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Instructions for contributors

Guidelines for Preparation of Manuscripts
I. Length and Nature of Manuscripts
II. Scholarly Conventions
III. Numbers and Dates
IV. Figures and Art
V. Archaic and other Non-Unicode Characters
VI. Final Manuscript Preparation
Sample Article
English Language Editing Services
Open Access Policies

Guidelines for Preparation of Manuscripts

Early China is a specialized journal devoted to the archaeology, art, history, language, literature, philosophy, religion, science and technology of China from the Neolithic through the Han. Published annually by the Society for the Study of Early China and Cambridge University Press, it includes articles based on original research, occasional translations of seminal articles written in Chinese, reviews of scholarship including both Western-language monographs and developments in China, Taiwan and Japan, and comprehensive bibliographies of works in Western languages. Contributors need not be members of the Society for the Study of Early China, but all submissions other than those expressly commissioned by the editorial board are subject to peer review.

Submissions for future issues should be sent, in triplicate, to Professor Sarah Allan, Editor, Early China, Dept. of Asian and Middle Eastern Languages and Literatures, HB 6191 Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 03755, USA. Electronic submissions are also acceptable and may be sent to: in both Word document and Pdf formats. As manuscripts are reviewed anonymously, please remove the author's name from the manuscript and any identifying references in the footnotes (such as "see my article xxx"). Books for review should be sent to the Book Review Editor, Professor Anne Kinney, 4185 Garth Road, Charlottesville, VA 22901, USA.

Contributors whose manuscripts have been accepted for publication are asked to comply to the extent possible with the following guidelines.

I. Length and Nature of Manuscripts

In principle, Early China places no restrictions on the length or nature of manuscripts, allowing authors maximum flexibility to present their work. However, we suggest the following general guidelines:

Original articles should be substantial enough to stand as independent scholarly statements (roughly 20-75 pages typescript, double spaced), yet not so lengthy as to constitute an independent monograph (no more than roughly 125 pages).

Reviews are of two types.

  1. Review articles that discuss major issues or trends, methodologies and theories, in the field, or review two or more books, should be substantial analyses (perhaps 15-50 pages) that make significant original contributions to ongoing debates.
  2. Reviews of individual books or monographs should be approximately 8-12 pages and also provide thorough consideration of the important arguments and issues raised in the works under review.

Many articles in Early China involve arguments based on close readings of Chinese texts; authors should feel free to use Chinese characters (or Japanese kana) whenever appropriate (see too, Secs. II and III below).

II. Scholarly Conventions

General scholarly conventions should follow those of the Chicago Manual of Style.


Chinese words and names should be rendered in pinyin romanization. Wade-Giles will only be considered in special circumstances and with the approval of the Editor. Pinyin is preferred and required for commissioned pieces. Usage should be consistent throughout the manuscript, though romanizations included in quotations of other work should not be changed. To distinguish between 陜西and山西, write Shaanxi, for the former and Shanxi for the latter. Tone marks are not allowed, though they may be used occasionally to distinguish two words that might be confused (e.g. Zhòu 纣,Zhōu 周).


Hyphenate as in the following examples:

Xi-Zhou; Sei-Shū; Dong-Han; Xin-Mang; BUT Liang Zhou


Chinese characters should generally be supplied only after the first mention of a word or name. In principle, "traditional" (i.e., fanti) forms should be used, even when referring to publications that use "simplified" (i.e.,jianti) characters. Except in the case of indented quotations with both Chinese text and full English translation (in which case the Chinese should run above the English), Chinese characters should generally not appear without romanization. (See V. below for archaic and other non-unicode characters).

Japanese Names

Japanese names with long vowels should read:

Ōgami, not Oogami; kenkyū, not kenkyû.


Full scholarly citations should be given in the footnotes. Footnote numbers should be placed, as far as possible, at the end of a grammatical unit, preferably at the end of a sentence. The so-called scientific notation style embedded in the text and keyed to a bibliography at the end is not acceptable. First citations should accord with the following examples:

Roger T. Ames, The Art of Rulership: A Study in Ancient Chinese Political Thought (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1983), 77.

