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Journal of Chinese Writing Systems

Journal of Chinese Writing Systems

Published in Association with East China Normal Univeristy

eISSN: 25138510 | ISSN: 25138502 | Current volume: 8 | Current issue: 1 Frequency: Quarterly

Journal of Chinese Writing Systems is an international, peer-reviewed journal focusing on in-depth research of Chinese writing systems and encompassing a broad theoretical scope. It is sponsored by the Center for the Study and Application of Chinese Characters (CSACC), East China Normal University (ECNU), and published in partnership with SAGE Publishing. Journal of Chinese Writing Systems publishes both the English language articles and the Chinese language articles. The journal welcomes original articles, review articles, book reviews, comments, correspondence on research and applications of Chinese writing systems, which include modern Chinese characters, ancient scripts, Dongba scripts, and Shui scripts, etc., as well as the comparative studies on hieroglyphs of Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. The journal is dedicated to the studies of morphology, i.e. the structure, formation and function of the scripts, symbols; the studies of interrelation between writing systems and the language, as well as the cognition and acquisition of Chinese characters.

Please submit articles online via

This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

Chinese writing systems, different from the alphabetical systems of Europe and America, which are often a natural part of language studies, turn out to be an independent academic concern. Chinese writing systems become a crucial factor in the construction of Chinese language, literature, philosophy, psychology, etc.. It is the fundamental influential element for all humanity studies concerning China.

Chinese writing systems are different in many aspects from major writing systems of western languages, with complex structures and the employment of thousands of individual characters. The research of them will reveal the diversity of the usage of symbols to record a language, thus makes them the important objects of investigation in the field of language studies.

Journal of Chinese Writing Systems is the first journal published which especially and systematically focuses on the Chinese writing systems, in an attempt to promote the understanding of Chinese writing and build a platform for the studies of related fields.

The journal welcomes articles within the scope as below:

  • modern Chinese characters, ancient scripts
  • writings of Chinese minorities, e.g. Mongolian, Dongba scripts , etc.
  • comparative studies on hieroglyphs of Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia and on other Asian writing systems
  • semiotic concerns of Chinese writing systems
  • cognition and acquisition of Chinese characters
  • the cross-disciplinary studies between Chinese writing systems and ancient history, ancient documents, archeology are also encouraged. The philosophical concerns of symbol and meaning are particularly welcome.
Zang Kehe East China Normal University, China
Associate Editors
Françoise Bottéro Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), France
Tingzhu Chen Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China
Park Heungsoo Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Korea
Wolfgang W. Kubin University of Bonn, Germany
Hongyin Nie Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China
Jie Su Fudan University, China
Chungpui Tai The University of Hong Kong, China
Nguyen TuanCuong Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, Vietnam
Yibin Zhang East China Normal University, China
Advisory Editor
Tiziana Lippiello Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Italy
Zhiji Liu East China Normal University, China
Ning Wang Beijing Normal University, China
Nguyen QuangHong Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, Vietnam
Stephen Selby Hong Kong Polytechnic University, China
Hongkai Sun Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China
Atsuji Tetsuji Kyoto University, Japan
Ohgata Tohru Osaka Prefecture University, Japan
Ha Youngsam Kyungsung University, Korea
Editorial Board Member
Joël Bellassen L'Association Française des Professeurs de Chinois, France
Ágnes Birtalan Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary
Mengqi Cai Hunan Normal University, China
Yongsheng Chen Ocean University of China, China
Chia-Ning Chu National Chengchi University, Taiwan, China
Ryu Dong Chun Sogang University, Korea
Deno Fumiri Osaka Kyoiku University, Japan
Imre Galambos University of Cambridge, UK
Orly Goldwasser Hebrew University, Israel
Qian Gu Nanjing University, China
Zev Handel University of Washington, USA
David Holm National Chengchi University, Taiwan, China
Chuanren Ke University of Iowa, USA
Lee KyooKap Yonsei University, Korea
Lars Peter Laamann University of London, UK
Yukun Pan East China Normal University, China
Edward L. Shaughnessy University of Chicago, USA
Masaaki Shimizu Osaka University, Japan
Kenichi Takashima The University of British Columbia, Canada
Zhibiao Tang East China Normal University, China
Zhenwu Wu Jilin University, China
Jing Zhou East China Normal University, China
Jianjun Zhu Shanghai International Studies University, China
Managing Editor
Deshao Zhang East China Normal University, China
Commissioning Editor
Chunfeng Zhang East China Normal University, China
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  • Manuscript Submission Guidelines: Journal of Chinese Writing Systems

    This Journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics

    Please read the guidelines below then visit the Journal’s submission site to upload your manuscript. Please note that manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned.

