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I'm preparing to submit a math paper to a good general-interest journal. The page asks for a cover letter. What should this include, beyond "here's a paper for consideration"? Should there be, for example, a brief summary? Claims about why I think it's interesting? Suggested reviewers? The first two of these of course appear in the article. The journal submission page gives no guidance.

This is a near-dupe of Are cover letters sent to referees and should you highlight the contribution of your paper in the cover letter?. However, Googling around suggests that the answer is rather field-dependent, and this is not reflected in the answers there. I am looking for information relevant to pure math, for which a search hasn't turned up anything.

In my previous submissions I've basically blown this off, per my adviser's advice. It doesn't seem to have caused any problems, but I'm wondering if there's anything I can do to make the editor's life easier.

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Unless the journal asks for any specific pieces of information, then a "Here it is for your consideration" is all that's required. In the (math) journals I'm an editor of, that is essentially what the letters look like, and they almost never contain anything that is of importance to the editor or to reviewers.

I believe that this is very different in other areas, but then the submission guidelines will say so.

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My impression is this often only gets asked because the submission system was set up for general journals. I agree with Wolfgang's answer that you do not need to include much in the way of content, but will add that one thing you can do is use this letter to suggest possible editors for your paper (sometimes there is no other place to put this). It of course makes things easier for the editor if they get papers in areas they know well.

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