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About Interfolio Letter Quality Check for Dossier

Due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, there may be a delay in uploading letters mailed to Interfolio. Letters received electronically will continue to be uploaded and processed as usual.  Additionally, there may be a delay with the letter quality check process for new letters of recommendation. 

Interfolio Quality Check for Confidential Letters of Recommendations

Article Contents

In short, Interfolio lets applicants know if there are quality issues regarding the received letter of recommendation. The quality check takes at most 4 days.

Read more about this feature below:

If you are looking for help performing this process, choose a guide below:

Users can view quality check details, or make exceptions to them by clicking on the View Details link from their Letters page.

For our premium Dossier Deliver users, we process the quality check as soon as they arrive in your account, or, for the letters that are already within your Dossier, when your account is upgraded to Dossier Deliver. QC takes approximately 4 days.

  • Every time you request new letters, and it's received, Interfolio checks those letters for quality (more details below).
  • We will provide assistance communicating errors to Letter Writers in the form of e-mail and in-product viewer.
  • The process provides reassurance when your letters are OK and ready to deliver, you will be able to see an indicator of the elements missing from your letters prior to submission.

For our premium Dossier Deliver Users:
If you upgrade to Interfolio Dossier Deliver account, then all of your unchecked letters will be sent to Quality Control, so you are assured that it contains relevant elements.

For users with a free Dossier account:
If you receive a letter while you have a free Dossier account, we will check your letters when you choose to send them in a free delivery, or when you decide to upgrade your account to Dossier Deliver.

What does Interfolio check during the Quality Check (QC) process?

Interfolio will check the following items when performing the quality check of letters:

  • If the file containing the letter is viewable
  • If the letter has a signature
    • Physical Signature
    • Digital Signature
  • If the letter is on official letterhead
    • Includes logo/seal
  • If the letter is written about the correct person
  • If the document is actually a letter of recommendation
  • Cosmetic issues

Applicants will be notified of the results of the QC process within four business days.

Interfolio employees will never disclose the specific or summarized contents of the letter of recommendation.

Through the Quality Control process, Interfolio will notify applicants of specific details or qualities of their letter (letterhead, signature, etc), as described in the article below.

If you have any questions after reading this article, please reach out to our Scholar Services team at


Types of Signatures that Interfolio Identifies through the QC process:

Interfolio understands that signatures are in most cases a requirement. Along with informing you whether one exists, we will also let you know what type of signature is in your letter. Keep in mind that most institutions, fellowship programs, and various other opportunities may require the traditional handwritten signature. If by chance your letter includes another type of signature or no signature at all---it is your responsibility to get in contact with the letter writer/evaluator in order to get that letter updated with the proper formatting.

Handwritten Signature

Handwritten signatures are pretty self explanatory--the letter writer/evaluator has put pen to paper and wrote their signature on the letter. Because the signature is written in by the letter writer, you may get questions on how to submit this letter. If you choose to have your letter writer submit their letter electronically, the letter writer will need to have the ability to scan their document to a computer, save it, and then submit it through the emailed request they receive. Letter writers can also mail their letter to Interfolio if you choose the "printed form" option of delivery in the letter request form. Below are examples of a handwritten signature:

A signature (/ˈsɪɡnətʃər/; from Latin: signare, "to sign") is a handwritten (and often stylized) depiction of someone's name, nickname, or even a simple "X" or other mark that a person writes on documents as a proof of identity and intent.

The point is the handwritten signature has to be written on the document by the signer.

Digital Signature

The digital signature is simply a small block of data that is attached to documents you sign. It is generated from your digital ID, which includes both a private and public key. The private key is used to apply the signature to the document, while the public key is sent with the file. Digital signatures usually include a mark or stamp to authenticate it.

Most organizations will accept a digital signature in place of a handwritten one.

Here are a few examples below:

A digital signature is a type of electronic signature that encrypts documents with digital codes that are particularly difficult to duplicate.

No Signature

Some examples of what we would consider a document without a signature to look like are:

When the writer typed their name in the signature block and changed the font to a more stylized type font, or does not include anything in the signature block.  These are not considered a signature.


When will Interfolio Quality Check?

Quality Check Time: 4 business days

A confidential letter of recommendation enters the QC process in two ways:

  1. When you use a letter of recommendation in a delivery, we will QC the document at that time.
  2. Once you upgrade to Dossier Deliver, we will QC all of your letters that were submitted on March 2018 and after. If you have a letter that was submitted prior to March 2018 that needs to be Quality Checked, either include it in a delivery or reach out to us directly to have it Quality Checked.

You do not have to wait until your letter is Quality Checked in order to use it in a delivery. We will QC all letters included in a delivery.