Paul J. Lin, A Translation of Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching and Wang Pi's Commentary, Michigan Papers in Chinese Studies no. 30 (Ann Arbor, 1977), 45.

Jao Tsung-i, "The Su Tan Fragment of the Tao-te-ching (A.D. 270)," Journal of Oriental Studies 2 (1955), 1-28.

Chester G. Starr, "Reflections on the Problem of Generalization," in Generalization in the Writing of History, ed. Louis Gottschalk (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1963), 6.

Lü Shuxiang 呂叔湘, Zhongguo wenfa yaolüe 中國文法要略 (Shanghai: Shangwu, 1956), 287.

Feng Chuntian 馮春田, "Qin mu zhujian xuanze fenxi" 秦墓 竹簡選擇問句分析, Yuyan yanjiu 語言研究1 (1987), 56.

Hunan sheng wenwu yanjiusuo, Xinyang Chu mu 信陽楚墓 (Beijing: Wenwu, 1986), 102.

Ōgami Masami 大 上 正 美, "Shō Kai ron" 鍾 會 論, Aoyama gakuin daigaku bungakubu kiyō 青 山 學 院 大 學 文 學 部 紀 要 30 (1988), 17–29.

For double issues of journals:

Schuyler Cammann, "The 'TLV' Pattern on Cosmic Mirrors of the Han Dynasty," Journal of the American Oriental Society 68.3-4 (1948), 159-67.

For journals that are issued monthly or bi-monthly, the form of the citation should be as follows:

"He zun mingwen chushi" 何尊銘文初釋, Wenwu 1976.1, 64-65, 93.

Examples of journals in early China studies that should be cited in this way are as follows:

Jiang Han kaogu

Kongzi yanjiu


Kaogu xuebao

Kaogu yu wenwu

Lishi yanjiu

Sichuan wenwu




Zhongguo lishi bowuguan guankan

Zhongyuan wenwu

Electronic resources should be cited as follows:

"Readers unfamiliar with the Warring States Project website may wish to consult the following url's for the Brooks' views on the Zuo zhuan ( and the Chun qiu (" For single citations of an electronic site, provide the date on which the site was accessed: "accessed on May 31, 2005".

Multiple references to a work should give only the author's surname (or full name, without characters, in the case of Chinese authors with common surnames), title (shortened in the case of very long titles), and page number (without "p.").

When referring to previous notes in the article, the form should be "See n.87 above".

Characters need not be supplied for Chinese and Japanese authors when the author is an organization or institution.

When giving the names of Chinese and Japanese publishing houses and presses, words such as chuban she, yinshu guan, and shuppansha should be omitted.


In general, the use of ibid., op. cit., and abbreviations of titles (e.g., SJZY for Shi ji zhengyi), except, for example, in tables, should be avoided.

Citations of primary sources

Primary sources should be spelled in the following way.

Chun qiu

Chu ci

Daode jing

Du duan



Guo yu


Han shu

Han Feizi


Hou Han shu


Huangdi neijing

Huangdi sijing

Lienü zhuan

Lun heng

Lun yu

Lüshi chunqiu

Mao shi


Mu tianzi zhuan

Sanguo zhi

Shanhai jing zhusu

Shang shu

Shang shu dazhuan

Shangjun shu

Shi ji

Shi jing


Shu jing

Shuijing zhu

Shuo wen

Shuowen jiezi


Xunzi jijie

Yantie lun

Yanzi chunqiu

Yi jing

Yin Wenzi

Zhanguo ce

Zhou Yi

Zhushu jinian

Zuo zhuan

References to modern editions should indicate the name of the text, followed by a comma, followed by the chapter (juan) number, followed by a period, followed by the page number:

