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Instructions for authors

Modern Asian Studies

Modern Asian Studies publishes cutting-edge research articles on the history, social anthropology, sociology, political science, and cultures of modern Asia. Covering all the regions of Asia, including Maritime Asia, and their interconnections, the journal particularly welcomes submissions which deploy interdisciplinary and comparative research methods. The journal is not a forum for articles that explicitly advocate specific public policy recommendations nor does it publish articles that rely heavily on econometric or highly quantitative forms of analysis. Submissions must address a broad audience of Asianists from diverse disciplinary backgrounds with varied geographic specializations.

Since its inception in 1967, Modern Asian Studies has specialized in the publication of longer monographic essays whose theoretical claims are supported by rich empirical data. It also publishes special issues, forums, and roundtable discussions which explore topical themes in depth and from a number of perspectives, and it carries substantial synoptic review essays which summarize and critique the current state of a field of study.

Special issues, forums, and roundtable discussions

Modern Asian Studies periodically publishes special issues (an entire issue of the journal consisting of approximately nine to 12 articles on a particular topic or theme), forums (smaller collections of articles on a topic which do not comprise an entire issue of the journal), and roundtable discussions (collections of shorter reflections on a particular book, essay, or topic). All submissions for these compilations go through the same double-blind, peer review process as our usual research articles. Potential guest editors are encouraged to contact the editors at an early stage to discuss the suitability of their topics, scheduling, and potential publishing conflicts. Because all articles go through the journal’s peer review process, it is imperative that guest editors rigorously pre-review the manuscripts in their collections before submitting them to the journal. All manuscripts for a potential special issue or forum must be submitted to the journal at more or less the same time. Individual manuscripts will not be sent out for review until all submissions for the relevant issue have been received.

Book reviews and review articles

Modern Asian Studies does not publish short book reviews (conventionally 800 to 1,000 words). Instead, the journal carries longer review articles (typically between 7,000 and 14,000 words, although no formal word limit requirements are stipulated, as with all the journal’s articles). These review articles in some cases entail broad overviews of a particularly topical theme or area of study (for example, Alpa Shah and Dhruv Jain, ‘Naxalbari at its golden jubilee: fifty recent books on the Maoist movement in India’, Modern Asian Studies, vol. 51, no. 4, 2017, pp. 1165–1219); in other cases, they may concentrate on a few select books while placing their significance within larger trends in the scholarly cannon (for example, Andrew Sartori, ‘C. A. Bayly and the question of Indian political thought’, Modern Asian Studies, vol. 51, no. 3, 2017, pp. 867–877).

Most of these review articles are solicited by the journal, but unsolicited review articles will also be considered. Regardless of origin, these review articles go through the journal’s normal double-blind, peer review process and they are given the same headline status as research articles. Authors who might be interested in writing review articles are welcome to contact the editors in advance to discuss the suitability of their proposed topics.

The sole exception to our policy of not publishing short reviews of single books is that the journal will publish extended reviews (about 5,000 words) of particularly important scholarly works written in Asian languages other than English, which might not normally be reviewed in an English-language journal. It is expected that these reviews would include extended synopses of the arguments and conclusions presented in the books under review as well as critical appraisals thereof (for example, Francesca Orsini, ‘Review of Purushottam Agrawal’sAkath kahani prem ki: Kabir kavita aur unka samay’, Modern Asian Studies, vol. 47, no. 1, 2013, pp. 318–328).

All review articles must include a full bibliography of cited works at the end of the manuscript.

Text and manuscript preparation for authors submitting manuscripts for review

Modern Asian Studies now receives many more submissions than it can accept. In recent years, the acceptance rate for research articles has been generally under 15 per cent, often falling to under ten per cent. Therefore, it is vital that manuscripts be in as polished a state as possible on first submission. Authors cannot expect to use the review process as a mechanism to formulate their ideas, and the journal will reject, without peer review, manuscripts that are clearly in draft state.

Modern Asian Studies recognizes that some forms of analysis and debate cannot be argued within restrictive word limits, and consequently the journal does not set any definitive limits on the length of submissions. Nevertheless, the journal also insists that no submission should be longer than necessary. The absence of word limits is not an invitation to submit unedited and self-indulgently long manuscripts.

Authors may choose to follow Modern Asian Studies house style when first preparing their manuscripts, as this will save time if it is later accepted. (Please see below for the journal’s house style conventions.) This suggestion, however, is not a requirement for manuscripts to be reviewed.

An abstract of between 100 and 250 words summarizing the contents of the article should be typed before the main text. Sub-headings (rather than Roman numerals) should be used to divide articles into sections.