    Only manuscripts of sufficient quality that meet the aims and scope of Journal of Chinese Writing Systems will be reviewed.

    There are no fees payable to submit or publish in this Journal. Open Access options are available - see section 3.4 below.

    As part of the submission process you will be required to warrant that you are submitting your original work, that you have the rights in the work, that you are submitting the work for first publication in the Journal and that it is not being considered for publication elsewhere and has not already been published elsewhere, and that you have obtained and can supply all necessary permissions for the reproduction of any copyright works not owned by you.

    1. What do we publish?
      1.1 Aims & Scope
      1.2 Article types
      1.3 Writing your paper
    2. Editorial policies
      2.1 Peer review policy
      2.2 Authorship
      2.3 Acknowledgements
      2.4 Funding
      2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests
      2.6 Data
    3. Publishing policies
      3.1 Publication ethics
      3.2 Research ethics and participant consent
      3.3 Contributor's publishing agreement
      3.4 Open access and author archiving
    4. Preparing your manuscript
      4.1 Formatting
      4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics
      4.3 Supplementary material
      4.4 Reference style
      4.5 English language editing services
    5. Submitting your manuscript
      5.1 ORCID
      5.2 Information required for completing your submission
      5.3 Permissions
    6. On acceptance and publication
      6.1 Sage Production
      6.2 Online First publication
      6.3 Access to your published article
      6.4 Promoting your article
    7. Further information


    1. What do we publish?

    1.1 Aims & Scope

    Before submitting your manuscript to Journal of Chinese Writing Systems, please ensure you have read the Aims & Scope.

    1.2 Article Types

    Journal of Chinese Writing Systems publishes Original Article (Research Article), Review Article, Book Review, Editor’s Word and Letter to the Editor.

    Original Article and Review Article are generally restricted to a maximum of 10,000 words, including all elements (title page, abstracts, key words, references, illustrations, etc.). Authors who suspect that their articles will have to be cut anyway should make the required deletions before submitting.

    Book Review are generally restricted to a maximum of 3,000 words, including references and illustrations if necessary.

    Editor’s Word and Letter to the Editor are generally restricted to a maximum of 2,000 words, including biographies, no need to submit other elements such as abstracts, key words, references, illustrations, etc.

    1.3 Writing your paper

    The Sage Author Gateway has some general advice and on how to get published, plus links to further resources.

    1.3.1 Make your article discoverable

    When writing up your paper, think about how you can make it discoverable. The title, keywords and abstract are key to ensuring readers find your article through search engines such as Google. For information and guidance on how best to title your article, write your abstract and select your keywords, have a look at this page on the Gateway: How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online.

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    2. Editorial policies

    2.1 Peer review policy

    Following a preliminary triage to eliminate submissions unsuitable for Journal of Chinese Writing Systems, all papers are sent out for review. The journal’s policy is to have manuscripts reviewed by two expert reviewers. Journal of Chinese Writing Systems utilizes a double-anonymize peer review process in which the reviewer and author’s names and information are withheld from the other. All manuscripts are reviewed as rapidly as possible and generally within two months. Reviewers make comments to the author and recommendations to the Editor-in-Chief, and then the Editor-in-Chief makes the final decision.

    The Editor or members of the Editorial Board may occasionally submit their own manuscripts for possible publication in the journal. In these cases, the peer review process will be managed by alternative members of the Board and the submitting Editor/Board member will have no involvement in the decision-making process.

    2.2 Authorship

    All parties who have made a substantive contribution to the article should be listed as authors. Principal authorship, authorship order, and other publication credits should be based on the relative scientific or professional contributions of the individuals involved, regardless of their status. A student is usually listed as principal author on any multiple-authored publication that substantially derives from the student’s dissertation or thesis.

