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I am a PhD student in Mathematics. My adviser told me that I can submit our manuscript to some journal. So I am writing a cover letter and I am just wondering if I should mention in the cover letter that I am a PhD student.

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    @EnthusiasticStudent: I actually suggested an edit to that tag-wiki to explicitly exclude such cover letters. As far as I can see, there are very few questions on this and they all naturally are about paper-submission, so I do not feel we need a separate tag for this.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Dec 28, 2014 at 15:23

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If a cover letter is needed at all, its purpose nowadays is usually to include information for which there is no appropriate form in the journal’s submission system (which can inlude suggested reviewers, unwanted reviewers, informations about prior submissions, etc.) – see also these two questions.

I do not see how the information that you are a PhD student is relevant to the editor or anybody involved with the paper, so I wouldn’t mention it. Every spurious information in that letter just wastes the editor’s time. I submitted a few papers as a PhD student (with and without coauthors) without mentioning this fact and did not encounter any problems that I would even remotely relate to this.

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    An aside: unfortunately journals continue to require cover letters even if in most cases, with nowadays' electronic submissions, they are not at all needed. Dec 28, 2014 at 15:23
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    @MassimoOrtolano Not all journals. I've never needed to submit a cover-letter when submitting through an electronic submission system and, when I've submitted papers by email, the cover letter has been, "Dear Prof. So-and-so, Please find attached a copy of my paper 'Dave's Great New Ideas', which I'm submitting for publication in the Journal of Awesome Stuff." Dec 28, 2014 at 22:25
  • @DavidRicherby: Yes, not all journals, but, at least in my field, several or many do, even those employing an electronic submission system. In these cases, I'm used to attaching a cover letter simply stating that I'm submitting a paper - an obviously useless letter. Dec 28, 2014 at 22:37

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