Acta Via Serica

Journal for Silk Road and
Central Asian Studies

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Peer Review Editorial Policies


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Instructions for Referees

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1. The editors of Acta Via Serica invite the submission of manuscripts pertinent to the goals of the journal and Academia Via Serica. These goals include promoting diverse interdisciplinary and intercultural approaches to Central Asian studies, especially within the arts and humanities and social sciences, as well as significantly increasing the availability to the international community of scholarly articles, translations, interviews and reviews in this expanding field.

2. Acta Via Serica is published semi-annually on June 30 and December 31 and accepts submissions of papers on Middle Hemisphere studies topics throughout the year.

3. Manuscript types published by Acta Via Serica include original articles (approximately 7,000-8,000 words) and book reviews (approximately 1,000 words).

4. Manuscripts should be written in English. Authors whose first language is not English may opt to have their English-language manuscripts checked by a native speaker before submission to ensure that the academic content of the paper is fully understood.

5. Abstract should be under 250 words. The abstract should capture the interest of the potential reader, clearly state the topic of the paper and the research question, explain the research methodology, and indicate the significance of the findings. The abstract should summarize the results of the work and not merely list the topics discussed.

6. Manuscripts should be submitted as an electronic file attachment in Microsoft Word format.

7. The manuscript should have a separate title page with the title, the author's name, affiliation, the author's e-mail address and sources of financial support (if applicable). For manuscripts written by multiple authors, clearly indicate who will handle correspondence (as the Corresponding Author) at all stages of refereeing and publication. As authors' affiliation, status and e-mail are included in all articles published in Acta Via Serica, authors should notify the editors as soon as possible should any of these change.

8. Acta Via Serica uses the Chicago Manual of Style's two systems of source citation: the Author-Date Reference system for Social Science articles and the Notes and Bibliography system for articles in the Arts and Humanities. Author-Date Reference system uses parenthetical citations in the text to reference the source author's last name and the year of publication. Each citation corresponds to an entry on a References page that concludes the document. The Notes and Bibliography system uses numbered footnotes at the bottom of the page. This corresponds to a fuller citation on a Bibliography page that concludes the document. Main words are capitalized in article and book titles.

9. All manuscripts submitted to Acta Via Serica should neither have been published nor be under review for publication elsewhere.

10. The submission of a paper is taken to imply that the author automatically agrees that its copyright will belong to Academia Via Serica, Keimyung University upon acceptance for publication


1. Book reviews should describe the contents of the work with emphasis on its major substantive or methodological themes. Authors are advised to assess the book, locate the book in its field, compare it to other studies on similar topics, and evaluate the book's strengths, weaknesses, and potential value.

2. Book reviews should be written in concise, clear English with a rough word count target of 1,000 words.

3. The heading of the review should be in the following format: Author. Title. Place of publication: Publisher, Date of publication. No. of pages. Price.

4. The end of the review should contain the author's name (without titles or degrees) along with the author's institution and its city and country.

5. The author should send the completed review as a Word Document file email attachment (without abstract or keywords) to

6. Acta Via Serica reviewers receive a free copy of the reviewed book.

7. By committing to review, the author is committing not to review it elsewhere. Contributors who wish to repost their writing on personal blogs or websites after publication must receive permission from Acta Via Serica. Note that the book review editor reserves the right to decline unsolicited reviews.


1. Acta Via Serica uses a double-blind peer review process whereby the identities of the manuscript author(s) and selected reviewers are concealed from one another. All details that may enable identification are removed from the manuscript and from the reviewers' comments to the author(s). Double-blind peer review helps to limit potential bias and ensures objective assessment of articles.

2. Acta Via Serica employs a three-stage peer review process for each article, consisting of an editorial office review, external review and finally the editor's decision. The editorial office initially assesses each submission to ensure that it meets Acta Via Serica's minimum requirements before being sent for external review. At this stage, the manuscript is reviewed for plagiarism, for content matching the journal's scope, for proper English language syntax, and for inclusion of key components of an academic paper including an introductory thesis, literature review, description of methods, discussion of results, conclusion, and list of references. At this stage, manuscripts may be returned to the author(s) for modification and resubmission.

3. The second stage of the review process employs the double-blind review system. Acta Via Serica's editorial staff scour leading publications to find and contact the world's preeminent experts in the subject area of the manuscript. Potential referees receive an abstract and an invitation to review the manuscript. Upon acceptance, they receive the full text of an anonymized manuscript along with a review form, which they are requested to complete and return with comments within one month.

4. Reviewers score the manuscript in terms of originality, contribution to the field, literature review, methodology, writing style, analysis and findings, and conclusion and reach one of the following assessments: Accept, Accept with minor revisions, Accept with major revisions, or Reject.

5. Reviewers are also requested to provide comments, either on the evaluation form or on a copy of the manuscript. The editorial office reviews referee comments, adds further recommendations, and sends the anonymized reviewer comments to the author(s), who are instructed to revise and return the manuscript, accompanied by a list of referee comments and author responses.

6. Upon receipt of the revised submission, Acta Via Serica's editor determines whether to accept or revise or reject the manuscript. Accepted manuscripts undergo thorough copy editing to ensure factual correctness and correct formatting, spelling, grammar, flow, style, and punctuation, so that the writing is clear and easy to understand. The editor reserves the right whether or not to publish any material and to edit final versions of manuscripts to conform to standard journal style, format, and conciseness.


Articles in Acta Via Serica represents neither the views of Academia Via Serica nor those of the editorial board. The editor is responsible for the final selection of the contents of each issue and reserves the right to reject any material deemed inappropriate for publications. Responsibility for opinions expressed and for the accuracy of facts published in articles and reviews rests solely with the individual authors.

Copyright Permission Policy

Unless otherwise indicated, each article, essay, comment, or other work published in Acta Via Serica is copyrighted (c) by the publisher. Also unless otherwise indicated, the authors and the journal grant permission to reproduce and distribute for nonprofit educational uses material published in the journal, provided that: (1) in the case of copies distributed in class, students are charged no more than the cost of duplication; (2) the copied work is identified in accordance with the rules set forth in the current edition of The University of Chicago Manual of Legal Citation; and (3) proper notice of copyright is affixed to each copy.

For permission to reproduce and distribute any work published in Acta Via Serica for other purposes, contact the work's author(s). All such reproduction must identify the author(s), the Journal, the volume, the number of the first page, and the year of the work's publication in the Journal.

It is absolutely essential that authors obtain permission to reproduce any published material (figures, schemes, tables or any extract of a text) which does not fall into the public domain, or for which they do not hold the copyright. Permission should be requested by the authors from the copyright holder (usually the Publisher, please refer to the imprint of the individual publications to identify the copyright holder).

Permission is required for:

- Your own works published by other Publishers and for which you did not retain copyright.

- Substantial extracts from anyone's works or a series of works.- Use of Tables, Graphs, Charts, Schemes and Artworks if they are unaltered or slightly modified.

- Photographs for which you do not hold copyright.

Permission is not required for:

- Reconstruction of your own table with data already published elsewhere. Please notice that in this case you must cite the source of the data in the form of either "Data from..." or "Adapted from...".

- Reasonably short quotes are considered fair use and therefore do not require permission.

- Graphs, Charts, Schemes and Artworks that are completely redrawn by the authors and significantly changed beyond recognition do not require permission.