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Style Sheet

Download Style Sheet

Download Requirements for Figures and Tables

We recommend consulting the most recent issues of HJAS for models of current house style.

Submitting a manuscript

(As of January 31, 2022): HJAS uses Editorial Manager (EM), an online manuscript-managing system, to invite, submit, track, and review manuscripts. You must have an EM account in order to submit to HJAS. To create or access your account, follow the instructions on the HJAS EM home page at

For a new article manuscript submission, you are required to upload from two to six files: 

  • a required MS Word file with the main text and notes (with citations) in HJAS style, 
  • a required MS Word file with the title and an English abstract of 100–150 words,
  • an optional MS Word file with all figures and their captions, 
  • an optional MS Word file with all tables and their notes,
  • an optional MS Word file with any appendices,
  • an optional cover letter.   

For new article manuscripts, the main text and notes combined should not exceed 10,000 words, and notes should not exceed 25 percent of this manuscript file. Do not include figures, tables, or appendices in the main manuscript file. If you have figures (images, bar graphs, maps, and the like) or tables, see the HJAS Requirements for Publication of Figures and Tables. (Note that maps have special requirements.) If you want to include an appendix, contact the Journal office for instructions prior to submission. 

For revised article manuscript submissions, which are by invitation only, you are required to upload from three to seven files: 

  • a required MS Word file with the main text and notes in HJAS style, 
  • a required MS Word file with the title and an English abstract of 100–150 words,
  • a required MS Word file with an anonymized explanation of the revisions made in response to reviewer and editor comments. 
  • an optional MS Word file with all figures and their captions, 
  • an optional MS Word file with all tables and their notes,
  • an optional MS Word file with any appendices,
  • an optional cover letter.   

The word limit for revised article manuscripts is specified in the invitation to resubmit. Be sure to update your abstract so it reflects the revised content. Your explanation of revisions will be made available to any repeat reviewers, so your name and institution should not be on it. 

For book reviews and review essays, which are by invitation only, you will be required to upload two or more files: 

  • a required MS Word file with the main text and notes (with citations) in HJAS style, 
  • a required signed contract,
  • an optional MS Word file with all figures (showing how all the images should look) and a caption for every figure, 
  • if there are any figures, each figure image or component file meeting HJAS technical requirements (including file type) must be submitted separately,  
  • an optional MS Word file with all tables and their notes,
  • an optional cover letter.   

Review essays should not exceed 4,000 words, and book reviews should not exceed 1,500 words. In all reviews, notes should be minimal (under 20 percent), and figures and tables must meet HJAS Requirements for Publication of Figures and Tables. Note that maps have special requirements. 


  • Do not include your name or any acknowledgments in article manuscript submissions (new or revised). If you cite your own work do not refer to it as “my” work in the submitted manuscript. This anonymity is for review purposes; in the final article as well as in book reviews and review essays, we prefer authors to use “my” in reference to their own work. Article authors are allowed to include a brief acknowledgment note in the final publication.
  • Everything—text, notes, block quotations, figure captions, tables—must be double-spaced. 
  • Do not justify the right margin. 
  • Do not insert two spaces between sentences or between double and single quotation marks.
  • Paginate the manuscript but avoid using any other running header or footer. 
  • Margins should be at least one inch wide all around. For the abstract, main text, notes, figure captions, tables, and appendices, use font size 12. On figure images, do not go below 10-point font.
  • The preferred English font is Times New Roman. (See below for Asian fonts.) 
  • Do not use automatic hyphenation. 
  • Notes should be footnotes. Citations are provided in notes (citation format is described below). Do not use author-date citation style and do not provide a bibliography or reference list. 
  • Avoid long footnotes. HJAS will not publish footnotes that exceed the main text on the page.
  • Do not number headings and subheadings. Do not begin the manuscript with a heading (such as “Introduction”). Keep headings brief (under 65 text characters and spaces combined).
  • Do use block quotes, tables, and figures where they support your argument, but limit the overall number of each. See the discussion of Substantive Requirements in HJAS Requirements for Publication of Figures and Tables

General style

  • In matters of English-language style, HJAS generally follows the rules set out in the Chicago Manual of Style Online (17th edition) [hereafter CMS] and the spellings in the current online Merriam-Webster Dictionary. However, for East Asian languages and materials, we privilege the following guides over CMS. For Japanese, we use the current Monumenta Nipponica style guide. For Chinese, we use Endymion Wilkinson, Chinese History: A Manual, 4th ed. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2015); see especially pp. xvii–xxiii.
  • Authors are encouraged to consult the most recent issues of HJAS for models of our current style.

