[This post was updated August 2019]
Interfolio has been providing a platform for requesting, storing, and sending confidential letters of recommendation since 1999. In the past 20 years, we’ve learned a lot about our worldwide user base, including what they expect from us and what we could add on to our service to improve their experience.
That’s why we have dramatically reimagined one of our main features: for users with active Dossier Deliver subscriptions, we now perform a quality check on all confidential letters of recommendation as soon as they enter your account. Literally, we have a team of humans that take a look at the document quality of your letter, and then notify you AND your letter writer of any issues. That’s part of what you get with your Deliver subscription: not just the cost of delivery, but a group of folks who are making sure that your materials aren’t going to hold you back from that opportunity because of a letter error.
There are a variety of things we look for and flag as inconsistent with what a user expects within their letter, such as:
- We check for a signature.
- We make sure there’s an official letterhead.
- We ensure the file uploaded is in fact a letter.
- We verify the letter bears both your name and the letter writer’s name.
- We establish the letter is legible.
Why is this important to you?
Out of the 53,555+ documents we quality checked from March until December 2017, there were 834 documents with errors. That means roughly 2% of the total documents we checked had an issue that the letter writer and the requestor would not have been aware of had we not reviewed them and notified them.
Prior to this feature release, when you had an issue with a letter (as a requestor), we would notify you upon requested delivery of the letter. Now, we will perform a thorough quality check promptly when a letter is received in your account, guaranteed.
This allows for:
- More time to fix/address errors
- Assistance from Team Interfolio in communicating errors to your/a letter writer
- Reassurance and confidence when your letters are ready to deliver
- Exposure to positive and negative quality check results
How do we tell you what’s wrong? (or right)
- If you are a Dossier Deliver user, we will send you an email if we discover any gaps in document quality (such as when a signature or letterhead is missing, or if the document uploaded is not really a letter).
- If you are a letter writer that has mistakenly submitted an incorrect letter or a letter with issues, we will send you an email.
- When you are logged into your Dossier Deliver account, and a letter has received our quality check, you will be able to see a bulleted list of what is right and what is wrong (if there are issues) with your letter.
- If you are a Dossier Deliver user and your letter is error-free, you will receive an email letting you know it’s good to go.
What are the nitty-gritty details?
- If you are a Dossier Deliver user, we will quality-check letters for you within 4 business days of their arrival in your account.
- Interfolio DOES NOT restrict you from using letters still “pending” a quality check.
- Letters are also checked before being submitted for delivery.
- Every time you request new letters Interfolio checks those letters for quality.
- We will provide assistance communicating errors to Letter Writers.
Requesting and sending letters of recommendation is a stressful but necessary part of applying to many scholarly positions and other opportunities. Let Team Interfolio help you manage this portion of your to-do list, confidently.
Interfolio’s Dossier enables scholars to collect, curate, polish and send out their materials at all stages throughout their academic professional path. Learn more about Dossier here.