Tables should be clearly laid out and numbered consecutively. All figures and totals should be checked for accuracy.

Please see relevant instructions below for further information about how to supply figures and tables.

The online version of the journal also has the capacity to host links to short audio and audio-visual clips. Authors who wish to avail themselves of this facility should discuss this matter with the editors once their manuscript(s) have been accepted for publication.

Charges apply for all colour figures that appear in the print version of the journal. At the time of submission, contributors should clearly state whether their figures should appear in colour in the online version only, or whether they should appear in colour both online and in print. There is no charge for including colour figures in the online version of the journal. If you request colour figures in the printed version, you will be contacted by CCC-Rightslink who act on our behalf to collect author charges. Please follow their instructions in order to avoid any delay in the publication of your article.


Submissions to Modern Asian Studies must be made online. Articles should be submitted via the following website: . If there are any difficulties, please contact the editorial office at: .

Modern Asian Studies takes instances of plagiarism very seriously. Submissions are randomly reviewed using anti-plagiarism software. Please refer to our Ethical Standards policy.

Contributors should remove their name from the manuscript and should ensure that their manuscript is fully anonymous.

Submission of a manuscript to the journal will be taken to imply that it has not been previously published in any form, including on the web. Modern Asian Studies allows three exceptions to this stipulation: if a submission has been published previously (1) as part of a limited circulation set of conference working papers or proceedings, (2) on an author’s personal webpage, or (3), in exceptional circumstances, in another journal in an Asian language other than English. Similarly, the journal will not consider submissions that are being reviewed simultaneously by another journal. If it is discovered that a manuscript has been offered concurrently to another journal, it will be rejected without peer review. If a manuscript is accepted for publication in Modern Asian Studies, the journal usually insists on a two-year moratorium before it may be reprinted in another journal or edited volume, subject to the approval and conditions of Cambridge University Press.

Authors of articles published in the journal sign a licence to publish with Cambridge University Press (with certain rights reserved) and they will receive an author publishing agreement form for signature on acceptance of their article. Authors are responsible for obtaining permission to reproduce any material in which they do not own copyright, to be used in both print and electronic media, and for ensuring that the appropriate acknowledgements are included in their manuscript.

The journal welcomes expression of all shades of opinion, but responsibility for these rests with their author.

Competing interests declaration

Authors should include a competing interests declaration at the end of their manuscripts in a standalone section before the references. However, if a declaration contains identifiable information, authors should include their declaration in their cover letter instead of including it within their manuscript – to preserve the anonymity of their manuscript. This declaration will be subject to editorial review and may be published in the article.

Competing interests are situations that could be perceived to exert an undue influence on the content or publication of an author’s work. They may include, but are not limited to, financial, professional, contractual or personal relationships or situations. If the manuscript has multiple authors, the author submitting must include competing interest declarations relevant to all contributing authors. Example wording for a declaration is as follows: ‘Competing interests: Author A is employed at company B. Author C owns shares in company D, is on the Board of company E and is a member of organisation F. Author G has received grants from company H.’ If no competing interests exist, the declaration should state ‘Competing interests: The author(s) declare none’.

English language editing services

Modern Asian Studies only considers submissions written in English. 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 it may help to ensure that the academic content of the article is fully understood by the editor and any reviewers. We list a number of third-party services specializing in language editing and/or translation and suggest that authors consider this if 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 their article to a Cambridge-published journal.

Peer review

Before Modern Asian Studies sends a submission out for external peer review, it is assessed internally by the editors to determine whether the submission falls within the journal’s remit and meets basic standards for academic publishing. Should a manuscript fail in either of these regards, it will be rejected without undergoing external peer review.

If the editors decide to proceed with external peer review, it will be evaluated by at least two readers on a double-blind basis. The journal categorically refuses all requests to reveal reviewers’ identities.

Contributors are welcome to recommend the names of potential qualified reviewers who are at ‘arm’s length’ from the author and, more importantly, the names of potential reviewers whom they would prefer to be excluded from consideration. The journal, however, is under no obligation to honour these requests. The journal also maintains the right to add or change reviewers at any stage during the review process as circumstance dictates.

The journal does not usually relay readers’ reports for manuscripts that are rejected.

Turnaround time

It generally takes four to five months for a manuscript to receive its first set of reviewers’ reports. Occasionally this takes longer if it proves difficult to find two willing readers whose competence falls within the requisite areas or when a reviewer who has previously agreed to report on a manuscript fails to do so.

