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Author Guidelines

Manuscript Submission

Submission of an article implies that it has not been previously published nor is under consideration for publication elsewhere, and further, that if accepted, it will not be published elsewhere. Manuscripts of all categories are to be submitted online ( with a letter of transmittal providing (i) the names and complete addresses (including telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, etc.) of all the authors, and (ii) the title of the contribution.

You can also submit an article directly to the Editor-in-Chief by e-mail at the following address:


Submission Requirements

The Hong Kong Journal of Social Sciences is an academic multidisciplinary social sciences journal. Therefore, research and review papers of general significance that are well organized and written clearly will be given preference.

The editor will accept an article for publication if it is original, previously unpublished, and free of plagiarism (acceptable Similarity Index tested by iThenticate is a maximum of 5%) and highlights a major issue related to the journal’s aim and scope(

The research issue discussed in the article should be of interest to readers and researchers and stimulate new and relevant questions for further thought. The author should try to develop a new framework or theory, or advance an existing one. Methods should be applied rigorously with proper justification. The discussion and conclusion must be supported by high quality published research in a similar field. Finally, the article should be well written, easy to understand, and reader-friendly, and the arguments should be logical and not internally contradictory.

Illustrations and other materials to be reproduced from other publications must be properly credited; it is the authors’ responsibility to obtain permission for the reproduction of figures, tables, etc., from published sources (copies of letters of permission should be sent to the editor).


Six Steps from Submission to Publication

Each manuscript passes through the following review and revision processes, managed by various departments of the editorial office, after initial submission through to the final publication:

1. Internal Editorial Review:
In the first step, one Section Editor will evaluate the manuscript based on (1) its value in relation to the identified research problem, (2) the suitability of the manuscript with respect to the aim and scope of the journal, and (3) the manuscript structure as described in the author guidelines ( The authors are informed about the initial decision at this stage [within 1 to 2 weeks].
2. External Peer Review:
A manuscript that is accepted in the first step is sent to two subject experts for formative comments and suggestions as per the review parameters and policies as mentioned above. If the manuscript does not pass the quality assessment at this stage, the author will be informed about the decision by the Section Editor [around 3 to 4 weeks].
3. Revision Advice to the Author(s):
A manuscript that is accepted in the second step will receive (i) language correction advice, (ii) a peer-reviewed manuscript file, (iii) an iThenticate report (if there are any plagiarism issues), (iv) a journal template for formatting, and (v) editorial advice. The author should submit the revised version as per the provided guidelines.
4. Final Acceptance:
After we receive the revised manuscript, the Section Editor will evaluate the revised version, make the final decision in consultation with the Editor-in-Chief, and communicate with the author. If necessary, authors may be asked to make further revisions in accordance with the quality standards of the journal [around 1 to 2 weeks].
5. English Editing:
The English language of the paper may need academic editing and proofreading. We recommend that authors use an academic editing service for scientific articles rather than a proofreading service. Please use American English. We recommend the use of large, trusted companies with editors who have Ph.D. qualifications. You should also attach an editing certificate, or use the editorial office’s services. The editorial team can provide academic editing services for the authors at an additional cost. Articles that have not been edited by native English speakers will not be accepted for publication [around 2 to 3 weeks].
6. Final Stage of Publication:
The author will receive the proofs for final review. After this step, the manuscript is published, and authors are informed by e-mail.


Ethical Declarations

Manuscripts that deal with clinical findings should include a statement indicating that the informed consent of the patients under study has been obtained.

If humans and animals are the subject of a clinical study, it is essential for the study to have been carried out in accordance with the ethical standards of the country/countries where the research described in the article has been conducted. A declaration to that effect must accompany the manuscript.


Authors’ Conflict of Interest Statement

Authors must acknowledge the organizations that have provided financial support for their work. Any other conflict of interest must be declared when submitting the manuscripts.


Categories of Manuscripts

General articles (not exceeding 5000 words; six display items, i.e., tables and figures) discuss current trends in research domains that would be of interest to readers outside the field. These include interdisciplinary topics, themes in science policy or science administration, some aspects of the application of science and technology to human needs, or the impact of science and technology on society/ecosystems/life. The articles should include an abstract, an introductory paragraph, brief subheads in appropriate places, illustrations that will help a general reader, and references.

