Articles should provide original empirical research (including but not limited to archival research, ethnographic fieldwork, interviews, difficult to access non-English language sources, quantitative data, and/or some combination thereof), and conceptual insight (based on awareness of and engagement with the relevant theoretical and comparative literature). We ordinarily do not publish descriptive overviews based on secondary sources or journalistic coverage. Also, our focus is generally on the social sciences, but manuscripts on media, arts, and literature are welcome as long as the main focus is on contextual, rather than textual, analysis.
In terms of chronological coverage, Pacific Affairs accepts the submission of manuscripts dealing with the contemporary social, economic and political affairs of Asia and the Pacific. The “contemporary” is defined to include significant issues within the past five years or the forthcoming five years. Papers focused on historical topics are also encouraged but only if the manuscript makes a strong and sustained case for clear relevance to the contemporary scene. Please note that our book reviews coverage range diverges from our articles – the book reviews cover everything from 1900 on, and range from textual to contextual analysis.
Pacific Affairs broadly defines its constituents to include scholars, educators, program directors, academic administrators, consultants, policy makers and practitioners in private or public organizations in which Asia and the Pacific, defined as both a geographic and a conceptual space, is a significant or central concern.
A quick checklist prior to submission (further details below):
- Is the manuscript in MS Word or Open Office?
- Is the word length (including endnotes, but excluding abstract, title, etc.) between 8000 and 9000 words?
- Is the citation style in Chicago-style (endnotes) rather than Harvard-style (in-text citations)?
- Do you have a cover letter that provides (a) all the required contact information and (b) your statement confirming that the manuscript has not been submitted to another publisher, will not be sent to another publisher while under review at Pacific Affairs, and has not previously been published?
- Have you included a 250 word abstract and 5 or 6 keywords?
- Are all non-English language sources Romanized consistently in a recognized style?
- Does your manuscript provide empirical contributions and/or theoretical insights?
Manuscripts that do not conform to these guidelines will be returned to the author for correction before the formal review process is initiated.
Submission Guidelines, the Style Guide, Romanization Guide, and the Preferred Usage Guide are intended to help authors prepare their submissions; please read them carefully prior to submitting your manuscript.
In addition to the aforementioned Guides, we also strongly encourage authors to read recent articles published in our journal for a picture of the range of subjects we cover. Our rejection rate averages around 90% of all the submissions we receive per year. Further, we are currently rejecting 60% of all submissions at the pre-review stage because either the subject area is not appropriate for Pacific Affairs, or the format and/or word count is not in accordance with our guidelines. Therefore, it is essential that authors carefully read the text below and check the Style Guide and Romanization Guide prior to submission. For authors proposing potential Special Issues, please check the Special Issue Guidelines.
Please note that we will not review manuscripts submitted by authors who have published articles in Pacific Affairs in the previous year (i.e. there should be a twelve-month interval between publication — rather than submission — of articles).
Electronic submissions must be in Microsoft Word or Open Office, with the documents sent as attachment(s) to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively you may submit your manuscript online. Please do not send your manuscript as PDF or in other formats. If there are technical difficulties in sending your manuscript as an MS Word or Open Office file, please contact us about alternatives.
Manuscripts sent to any other emails at the initial stage will not be treated as submissions. This applies to the email addresses of all individuals, including the editor, managing editor, editorial assistants, associate editors, executive committee members, and editorial board members.
Our standing policy is to confirm the receipt of all submissions. If you have not received such a confirmation, your manuscript has not reached us.
All materials, including abstracts, text, and endnotes, should be double-spaced. There should be one-inch margins on both sides. Please consult the Style Guide for further details.
2) Writing Style
Papers should be written in a style that makes complex or specialized issues comprehensible and interesting to readers who may not be specialists of the geographic, disciplinary, theoretical, or methodological focus. Therefore, authors should frame their manuscripts in ways that might appeal to a wide range of readers, take comparative approaches, or make an explicit and sustained effort to explain the larger significance of a country-specific case.
Please note that it is the authors’ responsibility to ensure that their submission is written in grammatically correct, substantively clear, and stylistically engaging English. As a general rule, we strongly prefer that authors conduct a thorough copyedit or employ a professional editor familiar with academic language (rather than simply someone who happens to be a “native” speaker) before sending a submission to us. Manuscripts with serious writing issues will be rejected. Language editing does not guarantee that your manuscript will be accepted for publication, but will likely increase the likelihood that the content of your argument is fully understood by the editors and the reviewers.
3) Word length
Manuscripts for regular articles are usually between 8000 and 9000 words including endnotes, but excluding the title, author name, abstract, and keywords. Each table or figure that covers half a page in standard MS Word page format can be counted as 100 words of text for word count estimation purposes. For Perspectives Submissions or Review Articles, the manuscripts should generally be between 3500 to 4500 words.
4) Abstract and Keywords
Each article manuscript submission should be accompanied by an abstract of not more than 250 words, indicating the central puzzle or question, summarizing the major argument of the article, and the significance of the manuscript for the existing body of knowledge.
Five or six keywords should also accompany the submission. If your manuscript is accepted, these will be included on the bottom of the first page.
While the article will ultimately be published in a footnote format, your original manuscript should be submitted with endnotes using the endnote feature in Microsoft Word. Consult our Style Guide and for issues not covered there please consult the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition, 2010. Please note we do not use in-text (Harvard-style) references. Please do NOT include a consolidated list of references at the end of the submitted manuscript, as we do not publish a separate list of references or a bibliography.
Your endnotes should have specific page references unless the citation is to the entirety of the book or the article’s argument. We do not consider Wikipedia or similar on-line resources acceptable citations for empirical information. Citations to such resources as points of engagement, either empirical or conceptual, would be acceptable.