House style

  • Use American spellings (color, judgment, councilor, adviser). 
  • When using indigenous or premodern weights and measures, provide parenthetical conversion to the metric system (kilograms, meters); you may also add conversion to the American system (pounds, feet).
  • When the names of authors change over time (whether due to preference, marriage, divorce, or changes in romanization), use the author’s preferred name (insofar as it can be determined) in the main text, but in the notes, provide the name as given on the title page of the work. Alternate names should usually be provided in square brackets so that readers may find other works by the same author. (See below for the application of this rule to Asian names.)  
  • Use a serial comma before “and” in a series, as in: China, Japan, and Korea.
  • Use present tense to refer to the contents of a written work: “In his sixteenth-century report, the author says…” (per CMS 5.129, category 2: “timeless facts, such as… works of the past that are still extant or enduring”).
  • Note the difference in capitalization (per Merriam Webster) for the following related terms: sinograph, Sinicization, sinicize, sinology, Sinification. 
  • Observe the distinction between the nonrestrictive “which” and restrictive “that,” as well as between “while” meaning “during the time when” and “although” (per CMS 5.250 under “that; which” and “while”).  
  • Put a noun after “this” and “these” to specify the antecedent (cf. CMS 5.28).
  • Do not speak of yourself in the third person and avoid passive-voice constructions (“according to the argument of the present author”); instead, use first person and active voice (“I argue”). Note that HJAS house style prefers “I argue” over “this article argues.”
  • Do not use the following abbreviations: e.g., et seq., etc., ff., ibid, i.e., or op. cit. Instead, use phrases such as “for example,” “and the like,” or “in other words.” 
  • Abbreviate inclusive numbers (except for years), using an en-dash (–) for the range (per CMS 9.61):  
    • If the first number in the sequence is 1–99, 100, or multiples of 100, then use all digits for the second number in the sequence (such as, 3–10, 96–117, 1100–1113). 
    • If the first number in the sequence is 101–9, 201–9, and so on, use the changed part only for the ending number in the sequence (for example, 101–8, 808–33).
    • If the first number in the sequence is 110–99, 210–88, and so forth, then use two or more digits unless more digits are needed to include all changed parts (for instance, 321–28, 498–532, 1087–89, 1496–500, 12991–3001). 
  • For year sequences, use all digits: 1275–1286, 220 BCE–200 CE, 220–210 BCE.
  • Spell out the numbers one through one hundred, as well as round numbers for hundreds and sometimes thousands (but not, say, 150 or 3,400), except when combined with “percent,” when referring to the numbered part of a publication, when numbers appear frequently within a paragraph, and when citing sources. Thus: “twentieth century” but “chapter 3.” 
  • Use an en-dash, not a hyphen, to mean “to” (per CMS 6.78), as in “Ming–Qing transition.” 
  • Avoid use of “contemporary” or “current” when referring to historical events; instead use “contemporaneous” not only for things and actions but also people (contra CMS 5.250). 
  • Do not use biased terms. For example, instead of “Oriental” use “Asian”; instead of “man” use “person,” “humans,” or “people”; instead of “manpower” use “labor.” Such terms may be used in direct quotations of earlier works, with appropriate context provided, or official titles (such as the Oriental Institute in Prague, or the Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies). See CMS 5.251–5. 260 for recommendations on bias-free language.
  • Italicize names of scriptures and sacred works in book-length sources, including the Heart Sūtra, the Hebrew Bible, the Bible, and the Five Classics (contra CMS 8.103). 