Review articles (not exceeding 6000 words; cited references to be limited to about 100 in number) are expected to survey and discuss current developments in a field. They should be well focused and organized while avoiding a general “textbook” style.

Research accounts (not exceeding 6000 words; cited references to be limited to about 60 in number) are articles intended to be personalized reviews of research from the author(s)’ laboratory that are based on a body of published work. The articles must provide an appropriate background to the area in a concise introduction, which should also serve to place the author(s)’ work in a proper perspective.

Research articles (ranging from 3000 to 5000 words) report research results of major significance. They should include an abstract, an introductory paragraph, and brief subheads for each section.

Research communications (2000 words) contain important new findings that are novel and of fairly broad interest. They should include a brief abstract and an introductory paragraph. Text should NOT be broken up under subheads.

Scientific correspondence items (less than 1500 words and two display items) serve to rapidly communicate important new findings. Contributions dealing with technical advances or advances in instrumentation may be published as technical notes.

News (not exceeding 1000 words) can cover important scientific events or any other news of interest to scientists in general.

Meeting reports (less than 1500 words) deal with highlights or technical contents of a conference, symposium, discussion, or meeting, and convey the significance of important advances to readers. Reports must avoid merely listing brief accounts of the topics discussed.

Research news articles (not exceeding 2000 words and three display items) are intended to inform non-specialists about recently published advances or important findings.

Opinion articles (less than 1200 words) present views on issues related to science and scientific activity.

Commentary articles (less than 2000 words) are expected to be expository essays on issues related to science and scientific activity.

Book reviews (not exceeding 1500 words) are generally solicited/commissioned, but unsolicited reviews will also be considered. Reviews must not merely “list” brief descriptions of the contents of a book.

Historical commentaries/notes (limited to about 3000 words) inform readers about interesting aspects of personalities or institutions of science or about watershed events in the history/development of science. Illustrations and photographs are welcome. Brief items will also be considered.


Manuscript Preparation

All papers are to be written in English. Articles should be prepared in strict accordance with the template found through the following link:

Each article should have no more than six authors. All authors should clearly indicate their respective contributions in the article. 


Structure of the Article

Authors should follow this logic in writing the paper: First, the idea should be briefly highlighted, and then the methods for achieving the goal and the planned results should be described. Only after that should the detailed presentation be provided. When reviewing the literature, sources should not simply be listed; instead, they should be analyzed. Specific examples should be used to explain what has already been done by other scholars, what tasks are ahead, and in which direction the study will move. In other words, the reader must be introduced to the research background, and the place of the study within it should be explained.

The pages should be numbered consecutively, starting with the title page and moving on through the text and reference list.

The structure of the manuscript should be organized as follows: Title (in English and Chinese), Author(s), Affiliation(s) (institutions), City, Country, E-mails of Authors (preferably institutional), Abstract (in English and Chinese), Keywords (in English and Chinese), Introduction, Research Aim, Literature Review, Research Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions and Suggestions for Practical Use, Acknowledgments (can be added if necessary), and References (in English and Chinese).


Title should be brief, informative, specific, and amenable to indexing. The title should contain less than 15 words, each starting with a capital letter, and be centered and typeset in bold in Times New Roman (TNR) 16 pt font with single-line spacing.

 Names and affiliations (institutions) of the authors, including their cities, countries, and e-mail addresses, should be listed. Authors’ names should be centered, typeset in TNR 12pt font, and single-spaced. Affiliations, including departments, should be centered, typeset in TNR 11pt font, and single-spaced.



