British Journal of Chinese Studies

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Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  • The submission conforms to the basic requirements of a research article in the Anglophone system, i.e. it includes a clearly articulated research question; it situates the research in the wider field by engaging in depth with existing literature; it explains which gap in the existing literature the submission fills; it explains the methodology of the research; and it argues a point which is built throughout the article and is captured in a conclusion.
  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The submission file is in Microsoft Word format.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided, links have been checked for validity and are included as a hyperlink (not as plain text) in the word document.
  • The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; uses italics for subheadings rather than underlining; and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines.
  • An appropriate illustration is required for the article page. Where images are included as part of the article, the editors will choose an appropriate one for the article landing page. If no image is included as part of the article, authors are required to provide one as a separate file as part of their submission.
  • We ask that submitters to the journal join the British Association for Chinese Studies whose financial support enables the journal's platinum open access service. Please confirm your membership in your submission cover letters to the editors. For more on BACS membership, please see here

Author Guidelines


The manuscript must adhere to the following style guide

All submissions need to be made via the online submission system; you first need to register with the site to be able to start the process. Once you have received your login and password, please upload an anonymised version of your manuscript in Word format. There are separate sections where you are asked to provide your name and institutional affiliation. For the purposes of peer review, any images and graphs should be embedded in the word file. (We may ask for these in a different format at a later stage, if your article is accepted for publication.)

Manuscripts which do not adhere to the following guidelines will be returned to the author. Please refer to current and past issues of the journal for further illustration.

Length and Format

Research articles: there is no minimum length but typically articles will be 6,000 – 10,000 words, with the latter as an upper limit including notes, bibliography, etc. Please also include an abstract of up to 200 words and up to 10 keywords.

Essays: between 1500-3000 words; please include a short abstract and up to six keywords. 


  • The title of the whole piece should be centred, with the abstract below. Abstracts should be italicised, and keywords provided below the abstract but not centred.
  • The text should be single-spaced and use a 12-point Times New Roman font for English; 12-point SongTi 宋体 for Chinese. 
  • Subheadings should in bold, aligned to the left. The first paragraph beneath a subheading should not be indented; subsequent paragraphs should be indented. 
  • Longer quotes should be indented in 12-point Times New Roman. Chinese characters should be provided alongside any quotation in translation; pinyin is not required for long quotations.
  • Double quotation marks should be used for direct quotations from a text; single quotation marks should be used for ‘highlighting’ a word. The editors request that use of quotation marks as a device for highlighting or marking words should be used with care, and kept to a minimum.
  • All illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end. Captions must be given for figures, providing a title and provenance for images. Captions should be italicised below the image in question, in 12-point Times New Roman.


Should follow British English spelling conventions, not US English, including: “-ise“ and “-isation” rather than “-ize” or “-ization”. This does not of course apply to citations from other works, which should be in their original form. Please consult the Oxford English Dictionary for standard spellings.

Chinese Romanisation:

Use pinyin romanisation except for the small number of names most commonly found in other versions; Jyutping is preferred for Cantonese. Remember that pinyin does not use hyphens, e.g. Wen Jiabao, while Wade-Giles does, e.g. Sun Yat-sen. Use Chinese word order, family name first, for Chinese names. Chinese characters should be given in the text for names and places likely to be unfamiliar to a majority of readers. Please use Wylie for Tibetan.

The first instance of a key Chinese-language term in the text should provide English translation, pinyin and characters; subsequent uses should give only either the English translation or pinyin as appropriate.


Should be in the form of in-text citations rather than footnotes, and should always include page numbers for direct quotations. Page numbers should also be given for indirect quotation and specific claims or statistics made in the cited work.

If there is more than one publication in a year, differentiate with letters: 2007a, 2007b. Where multiple authors cited share a surname, first names should be given in the in-text reference for differentiation. Where the author cannot be identified, please give the publication in the in-text reference.

Footnotes (not endnotes) may be used for elucidation of points. Footnotes should be given for personal communications, with name and date; these do not need to be included in the bibliography.

Reference format:

(Brown, 2010: 110) - please note the space between the colon and the page number

(Brown & Smith, 2008: 25)

(The Guardian, 3rd September 2010: 5)

If an author or their pseudonym can be identified, in-text references should use the appropriate name. If there is no author that can be identified, please identify by name of publication or by title, as appropriate.


This should be provided in alphabetical order by surname of author at the end of the article under the heading ‘References’, with full details and in the following formats:


Bramall, Chris (2000), Sources of Chinese Economic Growth, 1978-1996, New York: Oxford UP.

