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Instructions for contributors

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Journal of Southeast Asian Studies

The Journal of Southeast Asian Studies is published for the Department of History, National University of Singapore, by Cambridge University Press. Contributions are invited from scholars working in all disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences, and should deal with the Philippines, Timor Leste, Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam, Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos or Vietnam.

The editorial board prefers manuscripts of between 9,000 and 12,000 words oriented toward a readership composed of scholars working in various disciplines, but written to be accessible to non-specialists.

Materials should be fully documented and have enduring value.

Analyses of current affairs that may quickly fall out of date, and pieces containing policy prescriptions, are rarely accepted.

Before a manuscript can be published, it must conform to the Journal’s style sheet, which is available upon request from the editor.

Submission of an article will be taken to mean that it has not been previously published and that it is not on offer to any other publisher.

Contributors are encouraged to submit articles by electronic mail whenever possible.

Authors receive a complimentary copy of the issue of the Journal in which their piece appears and a PDF offprint file.

Material appearing in the Journal of Southeast Asian Studies does not necessarily represent the views of the editors or of the publisher, and responsibility for opinions expressed and the accuracy of facts published in articles rests solely with the individual authors.

Editorial correspondence, requests for permission to reprint articles, and contributions should be directed to:

The Editor

Journal of Southeast Asian Studies

c/o Department of History

National University of Singapore

11 Arts Link, AS1 #05-27,

Singapore 117570

JSEAS Fax: (65) 67742528

JSEAS Tel: (65) 65166670

JSEAS Email:

JSEAS Homepage:


History Department · National University of Singapore

11 Arts Link · Singapore 119260

Telephone : (65) 65166670

Telefax : (65) 67742528

E-mail :

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


The Editors of the Journal of Southeast Asian Studies will review manuscripts prepared according to any standard set of scholarly conventions. If possible, manuscripts should be submitted as e-mail attachments or on diskette. The text should be prepared with double spacing throughout, pages should be numbered consecutively throughout the entire manuscript, and generous margins should be set.

Material accepted for publication will need to be brought into line with the following conventions.

1. Spelling

For the English language, follow British spelling conventions as found in the Oxford series of dictionaries with the exception of material in a direct quote, which should follow the original source. Authors should note the spellings of the following commonly used words:

centre, not center

programme, not program

colour, not color

flavour, not flavor

specialise, not specialize

honour, not honor

humour, not humor

saviour, not savior

organise, not organize

labour, not labor

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 specialising in language editing and / or translation, and suggest that authors contact as appropriate. Please see the Language Services page for more information. Please note that the use of any of these services is voluntary, and at the author's own expense. Use of these services does not guarantee that the manuscript will be accepted for publication, nor does it restrict the author to submitting to a Cambridge published journal.

2. Capitalization

For titles of books or articles written in languages using the Roman alphabet, capitalize the first word of the title plus the first word after a colon or semi-colon, as well as any proper nouns. In transcribing from languages written in non-Roman scripts, capitalize only proper nouns. When in doubt, do not capitalize.

3. Italics

Titles of books, pamphlets and periodicals should be italicised, as should words of non-English origin except for terms that have been incorporated into the English language. Examples of non-italicized words include ibid., per diem and vice versa. Italics should not be used for titles of chapters in books, titles of articles, personal names, and names of places and organizations in the English language. Avoid italicising words for emphasis.

4. Inverted Commas/Quotation marks

Use single inverted commas [quotation marks] for titles of articles, unpublished works, English translations of words from another language, and short quotations. Use double inverted commas to indicate quoted material within a quotation. All punctuation used in connection with phrases inside inverted commas must be placed according to the sense: if the punctuation marks are part of the material quoted, they should be placed inside the quotation marks; otherwise they should be placed outside the closing quotation marks.

5. Diacritical marks

The Journal can reproduce most diacritical marks, and these should be placed in the text submitted electronically, or if that is not possible, indicated clearly on the hard copy.

6. Quotations

a. Fragmentary quotations must fit grammatically into the text in terms of syntax, verb tenses, personal pronouns, etc.

b. Block quotations or extracts of more than forty words should be set off from the text by indenting them a few spaces in from the left-hand margin. Inverted commas are not placed around block quotations, and paragraph indentation for the first sentence of the quotation is unnecessary. If, however, the quotation consists of two or more paragraphs, the second and any subsequent paragraphs should begin with a paragraph indentation.

7. Brackets

Use square brackets [ ] to enclose explanatory matter inserted into a verbatim quotation, or matter inserted to complete the meaning of a translation and intended to read as part of the translated text. The translation of the title of a book or article in a foreign language, if given, should be placed in square brackets after the original title.

8. Ellipses

For ellipses within a sentence use three full stops [periods] ... and for ellipses at the end of a sentence use four full stops ....

9. Numerals

Numbers of less than two digits should be spelled out except in technical or statistical discussions involving their frequent use, or in footnotes where space saving is recommended. Fractional quantities are also expressed in figures. ‘Per cent’ is written as two words, and the symbol % should not be used, except in Tables.

For dates in the main body of the text, use the following patterns:

X remained in office from 1927-1939

The Second World War (1941-45)

24 August 1971

eighteenth (not 18th) century

1890s (not 1890’s)

the fifties

221 BCE and 211 CE

10. Units of Measure

Use the international metric system of measurement for units of measure (length, weight and capacity). If other units of measure are indicated, supply metric equivalents.

