Guest Editors’ Guide

Guidelines for special feature guest editors

Every issue of China Perspectives includes a special feature, covering a topic with 3 to 5 articles.

These guidelines are intended to clarify the role of guest-editors and provide clear milestones to ensure easy coordination with the editorial committee. It can also serve as a reference for authors contributing to a special feature.

The role of the guest editor

The guest editor:

  • proposes the topic and submits an initial proposal to the editorial committee for
  • solicits, selects, and collects abstracts and
  • provides authors with feedback on draft articles and ensures the overall quality of the proposed contributions. Back-and-forth exchanges with authors may be needed before the deadline for submission. This role is essential to ensure that submitted articles have a good chance to pass peer-review.
  • makes sure that authors respect the formatting style and requirements of the
  • writes the editorial/introduction highlighting the importance and originality of the subject, once the final lineup of articles is validated.

The guest editor does not:

  • participate in the selection of reviewers, although guest editors may suggest names or warn against possible problems. In order to avoid any risk of conflict of interest, the peer-review process is entirely managed by the editorial committee.
  • take part in, or have a say on other articles published in the same issue of China Perspectives (varia research articles and book reviews).

Structure of the special feature

Special features aim at providing the reader with a comprehensive view of any feature of contemporary Chinese society, and to highlight the variety of dimensions at stake.

Special features vary in scope, but what counts ultimately is the overall originality and coherence of the proposal.

All articles will go through double-blind peer-review, exactly the same way as any individual article submitted to the journal.

The special feature will comprise an editorial/introduction written by the guest editor. The editorial can vary in length and ambition, from an outline of 1,500 words to a more problematised 4,000 words text connecting the special feature with the existing literature. We encourage the latter, to provide a contextualised introduction with a large number of references.

Initial proposal

Whether the guest editor is solicited by the journal or not, we always ask for a formal proposal including a concept note (1 to 2 pages) and the abstracts of all proposed articles.

This proposal will be circulated among the editorial committee. It will be validated, rejected, or returned with suggestions, to be submitted again.

We advise to start a project with 6 abstracts, and to consider the possibility that some articles may not go through the entire process for many reasons, including the fact that some articles may not be accepted by peer-reviewers. Usually, the acceptance rate of articles submitted as part of special features for China Perspectives is around 50%, even if that percentage may vary.

It is also possible to propose a special feature with fewer than 6 abstracts. In this case, providing some abstracts in addition to the concept note is however necessary to allow the editorial committee to decide on the proposal. If accepted, a call for papers (CFP) will then be necessary to identify potential contributions beyond the guest editor’s personal contacts. The CFP will be posted on the CEFC website and via our social media accounts. The guest editor is welcome to forward it on scientific mailing lists and to their personal contacts at will. The editorial committee will start working on the special feature only once 6 relevant abstracts have been obtained.

In any case, it is encouraged to use a call for papers.

Once the project is accepted, the editorial committee will discuss deadlines with the guest-editor and put the project in the pipeline with a potential publication date, generally at least one year later. This date is tentative only, and cannot be understood as a guarantee of publication, as many contingencies can lead us to change the publication schedule.

Format of articles

  • Peer-reviewed research articles should be 9,000-word long – more or less 200 (including: body of the text, tabs, footnotes, and final references; excluding: abstract, keywords, the author’s biography, and acknowledgements).
  • Articles should combine first-hand research with the theoretical perspective of social science, reflect the results of original research, and not have been previously published in any form. The journal only accepts original submissions, which are not being reviewed by another journal. Authors are invited to read our ethical policy (https://www.cefc.com.hk/china-perspectives/submissions/redethicalred-guidelines/) as well as our writing instructions (https://www.cefc.com.hk/china-perspectives/submissions/style-guide/).
  • In accordance with the CEFC’s mission, articles submitted to China Perspectives have to relate to the contemporary political, economic, social, and cultural developments of the PRC, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao, as well as Overseas Chinese communities and activities of Chinese actors abroad. Historical research is acceptable, but only for the period starting in 1949.
  • After a first internal evaluation by the journal’s editorial committee, articles deemed suitable for peer-review will be subject to a double-blind peer-review process by specialists of the field that will determine its publication.

China Perspectives Guest Editors Guide.pdf