Translated Work:

Chang, Eileen (2007 [1943]), Love in a Fallen City, trans. Karen Kingsbury, Penguin Classics: London.

Edited Volume:

Wright, Tim (ed.) (1992), The Chinese Economy in the Early Twentieth Century: Recent Chinese Studies, Houndmills: Macmillan Press.

Paper in Edited Volume:

Taylor, Robert (1999), “China’s Emerging Markets: Investment Strategies of Taiwan’s Companies”, 107-36, in Sam Dzever and Jacques Jaussaud (eds.), China and India: Economic Performance and Business Strategies of Firms in the Mid-1990s, Houndmills: Macmillan Press.

Journal Article:

Hooper, Beverley (2000), “Globalisation and Resistance in post-Mao China: the case of Foreign Consumer Products”, Asian Studies Review 24(2): 439-470.

For online-only journal articles that do not provide a page range, please provide the DOI.

Multi-authored Publication:

Keliher, Macabe, and Hsinchao Wu (2016), "Corruption, Anticorruption, and the Transformation of Political Culture in Contemporary China", The Journal of Asian Studies, 75(1): 5-18.

Government Publication:

Supreme Command for the Allied Powers, Government Section (1948), Political Reorientation of Japan: September 1945 to September 1948, Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Shengtai huanbao bu 生态环保部 (Ministry of Environmental Protection) (2013), “Jianshe xiangmu huanjing yingxiang pingjia zhengfu xunxi gongkai zhinan (shixing)” 建设项目环境影响评价政府信息公开指南 (试行) (Guidelines for the Disclosure of Government Information about Environmental Impact Assessments of Construction Projects (Trial)), available at: (accessed 9.21.2021).

Newspaper Article:

a) named author:

Soh, Ji-young (2002), “Female Workers Earn W970,000 per Month on Average: Survey”, The Korea Times, May 28.

b) unattributed newspaper article:

South China Morning Post (1982), “Squatter Area Cleared”, August 19, 9.

Dissertation or Thesis:

Chen, Lily (2000), “The Effect of Functional Role on Language Choice in Newspapers”, unpublished PhD thesis, Durham University.


All citations of Internet websites should include the full URL and the date that it was accessed.

Gentz, Joachim (2010), “Hermeneutics of Multiple Senses: Wang Jie’s ‘Explanations and Commentary with Diagrams to the Qingjing Jing’”, Journal of Chinese Philosophy, available at: (accessed 06.09.2010).

Foreign Language Publication:

For Chinese, please provide characters for author and titled, alongside the romanised version with translation of title:

Zhou Yang 周扬 (1940), “Dui jiu xingshi zai wenxue shang liyong de yige kanfa” 对旧形式在文学上利用的一个看法 (An opinion on the use of old forms in literature), Zhongguo wenhua 1:1 (15 February 1940): 34-40.

Traditional characters should be used for publications in traditional characters; simplified for publications in simplified. The first word in titles in pinyin should be capitalised, along with proper nouns in the title.

For publications in other foreign languages, please follow the same pattern.

Text in Online Database:

Full bibliographic information is required for both the text and the database it is located in.

Ding Bing 丁丙 (1895), Gengxin qi Hang lu 庚辛泣杭錄 (Tears for Hangzhou in the Gengxin Year), Qiantang: Ding Shi, via the Chinese Text Project database (中國哲學書電子化計劃), available at: (accessed 30.10.2021)

Social Media:

Author or publication [social media handle] (year), “Title, up to twenty words of first line…”, Name of Platform, day and month, available at: URL (accessed date)

The Guardian [@guardian] (2017), “North Korea warns UK faces 'miserable end' if it joins US-led military drills”, Twitter, 25  August, available at: (accessed 25.08.2017)

In lieu of a title, up to twenty words of the text of the post should be given. If the author cannot be identified, please provide their username.


Searches performed via database should be endnoted with the name of the database, creator, link to the database and the date the search was performed.


Interviews should be referenced by including a footnote following the quote which provides details on the interview, e.g. author interview with person x on date y. Where an article relies primarily on interview data, a list of all interviews (name of interviewee, location, date) should be provided as an appendix. 


Games should be referenced in a separate ludography, placed above the bibliography.

Title of game (edition or version) (date), platform [game], publisher: place of publication

Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (standard edition) (2011), Xbox [Game], Ubisoft: Montreal


The editors request that citation of pre-prints should be avoided if possible.





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