Lesson 1, Topic 3
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Presubmission inquiries

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A presubmission inquiry resembles a cover letter. It can be used to determine if your target journal is suitable. It allows you to obtain an editorial perspective on your work before submission. It is also the only time that you are allowed to contact multiple journals simultaneously.

But not all journals accept presubmission inquiries, so check carefully before submitting. These inquiries can be worth sending, particularly if you cannot decide between a few target journals. You should usually receive a response quickly (within 1–2 working days), so you can avoid wasting time submitting to unsuitable journals. 

Current Biology and PLOS Biology are two journals that welcome presubmission inquiries. These journals have clear guidelines on how to prepare one. In general, they should take the format of a cover letter similar to the one described in this module. They may also require the submission of a referenced abstract. Although a positive response to an inquiry does not guarantee that your manuscript will be peer reviewed, it is an indication that the journal is interested in your work.