11. Cross-references

Avoid cross-references to specific pages in the manuscript, or from one footnote to another.

12. Bibliographies

As a rule the Journal does not publish bibliographies, and all bibliographic references should be included in the footnotes.

13. Diagrams, Illustrations, Tables, Maps

All figures and tables should be on separate sheets and numbered as in the text. For further details of file formats please see Cambridge Journals Artwork Guide. The position of illustrations, maps, diagrams, and tables should be indicated in the margin of the text, and captions should be supplied. Tables should be numbered consecutively. Titles should identify the table briefly, and should not give background information or describe results. (Mixing of different kinds of information in one column is to be avoided; for example, put dollar amounts in one column, percentages in another, and so on). The source(s) of the information presented in a table should be indicated immediately below it.

If you request colour figures in the printed version, you will be contacted by CCC-Rightslink who are acting on our behalf to collect Author Charges. Please follow their instructions in order to avoid any delay in the publication of your article.

14. Material in Asian Languages

The Journal can print titles and terms using the scripts of most Southeast Asian languages, although where terminology is not ambiguous the Editors may opt for Romanization.

For authoritative spellings and definitions, the following dictionaries are recommended:

Bahasa Malaysia: T. Iskandar, Kamus Dewan (Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, 1985).

Indonesian: John M. Echols and Hassan Shadily, revised by John U. Wolff and James T. Collins, Kamus Indonesia Inggris (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, and Jakarta, Penerbit PT Gramedia, 1989), Kamus Besar Bahasa Indonesia (Jakarta: Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan, Balai Pustaka, 1989), or any other dictionary that follows the 1972 system of standardized spelling for Bahasa Indonesia/Bahasa Malaysia (Ejaan yang disempurnakan).

Tagalog: Leo James English, C.Ss.R., English-Tagalog Dictionary (Metro Manila: National Book Store, 1992).

For transcriptions of material in Thai or Chinese or Japanese, use the following standards:

Thai: the Library of Congress/Modified Cornell System of transcription.

Chinese: Romanization should be in Hanyu pinyin. For questionable cases, refer to Beijing Foreign Language Institute, The Chinese-English Dictionary (Hanying cidian) (Beijing: The Commercial Press, 1978). Omit tonal marks.

Japanese: the system found in Kenkyusha’s New Japanese-English Dictionary.

15. Appendices

Each appendix should start on a new page; appendices should be arranged in alphabetical sequence (Appendix A, B, C, ...) and each should be given a title.

16. Citations in the Text

When referring to the work of other scholars, give the full name and not the surname alone for the first occurrence in the text: not ‘as Reid says in his book Southeast Asia in the Age of Commerce, but ‘as Anthony Reid says in his ....’

17. Footnotes

a. Use abbreviated forms, e.g., 24 Aug. 1971, 18th century; for months use the following abbreviations: Jan., Feb., Mar., Apr., May, June, July, Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., Dec. For abbreviations include full stops except in the case of acronyms (such as ASEAN), which should be written in capitals, and titles such as Dr for Doctor (in which the final letter of the short form is the final letter of the word written in full).

b. Page numbers should be indicated in accordance with the following examples.

p. 179

pp. 107-9 [for pages 107-109]

pp. 168-72 [for pages 168-172]

pp. 244-9 [for pages 244-249]

pp. 116-18 [for pages 116-118]

pp. 178-202.

Passim, ff. (following, as in pp. 178 ff.), and et seqq. should be avoided.

Ibid. is allowed.

Do not cite a footnote (fn.). Just provide the page number.

c. In citing references from books, give each source in full the first time it appears, arranging the elements as follows: author’s name in the normal order, title of the book italicised, publication details in parentheses (city: publisher, year), and the page number(s) where the cited information appears, as in the following examples:

1 T.N. Harper, The end of empire and the making of Malaya (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp. 57-62.

2 Mina Roces, ‘The gendering of post-war Philippine politics’, in Gender and power in affluent Asia, ed. Krishna Sen and Maila Stivens (London and New York: Routledge, 1998), p. 294. (In this example, ‘ed.’ means ‘edited by’ and should not be ‘eds.’)

d. To cite articles that have appeared in journals, give the name of the author(s) in the normal order, the title of the article within single inverted commas, the name of the journal or periodical italicised, the volume and issue numbers, the year of publication, and the relevant page number(s).

1 Wim F. Wertheim, ‘Conditions on sugar estates in colonial Java: Comparisons with Deli’, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, 24, 2 (1993): 268-9.

e. The title of any unpublished work (dissertation, a paper read at a meeting, or a manuscript, etc.) is enclosed in quotation marks and not italicised, including material in mimeographed form. For example:

1 Lee Chae Jin, ‘Chinese Communist policy in Laos, 1954-1965’ (Ph.D. diss., University of California, Los Angeles, 1966), p. 25. (Please note that it is not necessary to state that a dissertation or other paper is ‘unpublished’.)

f. For references to a work already cited in full, omit the publication details and include only the author’s surname and shortened title of the book or article, followed by the page numbers. When a footnote refers to the same source as the one immediately preceding it, ‘Ibid.’ should be used. The Journal does not use ‘op. cit.’ or ‘loc. cit.’

Last updated 22nd January 2015