Check the ITAs for other requirements

Often, a journal may require special statements, permissions, and such for legal reasons. Below are some common additions that may need to be expressly mentioned in the cover letter:

State that all authors have contributed significantly to the paper, understand and endorse it, and have read and approved the version being submitted for publication. (Some journals require a special statement to this effect, signed by all the coauthors; their ITAs may specify its wording.)

Include a signed permission statement from anyone you've mentioned in the acknowledgments and anyone cited under "personal communication" for use of their name and/or data.

Certify that no part has been submitted, accepted for publication, or published elsewhere.

State that the article is original work of the authors except for material in the public domain or excerpts from others' works for which written permission of the copyright owners has been obtained.

Indicate that the authors have no relationship, financial or otherwise, with any manufacturers or distributors of products evaluated in the paper; if this is not true, disclose any such relationship in a footnote to the paper.

If the paper depends critically on another unpublished paper or one that is "in press" in another journal, mention this fact. As a courtesy, include electronic or paper copies of the related paper for the reviewers.

Remember Murphy's Laws

Anything that can go wrong will, and at the worst possible moment. If nothing can go wrong, it will anyway.

- Folk wisdom attributed to U.S. Air Force Capt. E. A. Murphy and others

Expect the best, but prepare for the worst - this has always been, and continues to be, excellent advice. Assume that packages will become lost in the mail, that photographs will become separated from text, and that figures will be misplaced. Be especially careful to fully label the illustrations, usually done with a sticker label on the reverse side. Indicate the top edge of the illustration. Illustrations are processed differently than text at the publishers, and if unlabeled, proper association of figures and text in the final assembly of the journal can be a headache or worse.

Journals still asking for paper documents usually require at least two copies of the typescript, including any supporting materials such as photographs. (Again, check the Instructions to Authors.) Save one additional copy for yourself - never mail the sole existing copy of anything! If submission is electronic, maintain a backup copy of the final file in a separate location - not just on your hard drive! One easy way to accomplish this is to email a copy to yourself.

When sending a paper typescript by mail, enclose the cover letter and typescript copies in a strong oversized envelope or reinforced mailing bag. If necessary, add a piece of light cardboard to stiffen the package further. Put illustrations and photographs in a separate smaller envelope inside the mailer to protect them further. When everything is together, seal the mailer and put a strip of tape over the clasp that holds it closed. Mark the envelope "First Class Mail" (or 'Air Mail" for overseas) very prominently on both the front and back. Otherwise, the postal service may treat it to a much slower third-class mail delivery. Never guess at the proper postage! Take it to a mailroom and have it weighed. For extra speed

© By permission of John L. Hart and Creators Syndicate, Inc.

and security you may wish to use Priority Mail or a private courier service and request a return receipt.

Now find something else to do. Soon, the journal office may notify you that they have received your submission, but it will be weeks before you hear more than that.

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