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Q&A: Should I mention my submission history in the cover letter when I resubmit my paper to the same journal as a new submission?

Detailed question

I submitted a manuscript to a journal, and it was accepted after minor revisions. However, because some documentation could not be completed by the resubmission deadline, the process was terminated. Now the necessary documents are ready, and I am going to submit the same manuscript to the same journal as a new submission. I intend to mention the above circumstance in the cover letter. Would this be considered impolite? If it’s appropriate to mention it, how best should I frame the message?


It is unfortunate that you were close to acceptance in the previous submission but could not meet the journal resubmission deadline. You can certainly explain the history of your previous submission to the journal editor in the cover letter when you resubmit your manuscript as a new submission.

A cover letter is used not just to describe the study and its significance, but also to provide any information about the submission that will be relevant for the editor to know. Therefore, you can clearly explain your previous submission history in it. Remember to mention the manuscript ID and the date of your previous submission.

This will not be considered impolite but rather will provide the journal editor with important background about the previous submission. Knowing that the manuscript had already passed peer review and was accepted for publication in the journal may help the editor expedite the peer review process and you may be able to gain acceptance within a shorter time.

Recommended reading

  1. 10 Tips to write an effective cover letter for journal submission
  2. How to write a cover letter for journal submissions

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