Shi ji, 28.1401

Han shu 漢書 (Beijing: Zhonghua, 1962), 53.2410

Xunzi jijie 荀子集解, ed. Wang Xianqian 王先謙 (Beijing: Zhonghua, 1988), 349

When citing a section or chapter of a primary text, the title of the text should appear first in italics, followed by the pinyin romanization of the section or chapter title in round brackets and in roman script, followed by the Chinese graphs:

Ying Shao 應劭, Fengsu tongyi jiaoshi 風俗通義校釋, ed. Wu Shuping 吳樹平 (Tianjin: Tianjin renmin, 1980), 366 ("Shan ze: Wu yue" 山澤: 五嶽)

When citing the juan and sub-section number of a text such as the Lüshi chunqiu or Zhanguo ce in a modern edition, together with the western page number, put the page number immediately after the title of the text, followed by the chapter title, followed by the juan and section number enclosed in round brackets, as in the following example:

Lüshi chunqiu, 705 ("Jin ting" 謹聼 13.5).

References to notes in multiple volume modern editions that preserve the juan numbers should be presented in the following example where the "2" represents the juan number, "96" the page number, the "1", the note number, and ("Dang ran" 當染) is the title of the section. It is not necessary to include the volume (or ce) number of the modern edition:

Chen Qiyou 陳奇猷, Lüshi chunqiu jiaoshi 呂氏春秋校釋 (Shanghai: Xuelin, 1990), 2.96n1 ("Dang ran" 當染)

References to page numbers in traditionally paginated texts should read as follows:

Li shi, 2.4b

Guanzi 管子 (Sibu beiyao 四部備要 ed.), 15.6a-b.

Yi li zhushu 儀禮注疏 (Shisan jing zhushu 十三經注疏 ed., 1815; rpt. Taipei: Yiwen, 1997), 28.337-34.407

When citing from one of the concordances of the classical Chinese texts, use the following format:

Kongzi jiayu 孔子家語, "Ben xing" 本性 (Kongzi jiayu zhuzi suoyin 孔子家語逐字索引, Institute for Chinese Studies Concordance [Hong Kong: Commercial Press, 1992], 39.1/72/22-23)

III. Numbers and Dates

Inclusive numbers:

Inclusive numbers (continued numbers) are separated by an en dash. The University of Chicago Press abbreviates inclusive numbers according to the following principles (examples are page numbers):

First Number

Second Number


Less than 100 Use all digits 3-10; 71-72
100 or multiple of 100 Use all digits100-104; 600-613; 1100-1123
101 through 109 (in multiples of 100)Use changed part only, omitting unneeded zeros107-8; 505-17
110 through 199 (in multiples of 100)Use two digits, or more as needed11564-68; 13792-803

But if numbers are four digits long and three digits change, use all digits:


Note the following instances of continued numbers other than pages:

the war of 1914-18

the years 1597-1601

the winter of 1900-1901

fiscal year 1975-76 (or 1975/76)

325-27 C.E.; 300-325 C.E.

327-325 B.C.E.

A.D. 325-27

A.D. 300-325

But: 327-325 B.C.

Note that Early China would prefer to use the form B.C.E./C.E. (Before the Common Era/Common Era, paralleling the Chinese gongyuan qian/gongyuan) rather than B.C./A.D. Indicate in a footnote if all dates are B.C.E. or C.E.

When inclusive dates occur in titles, it is usual to repeat all the digits:

An English Mission to Muscovy, 1589-1591

Dates of reigns

When indicating the length of a reign of a Chinese ruler, give the name in romanization first, followed by the Chinese graphs, followed by the dates in brackets:

Huiwen of Qin 秦惠文王 (r. 337-311 B.C.E.)

IV. Figures and Art

Upon final acceptance, all figures and illustrations should be submitted as separate, clearly identified graphic files (TIFF and EPS files are preferred). A descriptive heading, with a citation of the source and text placement advice, should be inserted inside the main text of the article after the paragraph in which the item is first referenced; the item will normally be typeset at the top of the next page. For archaic and non-Unicode characters, please insert the image in-line with the text as well as submitting separately as graphic files (see section V). Illustrations must be at a resolution of 300 dpi or more (for character images that will be inserted as in-line with text, 1200 dpi is strongly preferred).