From the date an article has been accepted for publication, it generally takes 12 to 14 months for it to be published in print. However, it will often appear on the journal’s website up to six months prior to print publication.

Text and manuscript preparation of production files for authors whose articles have been accepted for publication

General layout

• All articles (text and footnotes) must be clearly typed in double spacing throughout.
• Main text should be size 12 point, Times Roman font (except for foreign characters and diacriticals). All text should be left justified.
• Abstract and footnotes should be size 10 point, Times Roman font. Left and right justified.
• The title of the article (sentence case only), author name(s), affiliation(s), and email address for the corresponding author (preferably linked to their institution) should be typed at the beginning of the article. Full affiliation information for all authors must be included where applicable. Affiliations should contain Department, Institution, City and Country.
• Acknowledgements and competing interest declarations should be typed at the end of the article before the references (all 12 point Times Roman font).
• An abstract of between 100 and 250 words summarizing the content of the article should be typed before the main text.
• Below the abstract 3–5 keywords must be provided.
• Sub-headings must be used to break up articles. Headings should all flush left: H1, bold; H2, bold + italic; H3, italic; H4, Italic following by full point and run on text. Do not use Roman numerals as section headings.
The use of diacritical marks, italics, and capital letters should be kept to a minimum.

General style guidelines regarding text and footnotes

Follow the Modern Asian Studies ‘house style’ outlined in the notes below. For matters that are not covered in these notes, please refer to the New Oxford Style Manual, third edition, 2016.
• Spell out centuries: i.e. ‘nineteenth century’ rather than ‘19 th century’, ‘tenth century’ rather than ‘10th century’, etc.
• Spell out numbers 1–10: i.e. ‘one’, ‘two’, ‘three’, etc. All other numbers should be represented as numerals.
• Spell out %: i.e. ‘15 per cent’.
• ‘c.’ should always be spelled out and italics: ‘circa’.
• In references, there should be a space between ‘p.’ and its number, i.e. ‘p. 15’. ‘ed.’ and ‘eds’/trans. and trans should be in () brackets.
• Persons’ initials should have a space: i.e. R. D. Hume, Esq.
• With footnote layout, please follow rules below, and maintain consistency.
• Please use ‘and’ rather than ‘&’, especially in references between authors.
• Please spell out, at first mention, all acronyms and initialisms.
• Long quotations should be size 11 point, Times Roman font. Indented, with one line spacing above and below main text and not enclosed in quotation marks. All quotations must be acknowledged and fully referenced within a footnote.
• Use single inverted commas for short quotations and phrases within the main text, then double quotations for quotes-within-quotes.
• Tables should be clearly laid out and numbered consecutively. Vertical lines between columns should be omitted.
• All British spellings, ‘z’ rather than ‘s’ for ...ize/ization (materialize, constitutionalize, etc.), and, for example, ‘analyse’ not ‘analyze’, ‘colour’ not ‘color’, ‘programme’ not ‘program’.
• Please use the phrase ‘this article’ rather than ‘this essay’ or ‘this paper’.
• Dates: English format please, i.e. day, month, year—14 July 2009.
• Figures, and totals in tables, references and footnote numbers should be checked for accuracy.
• Paragraphs (except directly under a heading, where they should be flush left) should be indented by 4mm, with no line space.

• Footnote numbers and text (10 point) should be indented paragraphs (4mm), one space between footnote number and its text.
• No line separator between main text and footnotes.

Citations and references

Citations can be either in footnotes without a bibliography at the end of the manuscript or via the parenthetical in-text, author-date system with a list of references at the end of the manuscript (as per section 15 of the seventeenth edition of the Chicago Manual of Style, 2017).

For those authors using footnotes, placement of footnotes must be at the foot of each page, with automatic footnote numbering, running consecutively to the end of the document. All sources or references should be cited in full in the first instance, within the body of the footnote text. References repeated in subsequent footnotes should be written: author, ‘short’ title, page numbers. Add initials, if more than one author with the same surname is mentioned in the article. Use ibid when two references in a row are from the same source.

For authors who are uncertain about which footnote style to follow, they are welcome to use the journal’s ‘house style’ which is outlined below. However, authors may use any of the commonly accepted styles so long they use it consistently throughout their article.

Modern Asian Studies’ ‘house style’ for footnotes


D. N. Gellner, Resistance and the state: Nepalese experiences (New York and Oxford: Berghan Books, 2007).

Qeyamuddin Ahmad (ed.), Patna through the ages: Glimpses of history, society and economy. (Patna: Janaki Prakashan, 1988).