Romanization of Asian languages

  • Italicize Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and other foreign-language terms, words, or phrases that have not been anglicized (except for proper names and place names) each time that they occur.
  • Following convention, HJAS will accept variation in the romanization of individual personal names and prefers the use of such well-established exceptions as “Taipei” and “Seoul.” (However, the names of emperors should follow regional style guides.) Note that the romanization preferences of authors with ethnic Asian heritage who publish in English should be honored. HJAS-preferred romanizations (such as pinyin) should only be provided (in square brackets) when their Asian-language work is cited. For example:  
    • Ping-ti Ho, Studies on the Population of China, 1368–1953 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1959).
    • Ho Ping-ti [He Bingdi] 何炳棣, Ming chu yijiang renkou ji qi xiangguan wenti, 1368–1953 明初以降人口及其相关问题, 1368–1953, trans. Ge Jiangxiong 葛剑雄 (Beijing: Shenghuo-Dushu-Xinzhi Sanlian shudian, 1989). 
  • Use Asian order for personal names (surname first) when referring to authors of works written in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean; and use English order for personal names (surname last) when referring to authors of English-language materials.
  • Capitalize each word of the English translations of Chinese institutions but not their pinyin names (per Wilkinson, p. xviii). Thus, 华东师范大学 is East China Normal University and Huadong shifan daxue. Also, when two proper names appear one after another, the second proper name starts with a capital letter. Thus 文淵閣四庫全書 is Wenyuan ge Siku quanshu (the Wenyuan ge edition of the Siku quanshu) and the Institute of History and Philology at the Academia Sinica is Zhongyang yanjiuyuan Lishi yuyan yanjiusuo 中央研究院歷史語言研究所.
  • For Chinese, use pinyin throughout the manuscript (other than names as discussed above), following standard rules. Please note that hyphenation is rarely used in pinyin and that the pinyin for a single concept is spelled without spacing even if it uses two or more characters: quanguo 全国, yanjiushengyuan 研究生院. 
  • For Japanese, use the modified Hepburn system of romanization in Kenkyūsha’s New Japanese-English Dictionary, with the following qualifications:  
    • Use macrons to represent long vowels, except for fully anglicized words (shogun, daimyo) and the names of Japan’s main islands and principal cities (Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Honshu; but Kantō, Tōhoku). Note that Ryukyu is a fully anglicized word, so it takes no macrons (for the islands, language, people, or kingdom). However, a long “i” should be romanized with a double “i” rather than a macron: kōhii, not kōhī.
    • Use “n” rather than “m” to replace the Japanese syllable “ん/ン.” For newspapers, write shinbun, not shimbun
    • Only include an apostrophe after an “n” when the “n” is followed by a vowel that is a separate syllable, as in “Koizumi Jun’ichirō.” Do not use apostrophes otherwise.
  • For Korean, use the McCune-Reischauer romanization consistently, except for fully anglicized words and place names (hangul, kimchi, Pyongyang). 
  • For Manchu, use the Möllendorff system in P. G. von Möllendorff, A Manchu Grammar (Shanghai: American Presbyterian Mission Press, 1892), and in Jerry Norman, A Comprehensive Manchu-English Dictionary (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2013).
  • For Mongolian, use the system found in A. Mostaert, “Index des mots du Mongol écrit et du Mongol ancien,” in Dictionnaire Ordos: A-Ž, tables alphabétiques (New York: Johnson Reprint Corporation, 1968), pp. 769–809, and in Nicholas Poppe, Grammar of Written Mongolian (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1954). 
  • For Tibetan, use the system found in Turrell Wylie, “A Standard System of Tibetan Transcription,” HJAS 22 (1959): 261–67, DOI: 10.2307/2718544
  • For Russian, use the Library of Congress system.
  • For Sanskrit, use the system found in W. D. Whitney’s Sanskrit Grammar. Note that many Sanskrit Buddhist terms are now fully anglicized (sutra, dharma, Mahayana). Provide diacritics on proper names that are not fully anglicized (Śākyamuni). 
  • For Arabic and Turkic, use the system used by the International Journal of Middle East Studies (IJMES) except that, unlike IJMES, we do want diacritics on names of persons, places, and titles of books and articles. However, as always with foreign place names, if there is a fully anglicized name (without diacritics), use it: Baghdad, for example.

