructive and insightful Q&A session, was very positive.Drawing on our extensive experience working with hundreds of Hong Kong researchers targeting the GRF and ECS every year, we used examples of poor and subsequently improved proposals to show the attendees how they can make their applications stand out. The response to our workshop, which included a constructive and insightful Q&A session, was very positive.Drawing on our extensive experience working with hundreds of Hong Kong researchers targeting the GRF and ECS every year, we used examples of poor and subsequently improved proposals to show the attendees how they can make their applications stand out.

QUICK ASIDE

Wondering why some abbreviations such as ‘et al.’ and ‘e.g.’ use periods, whereas others such as CV and AD don’t? Periods are typically used if the abbreviations include lowercase or mixed-case letters. They’re usually not used with abbreviations containing only uppercase letters.

Author Resources

Check out AsiaEdit’s professional research grant proposal editing service.
Read more about our training services covering all aspects of academic writing tailored for local institutions.

More resources on research grant proposal writing: On-demand Webinars
Preparing an effective research proposal – Your guide to successful funding application
Preparing an effective research proposal – Your guide to successful funding application (Part 2)

关于作者

Felix Sebastian

Operation Specialist

Felix 是一位获 BELS 认证的学术编辑,并在编辑运营和管理方面拥有十年的经验。他对科学交流充满热情,并以帮助科研人员宣传他们的工作而感到自豪。 Felix 自2020年5月起加入AsiaEdit。

除了本文作者, Rachel Baron博士(AsiaEdit联席总编辑)与Trevor Lane博士(AsiaEdit教育顾问)均为本博客帖文提供了很多宝贵意见。

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