The abstract should be no more than 300 words and structured under the following subheadings.

i. Purpose of the Study: In simple terminology, tell the readers about the aim of this study. No discussion or research background is to be included in this part [50–60 words].

ii. Methodology: Provide the names, brands, types of tools, methods, software, reviews, and surveys that have been used to conduct the study. No discussion or explanation is included in this part [50–60 words].

iii. Main Findings: Write only the main results in a few words. No discussion or explanation is included in this part. Results imply only a concrete result, belonging to a particular instance [50–60 words].

iv. Applications: Describe how this study might be useful by giving the name of area or discipline [50–60 words].

v. Novelty/Originality: Identify what is new in this study that may benefit readers, or how it may advance existing knowledge or create new knowledge on this subject [50–60 words].

This will ensure that the article can be easily followed by readers. If the abstract quality is not satisfactory, it will be returned for revision in the first stage of the submission process.

Please avoid general statements and conclusions. Try to use the most specific language possible to explain the research methods and results, so that the reader has a clear and comprehensive understanding of the author’s research. Do not simply repeat the information already stated in the title; faithfully reflect the research work done and provide as much quantification as possible.

Keywords: No more than five keywords should be listed separately; these should be chosen carefully and must not be phrases consisting of several words. Typeset your keywords in TNR 10 pt font, with justified alignment and single-line spacing. These keywords will be used for indexing.

The title, abstract and keywords should be presented in English and Chinese, and their contents in both languages should be consistent.


Main Text:

Typeset the main text in TNR 11 pt font in two columns with a space between the columns of 1 cm. Alignment should be justified, and indentation should be 5 mm with single-line spacing.


Introduction (500–1000 words):

All papers should have a brief introduction that should not be numbered. The purpose of the introduction is to arouse the reader’s attention and provide a general overview of the paper. The text should be intelligible to readers from different disciplines, and technical terms should be defined. This is the reader’s first impression of the paper, so it should be clear and concise. Relevant background information on the topic should be included, and in-text citations should be used when necessary. New developments in the field should be reported, and it should be clear how the study fills a gap in the existing research. The focus should be on the specific problem being addressed along with its possible solutions, and the limitations of the study should also be outlined.

The contents to be described in the introduction are roughly as follows: (1) First, the rationale, purpose, and background of the research should be reviewed. This part includes the question, the research object, its basic characteristics, the work that has been done by other researchers on this issue, the deficiencies, the problems that are expected to be solved. If a lot of questions are to be answered, only a brief explanation can be provided. Usually, one problem can be explained in one or two sentences. (2) The theoretical basis, experimental basis, and research methods are then introduced. If established theories, principles, and methods are followed, then the relevant literature should be noted. If a new concept or term is to be introduced, it should be defined or clarified. (3) The expected results and their status, role, and significance should then be outlined in a natural, general, concise, and precise manner. In the introduction, diagrams, tables, and formulas are generally not allowed. A research question, hypothesis, and/or objectives can be included at the end of this section.

FORMATTING TIPS:                                                                     

• Information should be organized from broad to narrow (general to particular). Authors should avoid starting out too broadly, and should work to keep the information relevant.

• In-text citations can be used in this section to situate the research within the literature. These citations should be given in the following format:

-       For one author (Author, year);

-       For two authors (Author1 & Author2, year);

-       For three and more authors (Author1 et al., year).

-       If the author’s name is part of the narrative, include only the year of publication in the parentheses: Smith (2017) shows how, in the past, research into X was mainly concerned with …

-       In 2017, research was carried out by Smith that indicated that … 


Literature Review (1000–1500 words):

The review of literature can be written in accordance with the requirements of the study type (i.e., argumentized, systematic, or methodological), and the work of previous researchers should be presented (For help, see the following link:

A minimum 20 reputable recent works (from 2010 onwards) should be presented. This section can be merged with the introduction. Here, the authors can discuss the research gap that this study is going to address in more detail. In-text citation should be provided in APA style (see above).

The following link leads to a free citation generator:


Methods/Materials (700–1000 words):

This is the part of the paper that explains how the research was done, and it should be no more than 2–3 pages. The research procedures should be described in a clear, logical order so that other researchers can reproduce the results. The established methods used should be reviewed, but any procedures that are original to the study should be described in more detail.

For Qualitative Studies: Authors should include the methodological orientation (e.g., grounded theory, discourse analysis, ethnography, phenomenology, or content analysis), sampling details (e.g., number of participants, method of approach, and where the data was collected), data collection (e.g., interview, audiovisual material, or field notes), and data analysis (e.g., number of data coders, software, etc.).