Use of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean Characters

  • The preferred Chinese font is PMingLiU, Japanese MS Mincho, Korean Batang (for hangul and hancha). Note that most other Korean fonts show as blank boxes after conversion to the PDF files used for the review process, so be sure to check that all Asian graphs appear correctly on your EM-generated PDF submission file. If any text is unreadable during our technical check, we will return the manuscript to the author for correction prior to any review.
  • HJAS does not provide separate glossaries. Characters or graphs should appear in the body of the text, following the appropriate romanization. Authors may use simplified or traditional characters as they prefer, maintaining consistency throughout the main text, tables, and figure captions. In the notes, however, use simplified or traditional characters for a citation based on the usage in the original source. Note that Korean (but not Chinese) uses spaces between graphs to distinguish words.
  • Provide characters for a name, term, or title only once in the manuscript file, where it is first mentioned, whether that is in the main text or in the notes. 
    • For terms that appear more than once in the manuscript, provide romanization as well as character(s) at first usage and thereafter use only the romanization or English translation as appropriate.
    • Characters are not required after English translations of a direct quote longer than two or three words. Characters may be included as intellectually appropriate, preferably in the footnote with the citation, but do not provide romanizations for lengthy or block quotations.  
  • For Asian publishers’ names, use romanization without characters. Do not translate the publisher’s name; for example, use “Renmin chubanshe” for 人民出版社, not “People’s Publishing House.” 
  • In the case of poetry, characters are published side by side with the English translation. 

Citation of Sources

  • The guiding principle for HJAS citation style is that nonspecialist readers (such as beginning graduate students) interested in following up on any specific citation (such as beginning graduate students) must be able to find the quoted or referenced passage in the work and must have sufficient information to locate and access the source material (either through interlibrary loan or an in-person visit). 
  • Authors are responsible for providing citations for all works referenced and quoted. 
    • Do not use “passim” or “ff.” Instead provide specific page numbers.
  • Every quotation must have a citation that specifies the page number of the quoted passage. When referring to a larger debate or reflecting on the state of a field, authors should provide an exemplary citation so nonspecialist readers have an entry point to that body of literature.  
  • If several sentences in a row require citation to the same page of the same source, place the citation at the end of the first sentence. 
  • “Personal communication” citations require the written permission of the person being cited.
  • When citing Asian-language material in the notes, give the following information in this order at the first citation: the author’s full name in romanization followed by characters (if it is the first usage of the author’s name), then the romanized title of the work followed by characters (if it is the first usage of the title) with the publishing information in parentheses. Do not provide English translation in the citation note. Use the format as shown here and in the sample notes:  
    • Fei Xiaotong 費孝通, Xiangtu Zhongguo 鄉土中國 (Shanghai: Guancha she, 1948). 
  • Foreign-language titles may be translated in the main text and then referred to consistently by either the original or the translated title. 
  • For Chinese-language historical sources, provide the modern number for the physical volume (ce 册) in the source used as well as the traditional juan 卷 number and the juan-based page number (which is consistent across modern editions). Even for classical works, such as the Shijing 詩經, provide complete citations to specific editions. See, for example, sample note 18.  
    • Only use the modern page number (which continues numeration across juan and varies by publisher and edition) if the juan-based page number is not available. See sample note 20a.  
  • Similarly, for Korean- and Japanese-language material, use the Asian-language term for “volume” (such as kwŏn or maki), when appropriate, and provide the character at first usage. See sample notes 27, 28, 35, and 56. 
  • When citing modern editions of often-reprinted classical works, HJAS prefers editions that are considered standard in the specialized field. For example, we prefer Zhonghua shuju 中华书局 editions and the Scripta Sinica collection offered online by Academia Sinica—which are now widely accessible, given current standards in print and digital publication—and we discourage citation of Sibu congkan 四部叢刊 and other collectanea, which are now more difficult to access. Moreover, following their own recommendation, we discourage citations of classical sources on  
  • For archival material, provide the author (where known), the title or a brief description of the material, the date (whether exact or estimated), record locator, and collection name, as well as the name of the archive and its geographic location. If the date is not included in the title, place the date in brackets. In addition to this information, if the archival material is available online, also provide a URL. See sample notes 45–65 and also guidelines provided by the US National Archives
  • For any source that is difficult to locate, provide a URL to a library or archive catalog. 
  • For all works (except academic journals), including Japanese-language books published in Tokyo, include the place of publication. If the place of publication is unknown, use “n.p.” (see CMS 14.132).
  • For works cited more than once, use a short-form citation. See sample notes 17, 19, 22, 51, and 58; see also CMS 14.30 and 14.33. For works cited four or more times, authors may specify and use a nonstandard abbreviated form. See sample notes 18, 29, and 31. 
    • Do not use “ibid,” “idem,” “op. cit.,” or “loc. cit.”
  • Spell out the full names of all journals in citations, except HJAS. For HJAS articles, abbreviate the journal name and provide a DOI link. 
  • When using online resources, the authors must provide the DOI, which is preferred, or the stable URL, along with a date (see especially CMS 14.6–13, 14.161, 14.205–210, 14.213, 14.267).  
    • The preferred date is the official publication or print date; if that date is not available, then use the date on which the site was last modified or revised. 
    • If no date is given on the website, use the date that the material was last accessed. 
    • Where applicable, include a Reference Code or search (s.v.) term. 
    • See sample notes 7b, 20b, 28, 36, 37, 42, 48, 49, 52, 53, 57, 58, 60, 62, and 63.
  • Review authors should insert into the main text all page references to the book(s) under review. If more than one book is under review, use a short-form of the book title (or author name) to distinguish in-text page references. Use notes for all other references. 
  • Article authors may, if analyzing one work in detail, insert page numbers to that work in the main text. Place all other references in notes.