    Please note that AI chatbots, for example ChatGPT, should not be listed as authors. For more information see the policy on Use of ChatGPT and generative AI tools.

    2.3 Acknowledgements

    All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an Acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, or a department chair who provided only general support.

    2.3.1 Third party submissions

    Where an individual who is not listed as an author submits a manuscript on behalf of the author(s), a statement must be included in the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript and in the accompanying cover letter. The statements must:

    •    Disclose this type of editorial assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input 
    •    Identify any entities that paid for this assistance 
    •    Confirm that the listed authors have authorized the submission of their manuscript via third party and approved any statements or declarations, e.g. conflicting interests, funding, etc.

    Where appropriate, Sage reserves the right to deny consideration to manuscripts submitted by a third party rather than by the authors themselves.

    2.3.2 Writing assistance

    Individuals who provided writing assistance, e.g. from a specialist communications company, do not qualify as authors and so should be included in the Acknowledgements section. Authors must disclose any writing assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input – and identify the entity that paid for this assistance”).

    It is not necessary to disclose use of language polishing services.

    Please supply any personal acknowledgements separately to the main text to facilitate anonymous peer review.

    2.4 Funding

    Journal of Chinese Writing Systems requires all authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading.  Please visit the Funding Acknowledgements page on the Sage Journal Author Gateway to confirm the format of the acknowledgment text in the event of funding, or state that: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

    2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests

    Journal of Chinese Writing Systems encourages authors to include a declaration of any conflicting interests and recommends you review the good practice guidelines on the Sage Journal Author Gateway.

    It is the policy of Journal of Chinese Writing Systems to require a declaration of conflicting interests from all authors enabling a statement to be carried within the paginated pages of all published articles.

    Please ensure that a ‘Declaration of Conflicting Interests’ statement is included at the end of your manuscript, after any acknowledgements and prior to the references. If no conflict exists, please state that ‘The Author(s) declare(s) that there is no conflict of interest’. For guidance on conflict of interest statements, please see the ICMJE recommendations here.

    2.6 Data

    All data submitted should comply with Institutional or Ethical Review Board requirements and applicable government regulations.

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    3. Publishing Policies

    3.1 Publication ethics

    Sage is committed to upholding the integrity of the academic record. We encourage authors to refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics’ International Standards for Authors and view the Publication Ethics page on the Sage Author Gateway.

    3.1.1 Plagiarism

    Journal of Chinese Writing Systems and Sage take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of published articles. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked with duplication-checking software. Where an article, for example, is found to have plagiarised other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where the authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article; taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author's institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; or taking appropriate legal action.

    3.1.2 Prior publication

    If material has been previously published it is not generally acceptable for publication in a Sage journal. However, there are certain circumstances where previously published material can be considered for publication. Please refer to the guidance on the Sage Author Gateway or if in doubt, contact the Editor at the address given below.

    3.2 Research ethics and participant consent

    For authors from countries or institutions that have an ethical review process, approval of research from the responsible institution/committee is required. Authors are also required to state in the methods section whether participants provided informed consent. Information on informed consent to report individual cases or case series should be included in the manuscript text. A statement is required regarding whether written informed consent for participant information and images to be published was provided by the participant(s) or a legally authorized representative. Please do not submit the participant’s actual written informed consent with your article, as this in itself breaches the participant’s confidentiality. The Journal requests that you confirm to us, in writing, that you have obtained written informed consent but the written consent itself should be held by the authors/investigators themselves. The confirmatory letter may be uploaded with your submission as a separate file.
    Please also refer to the ICMJE Recommendations for the Protection of Research Participants.

    3.3 Contributor's publishing agreement

    Before publication, Sage requires the author as the rights holder to sign a Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement. Sage’s Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement is an exclusive licence agreement which means that the author retains copyright in the work but grants Sage the sole and exclusive right and licence to publish for the full legal term of copyright. Exceptions may exist where an assignment of copyright is required or preferred by a proprietor other than Sage. In this case copyright in the work will be assigned from the author to the society. For more information please visit the Sage Author Gateway.