Helpful links:,

For Systematic Reviews: Authors should include clearly stated questions, methods of collecting secondary data, the nature of the review (e.g., qualitative or an overview of systematic reviews (OoRs)), and the review tools.


• The specific instruments used in the research should be identified by including the manufacturer’s name and location in parentheses.

• The order in which information is presented should be consistent (e.g., quantity, temperature, stirring speed, and refrigeration period).


Results (2000-2500 words):

Now that the method has been explained, the findings must be reported. In this section, in no more than 6–8 pages, the main findings of the research should be outlined. It is not necessary to include too many details, particularly if tables and figures are used. While writing this section, the smallest number of words necessary should be used to describe the statistics.

Even though authors may not look forward to the process of formatting the research paper, it is important to present the findings clearly, consistently, and professionally. With the right paper format, the chances of publication increase, and the research is more likely to make an impact in the field. The importance of details should not be underestimated, as they are the backbone of scientific writing and research.


• Appendices or supplementary materials can be used if there is too much data.

• Headings help readers follow along, particularly if the data are repetitive. Headings should be of the three-level type. See the Template for heading and typesetting instructions (


Discussion (1500-2000 words):

In this section, in no more than 4–6 pages, the findings should be interpreted for the reader in relation to previous research and the existing literature as a whole. General conclusions should be presented, including an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the research and the implications of the findings. The hypothesis and/or research question identified in the introduction should be resolved.

Authors should be prepared to justify the findings and conclusions, and one of the best ways to do this is by maintaining factual accuracy and acknowledging opposing interpretations, data, and/or points of view.


• In-text citations can be used to support the discussion.

• Information presented in the results or the introduction should not be repeated unless it is necessary for a discussion of the overall implications of the research.



The conclusion is the final, overall summary of the entire paper. The conclusions should generally be listed in the order of (1), (2), (3), ..., or structured as paragraphs. This section should completely, accurately, and concisely point out the principles and their generalizability should be revealed by the results of the investigations or experiments on the research subjects. It should be stated whether there are any exceptions found in the research or problems that are difficult to explain and solve in the paper. The conclusion should also specify the similarities and differences to other research work (including to that of the authors themselves); the theoretical and practical significance and the value of the paper; and suggestions for further research on this topic.

How the research fits within the field of study should be explained, and areas for future research should be identified.


• This section should be kept short.

• No in-text citations can be used here.


Limitations and Further Study:

No study covers all aspects of a research problem. The author(s) should therefore discuss the limitations or gaps in the study. The future scope or plan of the study should also be identified.



The author(s) should present a list of acknowledgments at the end. Any financial or nonfinancial support for the study should be acknowledged.


Co-authors’ Contributions:

To avoid the appearance of ghostwriting, we suggest that all co-authors clearly indicate their contributions to the article. Simply saying that all authors contributed equally is not acceptable. 



Citation information for each source used should be provided. Reference list entries should be alphabetized by the last names of the first author of each work. References should include recent publications (preferably over the past five years).

  1. A minimum 20 good quality references should be included (which are cited inside the main body of the article) with the CrossRef DOIs.
  2. Websites and newspaper references should be limited to 5–10.
  3. All references and in-text citations should be formatted according to APA 7th edition and presented inside the main body of the article. References which are not cited should not be included in the list.

Samples of APA 7th referencing:



• While doing the final proofreading, authors should ensure that the reference list entries are consistent with the in-text citations (i.e., no missing or conflicting information).

• At least 70% of the sources in References should contain DOI indices. If a DOI is lacking, it is recommended to add a link to any online source of an article. All links have to be active.

• Authors should verify the correctness of the names of authors, pages, and titles of journals in the lists at (there is a search engine box in the center of the page in which the source title can be copied to verify the correctness of the References).

• The list of references should be provided in English and Chinese.


Tables and figures should be in black and white. They should be referred in numerical order. Tables should be numbered sequentially according to their appearance in the text. They should be placed after a paragraph referring to the corresponding figure or table, and not inserted in the paragraph. Figures should be followed by a short description in the main text.