Submitting Figures and Tables for Review

  • HJAS publishes figures—including art illustrations, genealogies, maps, and the like—and tables that facilitate understanding an author’s argument. Figures and tables can often provide large amounts of information more clearly and concisely than prose. Nevertheless, authors should limit the total number of figures and tables. 
  • Provide characters for Asian-language terms in the figures, figure captions, and tables. regardless of whether they have been used previously in the main text. Editors will work with authors of accepted manuscripts during copyediting to decide whether characters are needed in each figure and table.
  • Collect all figures together in a single MS Word file. 
    • Below each figure provide a number, title, caption, and source. 
    • There should be a callout to each figure (by number) in the main text. 
  • For the purposes of review, figures do not have to meet our technical specifications. However, during the copyediting stage of production, authors of accepted manuscripts are responsible for submitting figure and table files that meet all our requirements, including obtaining permissions. Figures that do not meet these requirements will not be published.
  • Collect all tables together in a single MS Word file. 
    • Above each table provide a number and title. 
    • Use footnotes to the table to explain terms and provide source citations.
    • There should be a callout to each table (by number) in the main text. 
  • See the HJAS Requirements for Publication of Figures and Tables for an explanation of our substantive, legal, stylistic, and technical requirements.

Submitting an Appendix

  • HJAS publishes an appendix only if it serves a scholarly need in providing evidence for the main argument in an article. 
  • Examples of published appendices include: 
    • the text and translation of a sixteenth-century eight-legged essay, in Alexander Des Forges, “Industry and Its Motivations: Reading Tang Xianzu’s Examination Essay on the Problem of Excess Cloth,” HJAS 80.1 (2020): 120–22, DOI: 10.1353/jas.2020.0004.
    • an annotated list, including sources, of the cited editions of a drama, in Guojun Wang, “Absent Presence: Costuming and Identity in the Qing Drama A Ten-Thousand Li Reunion,” HJAS 79.1&2 (2019): 129–30, DOI: 10.1353/jas.2019.0005.
  • The need for an appendix is usually identified during editing of an accepted article manuscript. If you think that you need an appendix for the review process, consult the Managing Editor before submission.  
  • An approved appendix should be submitted in a separate MS Word file. There should be at least one callout to the appendix in the main text. The Managing Editor may specify additional requirements.

Permission to Reprint or to Cite Unpublished, Unarchived Sources

  • It is the responsibility of authors to obtain any necessary permission to reprint previously published material (including their own) and to obtain permission to cite unpublished, unarchived materials, such as a colleague’s unpublished manuscript or personal communication. In the case of extensive direct quotation from an unpublished manuscript or a citation of personal communication, HJAS requires written documentation of permission. Note that dissertations are archived, unpublished sources; thus, they do not require permission.
  • Authors must provide proof of all permissions during the copyediting phase of production. 
  • It is the author’s responsibility to include appropriate credit lines for reprinted and unpublished materials. Copyright holders often specify the credit language that must be used. See the HJAS Requirements for Publication of Figures and Tables.

Sample Citations

There are sixty-five sample citations from English, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean sources on pp. 9–16 in the downloadable PDF Style Sheet.


Last updated January 2022