Warring States Papers
Guidelines for Authors

Please consult with the Editors before submitting manuscripts

The best guideline is familiarity with the journal; see the Tables of Contents and sample articles for Warring States Papers, at this site. This page provides major policy statements and mentions some editorial preferences.


Character. Above all, we want short pieces which contribute to the better understanding of the past. Our standard length is 2-4 pages, but 1-page notes are also welcome. A note which raises a question may be as much a contribution to scholarship as a tome which answers it. Sometimes more.

Subject Range. Classical China (Spring and Autumn, Warring States), and the Empire up to Han Wu-di. Limited space is available for studies of philological or historical problems in ancient India or Greece, and especially in New Testament. Methodology as such is a constant emphasis in both the Project journals, as is the process of text formation, and the benefit to history when the source texts for history have been properly understood.

Subject Divisions in each volume of WSP are:
Language, Ambience, and Methodology [the tools]
Texts [application of the tools to text problems]
Historical Studies [use of the texts in recovering history]

There is a preference for placing last in each volume a study of influence across cultures, or of patterns repeating between cultures.

No book reviews, letters to the editor, announcements, thesis abstracts, memorial minutes, bibliographies, or surveys of current scholarship. For all these, there are other and better established outlets.

No "postmodern" approaches or presentist expositions. We take the view that the past objectively exists, and within the limits imposed by the available evidence, we intend to explore the past "as it was," not to expound its relevance for the present day.

Comparative Studies of more than one ancient situation, or an ancient and a modern situation, are very welcome. The field should be aware of its neighbors.

Language. English. Translations of brief articles of uncommon importance, whether recent or not, are in principle acceptable. Translators should consult with the Editors, and then secure the necessary authorization from the original author or publisher. The sound work of the early 20th century scholars would be of special interest and relevance.

Audience. Professional, but not necessarily expert in your topic. Write for the physicist, or Hellenist, across the cafeteria table from you. Clarity of presentation is essential. Seriousness requires precision, but not necessarily jargon. Brevity is strongly recommended; nearly all scholars talk too long, and write too much.


Acceptance will be judged on the following criteria: (1) importance, (2) accuracy, (3) proper acknowledgement of previous work, and (4) clarity, including suitable length. The Editors, in reviewing manuscripts, will as necessary consult with others on technical points.

Copyright and Permissions. Authors should secure any needed permissions for included copyright material, including illustrations, and should submit those permissions with their manuscript, or be prepared to do so on request. Authors are liable in case of copyright infringement.

Author Agreement. The journal requires first serial and subsequent reprint rights, including electronic reprint rights, in order that the volume may be copyrighted for the protection of all contributors, and archived for the eventual convenience of all readers. It is understood that the paper edition of a volume may be reprinted if demand warrants, and that each volume will eventually be available in open-access form, and in one or more commercial databases. Authors retain all other rights, including publication elsewhere of revised, abridged, or extended treatments of the topic, subject only to the request that such subsequent publications contain reference to the initial publication in Warring States Papers. To see our standard permission form, click here.


See the separate Style Sheet and Usage Page, for editorial suggestions in small matters.

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21 Mar 2014 / Contact The Editors / Exit to Project Home Page