All symbols and abbreviations must be defined, and used only when necessary. Superscripts, subscripts, and ambiguous characters should be clearly indicated. Units of measure should be metric or, preferably, SI.



Line drawings should be roughly twice the final printed size. Photomicrographs and other photographs that are required must have a scale bar, which should be defined clearly in the legend. Primary data should be submitted when possible (e.g., actual photographs of electrophoretic gels rather than idealized diagrams). The map of China, if forming a part of the article, must conform to official maps released by the Survey of China with a reference to the source map. Lettering should be sufficiently large to be clear after reduction to print size.

General dimensions of the figure:

Half-page format: no more than 77mm wide

Full-page format: no more than 160mm wide

Letters in the figure should be readable and proportionally commensurable, and in the final printed size, the font should be TNR 7pt for normal text, and not less than 6 pt for captions and symbols.



Footnotes to the tables should be placed below the body of the tables. The use of vertical rulers should be avoided. Authors should be careful when using the tables and once again make sure that the data given in the tables does not duplicate the results described somewhere else in the article.


• Captions should be numbered and typeset in TNR 9 pt with single-line spacing.

• Titles of specific tables and figures should be capitalized when referred to in the text (e.g., “see Table 3”; “in Figure 4”).


Supplementary Material

Detailed tables can be submitted as supplementary material, which will be published online. If tables with huge amounts of data are not submitted as supplementary material and are found to be suitable for online publishing only, the discretion to use these as supplementary materials lies with the journal. The authors will be informed about this during the processing of their manuscripts.

Any details and queries regarding supplementary material will be addressed to the corresponding author of the paper. The published material cannot be reproduced without permission from the author.


Mathematical Material:

The text should make clear distinctions between physical variables, mathematical symbols, units of measurement, abbreviations, chemical formulas, etc. Authors should use italics and boldfacing to identify physical or mathematical variables. Variables are to be set in normal italics, and vectors, tensors, and matrixes in bold.

Mathematical equations should be written clearly and accompanied by the necessary information. They should also be separated from the main text.

Theorems should be described as follows:

Theorem 1. The content of the theorem [“Definition” and other layout formats are the same, and the full text is uniformly numbered sequentially.]

Proof: * [describe the proofing process.]

Conclude your proofing with the abbreviation QED (quod erat demonstrandum): Latin for “which was to be proved.”


• Each equation presented in the text should be numbered consecutively, with the equation number being put in parentheses.

• MathType or Equation Editor in Microsoft Word should be used to format the equations, but Unicode characters should be used when typing single variables or mathematical operators (e.g., x, ≥, or ±) in the running text. This makes it easier to edit the text and format the equations before publication.

• Mathematical equations should be saved as editable text and not as images in case changes need to be made before publication.



Terms should be used consistently. Generally, short forms can be used once the full term has been introduced:

• Full terms versus acronyms (e.g., deoxyribonucleic acid versus DNA);

• English names versus Greek letters (e.g., alpha versus α); and

•Species names versus short forms (e.g., Staphylococcus aureus versus S. aureus).

• One way to ensure consistency is to use standard scientific terminology.

• For gene classification, use Gene Cards, The Mouse Genome Informatics Database, and/or gene

• For chemical nomenclature, refer to the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) Compendium of Chemical Terminology (the Gold Book) and the IUPAC–IUB Combined Commission on Biochemical Nomenclature.

• For marine species names, use the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) or the European Register of Marine Species (ERMS).

• Italics must be used correctly for scientific terminology.

• Species names, which are usually in Greek or Latin, should be italicized (e.g., Staphylococcus aureus).

• Gene names should be italicized, but the names of proteins should not.



The jurisdiction for all disputes concerning submitted articles, published material, advertisement, subscription, and sale will be at courts/tribunals situated only in China.

The authors are asked to provide the raw data in connection with a paper for editorial review.

