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Instructions for Contributors
Guidelines on Special Issues for Modern China Studies
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Instructions for Contributors

Modern China Studies welcomes the submission of original manuscripts on current issues in contemporary China. Fields of interests include politics, economics business, law, sociology, culture, international relations, environment protections, modern history and humanities.

Manuscripts should be submitted in Microsoft Word file to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

All the submitted manuscript should conform with the following guidelines:

  1. Language: Manuscripts can be in either English or Chinese.
  2. Length limit: 10,000 words in English or Chinese, including all notes and appendices.
  3. Manuscripts should be double-spaced. All pages should be numbered consecutively.
  4. The first page (the title page) of manuscript should contain the following information: the title; name(s) and institutional affiliation(s) of the author(s); an abstract of no more than 250 words; a footnote of acknowledgments and expressions of gratitude, if any; and of the corresponding author. This footnote should NOT be included in the consecutive numbering of footnotes in the text.
  5. The main text: Center first-level headings and capitalize the first letter of the first word and of major words. Begin the second-level headings at the left margin and capitalize the first letter of the first word and of major words. Use Roman numerals for first-level headings and Arabic numerals for the others.
  6. Footnotes should not be used frequently and should include only the most relevant and necessary explanations for the text with superscript Arabic numerals. Footnotes should be double-spaced.
  7. Figures should be numbered consecutively in the text in Arabic numerals. They should be in high quality for the publication. Please keep the number of graphs as few as possible.
  8. Tables should be numbered consecutively in the text in Arabic numerals and all unessential tables should be eliminated from the manuscript.
  9. The References should only include papers cited in the text. In the text, references to publications should appear as follows: “Smith (1969) reported that...,” or “This problem has been a subject in the literature before [e.g. Smith (1969. p.102)].” The author(s) should make sure that there is a strict "one-to-one correspondence" between the names (years) in the text and those in the references. At the end of the manuscript (after any appendices), the complete references should be listed as the follows:

    For monographs
    Ungson, G.R., Steers, R.M., & Park, S.H., 1997, Korean Enterprise: The Quest for Globalization. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

    For articles or chapters in edited books
    Amsden, A.H., 1998, “South Korea: Enterprising groups and entrepreneurial government,” in Chandler, A.D., F. Amatori, & T. Hikino (Eds.), Big Business and the Wealth of Nations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 336-367.

    For periodicals
    Sharma, P., Chrisman, J.J., & Chua, J.H., 2003, “Succession planning as planned behavior: Some empirical results,” Family Business Review 16(1): 1- 15.

    For dissertations
    Chan, F.Y.L., 1999, Unraveling the Riddle of the Decision to Divorce through the Narrative Accounts of Divorced Women-An Attempt on an Integrated Model of Divorce Decision Process to Inform Practice. Hong Kong: Department of Social Work & Social Administration, University of Hong Kong.

  10. Author Self-Identification Issues: Modern China Studies uses a double-blind review process. Therefore, authors should remove all self-identification information from the main text of the version of the manuscript that will be sent out to referees. Authors should keep the following information only on the title page: their names, institutional affiliations, addresses, acknowledgments, expressions of gratitude, and statements about grants or other financial support for the research reported in the manuscript. Generally, any references to personal interactions with other scholars (e.g., a note stating “I received the data from__”) should be taken out. Authors may leave citations to their own work in the manuscript, as long as those citations refer to published work and do not selfidentify themselves in any way (i.e., no personal pronouns). Authors should avoid citations to their doctoral dissertations or to forthcoming publications. Any such material can easily be added back into the manuscript, if it is accepted for publication.

Guidelines on Special Issues

Special issues of MCS provide focused presentations of studies around a central theme. These themes could be on issues that are important and have been under-studied or issues that deserve more attention. Generally, a special issue is edited by a team of guest editors who propose a topic to the editors of MCS or who are invited by the MCS editors to develop the special issue. Below are some general guidelines regarding MCS special issues and procedures in managing the special issue.

Procedures for managing the special issue:

  1. The guest editor team can be one or more editors.
    If it has more than one editor, one of them must assume the lead editor’s role and manage the team.
  2. The guest editor team prepares the Call for Papers.
    Please refer to the example attached for content and format in preparing the draft Call.
  3. The team develops a reviewer database and invites the reviewers in advance to help with the special issue.
    This should be done before the submission deadline to give reviewers time to plan for their time.
  4. MCS office is given the list of reviewers and enters their names and email addresses into the MCS reviewer database.
  5. MCS office (as well as the lead guest editor) receives the manuscripts.
    MCS office enters them into the manuscript database and sends acknowledgement to the author.
  6. The lead guest editor reads and assigns manuscripts to the other guest editors to handle.
    This is based on a match of the topic of the paper and the expertise of the guest editor.
  7. The responsible guest editor assigns reviewers and sends the information to the MCS office.
  8. MCS office sends the manuscripts and manuscript evaluation forms to the reviewers.
  9. MCS office sends the reviews (when both have come in) to the responsible guest editor.
  10. The responsible guest editor drafts the decision letter and sends to the MCS office, with a copy to the lead guest editor.
  11. The lead guest editor and a MCS regular editor review the decision letter to ensure that it is consistent with the developmental policy of MCS and consistent with MCS publication standards.
  12. MCS office sends the decision letter (with reviews) to the author, with (blind) copy to the reviewers.
  13. The revision process follows a similar process. Everything is done electronically.

Note: If a manuscript designated for a special issue is submitted more than a month before the deadline for the special issue, the note of acknowledgment from the MCS office will notify the author that the review process on his/her paper will not begin until nearer the deadline and request his/her patience.

Roles, Responsibilities, and other Policies

  1. Role of the lead guest editor and other guest editors
    In general, the lead guest editor serves to coordinate the process with other guest editors. He/she works with the other guest editors to decide how to promote the special issue and what types of papers to encourage submission. The lead guest editor serves to oversee the entire process. The guest editors should establish who would be responsible for what types of papers and a timeline for the review process.
  2. Authorship of the introduction piece to the special issue
    It is generally assumed that the lead guest editor also takes the lead in writing the introductory article to the special issue. If the team decides on a different approach, that is entirely up to the team. One of the regular editors will serve as reviewer on the introduction piece to make suggestions to improve it if needed.
  3. Guest editors as authors of articles published in the special issue
    The general policy is no barrier to publishing good work by any authors, including the guest editors. The only requirement is that the paper by any of the guest editors be handled by someone else outside the guest editing team, most likely by one of the senior editors.  
  4. Number of papers in the special issue
    MCS sets a limit of 10 papers per issue. If there are more than 10 papers, the editors may make an exception. There should be at least three papers to make a special issue. If fewer than three good papers are accepted, they would just be published as regular papers.  
  5. Page limitation and preparation of manuscript
    There is no rigid length limitation though most papers should be able to tell a complete story within around 40 pages. Please encourage authors to refer to the submission guidelines and the style guide for MCS in preparing the manuscript. The MCS style guide will be published in every issue and also available on MCS website. The Information for Authors and Submission Guidelines will be found in each issue of MCS and on the MCS website.