Articles in an edited volume

K. Ogura, ‘Maoist people’s governments 2001–2005: The power in wartime’, in Local democracy in South Asia: Microprocesses of democratisation in Nepal and its neighbours , (eds) D. N. Gellner and K. Hachhethu (Delhi: Sage, 2008), pp. 188–198.

Journal articles

Bart Klem, ‘Showing one’s colours: The political work of elections in post-war Sri Lanka’, Modern Asian Studies, vol. 49, no. 4, 2015, pp. 1091–1112.

Chi-yong Jung, ‘The people of Joseon’s perception of Baekdusan viewed through geographical materials’, The Review of Korean Studies, vol. 13, no. 4, December 2010, pp. 105–132.


F. Jansz, ‘LTTE’s police and UFPA’s silence’, The Sunday Leader, published online on 20 June 2004, available at, [accessed 31 January 2018].


1. Figures should be supplied final size, and be no larger than 110mm x 180mm, as separate electronic files, in either TIFF or EPS format, scanned at a minimum of 320dpi for black and white halftone, or colour artwork, at 1200 dpi for black and white line art, and at 800 dpi for combination artwork (line/halftone).

Figures embedded into the Word document will not be accepted.

For further details of file formats please see Cambridge Journals Artwork Guide at

2. The separate TIFF/EPS files containing Figures and Illustrations should be saved individually with their Figure/Picture number being the file name: (‘[author surname] Fig_1.tif’, ‘[author surname] Pic_2.eps’, etc.).

3. ( Please DO NOT include legends, sources and general text in the figure files; these should be included in your Word document underneath the position marker text, i.e . ‘[INSERT FIGURE 1 NEAR HERE. LEGEND: Figure 1. The handbill calling the Nishads to support Ramraj and the BJP. Source: OND Government texts 1954...]’.

4. Each figure must be cited at least once in the text. The spelling of place names should be consistent with those used in the text. If there are more than five table/figures/illustrations, please provide a separate word document listing them, in the order they are to appear in the main text, with full titles, legends and sources. Pictures may be embedded in this Word document, but for information only. They cannot be used for final publication (see 1 above).


• Submissions must be sent as email attachments in TWO formats:

1. A Word document, with .docx extension.
2. A PDF document of the Word file, which accurately displays all diacritical marks and unusual fonts.

When an article has been accepted for publication, the author is entirely responsible for submitting electronic copies in the correct format. Authors should be aware that substantive alterations or additions are not permitted at first proofs .

The initial Word document (with accompanying PDF document displaying all diacritical marks) sent in by the author will be viewed by the copy-editor. If figures or illustrations have not been sent separately as high–resolution TIFF or EPS files, the submission will not be accepted and will be returned to the author with a request to provide everything in the correct format. If all the submission documents are correct, the copy-editor will make amendments and suggestions. This marked-up Word document may be sent back to the author who is then requested to ‘accept’ or ‘reject’ the amendments/suggestions made by the copy-editor, and to resubmit the final amended Word document, together with an updated PDF file.


First proofs in PDF format only will be sent to the author who will be expected to return them to the email address that appears on the cover sheet within ten days. Authors should note that no substantive alterations or additions can be made to first proofs, and they should therefore ensure that their final submission is thoroughly checked for accuracy.

Authors are reminded that if they wish to withdraw their article from the journal after it has reached proof stage, they are liable for the cost of typesetting their paper.


Each author will receive a PDF file of their published article.

Open access policies

Please visit Open Access Policies at for information on our open access policies, compliance with major funding bodies, and guidelines on depositing your manuscript in an institutional repository. Enquiries about Open Access should be directed to:


Modern Asian Studies now requires that all corresponding authors identify themselves using their ORCID iD when submitting a manuscript to the journal. ORCID provides a unique identifier for researchers and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript submission and grant applications, provides the following benefits:

● Discoverability: ORCID increases the discoverability of your publications, by enabling smarter publisher systems and by helping readers to reliably find work that you’ve authored.

● Convenience: As more organisations use ORCID, providing your iD or using it to register for services will automatically link activities to your ORCID record, and will enable you to share this information with other systems and platforms you use, saving you re-keying information multiple times.

● Keeping track: Your ORCID record is a neat place to store and (if you choose) share validated information about your research activities and affiliations.

If you don’t already have an iD, you’ll need to create one if you decide to submit a manuscript to Modern Asian Studies. You can register for one directly from your user account on Scholar One or via

If you already have an iD, please use this when submitting, either by linking it to your Scholar One account or supplying it during submission by using the ‘Associate your existing ORCID ID’ button.

Last updated 6 July 2021