Normally, color illustrations will appear as such in the online publication, but be converted to grayscale in the printed version, so authors should ensure that the conversion of their color images does not reduce their illustrative value. Color illustrations can also be printed in the paper version if requested, but will incur extra cost, which is borne by the author.

Authors should also ensure that they write for permission to reproduce copyrighted material in both the print and online editions of the journal.

Please consult the Editor for further information when submitting art.

V. Archaic and other Non-Unicode Characters

All graphs that are available in Unicode should be entered as characters. N.b., with extended fonts there are now more than 70,000 Unihan characters. To check, see, for example:

As noted under IV. Figures and Art, both images of archaic characters and modern-style transcriptions not available in Unicode should be scanned at 1200 dpi, ideally at larger than final size. They may be scanned from a clear, printed version or hand-drawn by a good calligrapher. Both character types should be sent as separate image files in the final submission, as well as inserted in-line in the text in their final placement. For efficiency it is recommended, but not required, that romanization be used after the first placement of the in-line character images.

VI. Final Manuscript Preparation

After your submission has been accepted for publication, the original manuscript will be returned to you with suggested editorial revisions. At this stage it is expected that the author will incorporate necessary changes into a final file (which should be supplied in a format compatible with a standard American word processing system). We also ask authors to adhere to the following two formats in these files:

  • Delete all idiosyncratic word-processing functions, such as cross-referencing commands, etc., but retaining universal functions such as italics (if you have used underlines these should be converted), centering, etc. Do not italicize Chinese or Japanese graphs. Notes should be supplied as footnotes.
  • Where spaces have been left for the insertion of images of archaic graphs, please substitute one space followed by the two letters "xx" (in the main text) or "**" (in the notes) followed either by a space or punctuation. Whether there is only one character or a string of characters, you should supply only one xx or **.

In order to facilitate production of the journal we also ask that you try to conform to the following word-processing standards:

  • With IBM compatible programs, Word in the Windows operating system is preferred. Use New Times Roman font, 12 point, for English.
  • Use PMingLiu font for Chinese and MS Mincho for Japanese. Unfortunately, using all the CJK capabilities at once in MAC MS Word adds some complications (see Yale's "Chinese Mac" site for details), but in theory, if the author can type what she/he wants in MAC Word under OS X, we should be able to use the file. If you use TwinBridge or other Chinese character software, enter characters using Unicode fonts but be aware that this and other programs trying to bridge the change into Unicode create a difficulty: they continue the pre-Unicode option of adding a space-bar space ("ASCII space") after every CJK character. These must be removed from Unicode files, where no spaces are wanted inside a CJK string.
  • Avoid Wordperfect and NISUS if at all possible when sending files electronically, as their graphs are often unreadable by the word processing systems used by the Editor.
  • The main body of the text and the footnotes should be double-spaced and neither the text nor the footnotes should be justified.

In the event of special needs (e.g., specialized fonts or diacritics, illustrations, etc.), please consult the Editor at the time that you submit the draft to be copy edited. Other questions should also be addressed to the Editor at this time.

At the same time as you submit your revised draft, please send:

  1. An Abstract in English and Chinese in another file
  2. A list of 3-5 Keywords in English and Chinese
  3. Your name and contact information (address + name in Chinese graphs) in a third file

For a sample article, please click here.

English Language Editing Services

Authors, particularly those whose first language is not English, may wish to have their English-language manuscripts checked by a native speaker before submission. This is optional, but may help to ensure that the academic content of the paper is fully understood by the editor and any reviewers. We list a number of third-party services specializing in language editor and/or translation, and suggest that authors contact as appropriate. Click here for more information.

Open Access Policies

Please visit our Open Access page for information on our open access policies, compliance with major finding bodies, and guidelines on depositing your manuscript in an institutional repository.

Publication Ethics

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