Recommended JGIM cover letter format (4-5 paragraphs + reviewers)

By Derek Daniels,2014-04-17 23:17
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Recommended JGIM cover letter format (4-5 paragraphs + reviewers)

    Suggested JGIM Cover Letter Template

    Dear Author,

    Your cover letter is the first piece of your work that we read. We’ve included this template as a guide to ensure that you include relevant information. Please be concise. Only include paragraph 2 if necessary. And, please include potential reviewers (as noted, this is optional).


     The JGIM Editorial Team

Submission date:

Address to Co-Editors:

    Richard L. Kravitz, MD MPSH and Mitchell D. Feldman, MD MPHil

    Co-Editors in Chief

    Journal of General Internal Medicine

Dear Dr. Kravitz and Dr. Feldman,

    Paragraph 1: Overview (Article title, type, design, major finding)

    “We are pleased to submit our manuscript entitled: “XXX”, for consideration as a *JGIM article type – for

    instance, original article or systematic review]. [Include one sentence on study design, where relevant. Example follows+. “This study is a retrospective cohort study, comparing X outcomes of Y patients from Z health systems,

    from 19XX to 20XX. We found/illustrate [major finding or conclusion+.”

    Paragraph 2: Context: Some authors will not need this paragraph.

    Ask yourself, what information would aid the editors in their decision-making process? Are there contextual factors that might inform the editors? Items for this paragraph might include potential conflicts, concurrent submissions from the same dataset, interested groups/history, and what this manuscript contributes to the field beyond work published, submitted, or in preparation by your group.


     Manuscripts from same data set being submitted somewhere else, or you are planning to submit a related article elsewhere (all media types). This helps us think about your study in context.

    “This manuscript is one of three papers describing the major findings of our study on XXXX outcomes in HIV

    populations. One paper on biologic outcomes XXX is under review at XXX journal, while another qualitative paper describing the experience of men and women undergoing XXX treatment is under preparation for submission to XXX. The XXX funder’s website has published an abstract with preliminary data from our annual



     How work was developed (i.e. an organization encouraged project for a specific purpose].

    This secondary data analysis is culled from a prior study of quality of XXX care [reference] . . . and was triggered by work I had done for the Department of Health. They wanted to put navigators in place to reduce delays in XXX process in state hospitals but had no recent data about actual times to treatment. When we looked at our data, we were surprised to find that women with Medicaid did not receive worse care than women with commercial or Medicare insurance...”

     Appendices that you have included for online publication only.

    “Given space restrictions, we have included our survey instruments and an extended set of blinded qualitative comments for inclusion as online appendices. Additionally, I’m enclosing a multi-media DVD that can be

    uploaded to the publisher’s website. The login and password for this curriculum are….”

Paragraph 3: Importance

    Why should this manuscript be published in JGIM? Why will our readers be interested? What is the potential impact of your work (don’t overstate it)? What is the unique contribution of your work to what is known about this topic? This should be 1-4 sentences. All authors should include this information. Paragraph 4: Current submission and prior presentations disclosure

    This manuscript has not been previously published and is not under consideration in the same or substantially similar form in any other peer-reviewed media.” If relevant: “We presented an earlier version of the manuscript

    as a poster/plenary/workshop at the *conference name+ in *location+, in 20XX.”

    Paragraph 5: Authorship and conflicts

    Acknowledge authorship and conflicts appropriately. From the International Committee of Medical Journal

    Editors ( Authorship credit should be based on 1) substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data; 2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and 3) final approval of the version to be published. Authors should meet conditions 1, 2, and 3.

    “All authors listed have contributed sufficiently to the project to be included as authors, and all those who are qualified to be authors are listed in the author byline. To the best of our knowledge, no conflict of interest, financial or other, exists. We have included acknowledgements, conflicts of interest, and funding sources after the discussion. [Where relevant, include your NIH study registry number.] Our NIH study registry number is XXX.”


Corresponding author

    Contact information (title, group affiliation, physical address, email, phone, fax)

Back up contact (name, phone, email)

Potential reviewers (optional)

    Why this helps us, and helps you. Suggesting reviewers is optional. If your manuscript is sent out for review, 1-3 peer reviewers will review your work. Of those reviewers, 1 may be a reviewer that you have suggested

    because you may have insight into reviewers who can judge your work objectively, in appropriate context. Please suggest 3-5 reviewers (name, institution, email, expertise). Criteria: Suggested reviewers should NOT be

    at your institution, and should have some expertise in your content area/method. You should NOT have substantially worked with the reviewer in the past few years, and in particular, this should not be someone who has already reviewed or otherwise contributed to the manuscript. To the best of your knowledge, reviewers should not have conflicts (financial, personal) which would interfere with their objectivity.

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