For citations in all languages other than in English, please provide the title in the original language, Romanized in accordance with one of the following systems: McCune-Reischauer (Korean), Hepburn (Japanese), pinyin (Chinese). An English translation of the title in parentheses must follow the Romanized title. This will allow interested readers to trace the original source. Please consult the Romanization Guide for further details.
We employ the Canadian spelling system (double quotations, “globalization,” “utilize,” “rigour,” etc.). Please consult our Style Guide and our Preferred Usage Guide for Spelling and Capitalization on our website and The Canadian Oxford Dictionary for detailed guidelines on issues related to grammar and spelling.
Tables should be placed on separate pages—not incorporated within the text. Each table should be numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals. A full citation of the sources of data should be double spaced and placed at the end of the table. Each table that covers half a page in standard MS Word page format can be counted as 100 words of text for word count estimation purposes.
Graphics should be placed on separate pages—not incorporated with text. They should be numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals. A full citation of the sources of data should be double-spaced and placed at the end of the figure. If the paper is accepted for publication then all photos that are submitted with the article must be at least 1200 pixels x 1200 pixels. Other graphics must be in a file format that is editable (excel, powerpoint, etc.). Failure to comply with this will mean Pacific Affairs will outsource to bring the graphic(s) to print-ready standards and then charge back to the author. Each figure that covers half a page in standard MS Word page format can be counted as 100 words of text for word count estimation purposes.
Papers with tables, charts, and orthography not common to English word processing should be checked for accuracy before submission. Please refer to the Style Guide for details. Microsoft Word is compatible with macrons and diphthongs.
Quotations must correspond exactly with the original in wording, spelling, and punctuation. Page numbers must be given. Changes must be indicated: Use brackets to identify insertions; use dots … to show omissions. Also indicate where emphasis has been added to the original. Quotations beginning or ending in the middle of a sentence should begin or end with dots … Only quotations of over 50 words should be separated from the text; also double-spaced; indented at beginning margin, and page number to be shown in brackets. Per the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition please refrain from using scare quotes (single or double quotation marks) around single words “unless it is essential to the author’s argument and not confusing to readers.” (p. 366)
12) Cover Letter
A Cover Letter should include the full contact details of all authors and a brief description of the relevance of your paper to Pacific Affairs. Please do not attach CVs or other supporting materials to your cover letter.
The cover letter must also include a statement that the manuscript has not previously been published, and that it is not currently on offer to another publisher. The statement should read, “I confirm that the manuscript has not been submitted to another publisher, will not be sent to another publisher while under review at Pacific Affairs, and has not previously been published.” This is a binding statement with professional, legal, and ethical implications, whose violations will trigger our standing policies for academic misconduct. For more information, please see our Misconduct Policies. If you have any questions about this policy, please contact us.
Manuscripts that do not conform to these guidelines will be returned to the author for correction before review.
Peer Review Process
Submitted manuscripts are first subject to an internal pre-review. If it passes this stage, the manuscript is then sent to referees who assess the scholarly quality of the submission as well as its relevance to Pacific Affairs’ audience and conformity with the goals of the journal. We have a minimum of two double-blind peer reviews per manuscript, although in some cases, there will be more. As an interdisciplinary journal, we are open to submissions from all disciplines; at the same time we strive to match the submissions with appropriate referees who can speak to both a manuscript’s contributions to the specialized field and also to its accessibility to non-specialist readers.
Please note that the criteria for acceptance for Pacific Affairs are stringent: we publish one or two out of every ten manuscripts that we receive. We carefully assess submissions for their relevance to our mission, for their potential appeal to our readership and empirical and conceptual contribution to the existing body of relevant literature. We look for evidence of deep engagement with local knowledge (including the use of non-English languages), analytical rigour, and critical engagement with an awareness of relevant theories.
Some reasons for rejection include, among others: insufficient development of the argument; lack of depth or originality in empirical research; exclusive emphasis on policy recommendations (unless intended for Perspectives) and frames or central questions that might be more appropriate for country-specific or disciplinary-specific journals.
Peer reviewers will have the following possible options for each manuscript:
- Accept with revisions
- Revise and Resubmit
We confirm the receipt of all reviews, and inform all reviewers of our initial and final decisions.
About half of peer-reviewed submissions are rejected in the first round of review, while about half receive a “revise and resubmit” assessment. If authors receive a “revise and resubmit” decision, they are free to resubmit their manuscript within 4 months from the date of the original decision email from us. A resubmitted revised manuscript will go through the following process: the author’s letter detailing the changes made and the initial reviews will be sent back to the original reviewers, if possible; further revisions may be requested at this stage, or the submission may be rejected or deemed acceptable for publication. Then the paper will be sent on to a member of our Executive Committee and the Editor for what we call an Editorial Read. The paper may be accepted as is, rejected, or additional changes may be requested at this stage as well. If a paper is given a final acceptance after the Editorial Read, we will issue a contract, and request other information. After this stage, our Managing Editor and copyeditor will contact the author(s) regarding copyediting and other technical issues.
The articles in Pacific Affairs do not represent the views of the University of British Columbia or the Institute of Asian Research. The editor is responsible for the selection and acceptance of articles, but responsibility for all opinions expressed in them rests with their authors.
Based upon recent statistics (but be aware that these are averages, and some unavoidable challenges in finding appropriate and available reviewers can result in delays), our average review times are as follows:
- Time from manuscript submission to pre-review decision: 9 days
- Time from pre-review approval to completion of double-blind peer review: 60 days
- Time from receipt of a revised manuscript to completion of double-blind re-review and editorial decision: 49 days