The authors should ensure they have written the original works in their entirety, and if they have used the work and/or words of others, that this has been appropriately cited or quoted. Authors should not publish manuscripts describing essentially the same research in more than one journal or primary publication. Submitting the same manuscript to more than one journal concurrently constitutes unethical publishing behavior and is unacceptable. Proper acknowledgment of the work of others must always be given. Authors should cite publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work. A paper should contain sufficient detail and references to permit others to replicate the work. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behavior and are unacceptable.

Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the reported study. All those who have made significant contributions should be listed as co-authors (maximum six authors). Where there are others who have participated in certain substantive aspects of the research project, they should be acknowledged or listed as contributors or their work can be cited. The corresponding author should ensure that all appropriate co-authors and no inappropriate co-authors are included on the paper, and that all co-authors have seen and approved of the final version of the paper and agreed to its submission for publication. All authors should disclose in their manuscript any financial or other substantive conflict of interest that might be construed to influence the results or interpretation of their manuscript. All sources of financial support for the project should be disclosed. When authors discover a significant error or inaccuracy in their own published work, it is the authors’ obligation to promptly notify the journal editor or publisher and cooperate with the editor to retract or correct the paper.

The scientific impact of the papers (SNIP) in the Hong Kong Journal of Social Sciences is assured by established connections with the well-known indexing database ELSEVIER Products – SCOPUS (since 2010). When submitting a scientific paper, authors should note that we are obliged to review a number of papers, and these are considered and evaluated in the order they are received.

English Editing

The English language of the paper may need academic editing and proofreading.

We recommend that the authors use an academic editing service for scientific articles, but not just for proofreading. Please use the American English option.

We recommend the use of large, trusted companies with editors who have Ph.D. degrees.

An editing certificate should also be attached, or the editorial office’s services can be used. The editorial team provides academic proofreading services for authors at an additional cost.

Articles that are not edited by native English speakers are not allowed for publication.


Fees and Charges

As of 2020, the Hong Kong Journal of Social Sciences is an open access journal.

The Journal is not funded by any government grants. 

To cover the cost of publication and open access, the Journal depends on Article Publication Charges (APC), also called Publication Fees. The APC is due only after the author receives a letter of acceptance from the journal. 



If the manuscript is accepted for publication, the journal collects an APC of  300 euro.

How to Pay the APC: The author will receive a payment invoice and instructions after the letter of acceptance is sent. The APC should be made only after a decision is reached by the scientific board and the Editor-in-Chief using the e-mail address from which the paper was sent in order to easily identify the study. An invoice can be sent to authors if they have provided complete information (name, address, country, codes, ID, or whatever is needed on the invoice).The APC payment should be made within seven (7) working days after receiving the invoice from the editorial office.

Authors should also attach an editing certificate or use the editorial office’s services. Articles that are not edited by native English speakers will not be accepted for publication. Article proofreading and editing costs 50-80 euro depending on the word count. This service is optional, but we recommend it for the authors to ensure faster publishing.

All manuscripts will be subject to a well-established, fair, unbiased peer review and refereeing procedure and considered on the basis of their significance, novelty, and usefulness to the journal readership. We highly recommend that authors send papers containing research, innovation, and analyses. The reviewers’ identities remain anonymous to the authors. The review process may take 1–2 months.


Manuscripts that do not reflect the journal’s scope will be excluded from consideration.

The reviewers’ decision will be one of the following:

A) Accept;

B) Accept with minor changes (several points regarding bibliographic references or other formal mistakes or lapsus linguae in the text);

C) Reject (the paper does not correspond to the scope of our journal, there is evidence of the author’s malpractice, an inappropriate methodology was used, it was not an original study, it was not an innovative study, no research has been done, there were no relevant citations, insufficient language and terminology were used, the study was not scientific, or the study would have nearly no scientific impact in the research field).

If required, the authors will need to revise the paper according to the reviewers’ comments. After publication, the authors may download the paper from the journal’s website.



Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  1. The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in the Comments to the Editor).
  2. The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, RTF, or WordPerfect document file format.
  3. Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  4. The text is single-spaced; uses a 11-pt font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  5. The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which can be found in the “About the Journal” section.
  6. If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review have been followed.

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