    3.4 Open access and author archiving

    Journal of Chinese Writing Systems offers optional open access publishing via the Sage Choice programme and Open Access agreements, where authors can publish open access either discounted or free of charge depending on the agreement with Sage. Find out if your institution is participating by visiting Open Access Agreements at Sage. For more information on Open Access publishing options at Sage please visit Sage Open Access. For information on funding body compliance, and depositing your article in repositories, please visit Sage’s Author Archiving and Re-Use Guidelines and Publishing Policies.

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    4. Preparing your manuscript for submission

    4.1 Formatting

    The preferred format for your manuscript is Word. LaTeX files are also accepted. Word and (La)Tex templates are available on the Manuscript Submission Guidelines page of our Author Gateway.

    4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics

    For guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures and graphs in electronic format, please visit Sage’s Manuscript Submission Guidelines.

    Figures supplied in colour will appear in colour online regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in colour in the printed version.
    For specifically requested colour reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from Journal of Chinese Writing Systems Editorial Office after receipt of your accepted article.

    4.3 Supplementary material

    This journal is able to host additional materials online (e.g. datasets, podcasts, videos, images etc) alongside the full-text of the article. For more information please refer to our guidelines on submitting supplementary files.

    4.4 Reference style

    Journal of Chinese Writing Systems adheres to the Sage Harvard reference style. View the Sage Harvard guidelines to ensure your manuscript conforms to this reference style.

    If you use EndNote to manage references, you can download the Sage Harvard EndNote output file.

    4.5 English language editing services

    Authors seeking assistance with English language editing, translation, or figure and manuscript formatting to fit the journal’s specifications should consider using Sage Language Services. Visit Sage Language Services on our Journal Author Gateway for further information.

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    5. Submitting your manuscript

    Journal of Chinese Writing Systems is hosted on Sage Track, a web based online submission and peer review system powered by ScholarOne™ Manuscripts. Visit to login and submit your article online.

    IMPORTANT: Please check whether you already have an account in the system before trying to create a new one. If you have reviewed or authored for the journal in the past year it is likely that you will have had an account created.  For further guidance on submitting your manuscript online please visit ScholarOne Online Help.

    All papers must be submitted via the online system. If you would like to discuss your paper prior to submission, please contact the editorial office at:

    5.1 ORCID

    As part of our commitment to ensuring an ethical, transparent and fair peer review process Sage is a supporting member of ORCID, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID. ORCID provides a unique and persistent digital identifier that distinguishes researchers from every other researcher, even those who share the same name, and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between researchers and their professional activities, ensuring that their work is recognized.

    The collection of ORCID iDs from corresponding authors is now part of the submission process of this journal. If you already have an ORCID iD you will be asked to associate that to your submission during the online submission process. We also strongly encourage all co-authors to link their ORCID ID to their accounts in our online peer review platforms. It takes seconds to do: click the link when prompted, sign into your ORCID account and our systems are automatically updated. Your ORCID iD will become part of your accepted publication’s metadata, making your work attributable to you and only you. Your ORCID iD is published with your article so that fellow researchers reading your work can link to your ORCID profile and from there link to your other publications.

    If you do not already have an ORCID iD please follow this link to create one or visit our ORCID homepage to learn more.

    5.2 Information required for completing your submission

    You will be asked to provide contact details and academic affiliations for all co-authors via the submission system and identify who is to be the corresponding author. These details must match what appears on your manuscript. At this stage please ensure you have included all the required statements and declarations and uploaded any additional supplementary files (including reporting guidelines where relevant).

    5.3 Permissions

    Please also ensure that you have obtained any necessary permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please see the Copyright and Permissions page on the Sage Author Gateway.

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    6. On acceptance and publication

    6.1 Sage Production

    Your Sage Production Editor will keep you informed as to your article’s progress throughout the production process. Proofs will be sent by PDF to the corresponding author and should be returned promptly.  Authors are reminded to check their proofs carefully to confirm that all author information, including names, affiliations, sequence and contact details are correct, and that Funding and Conflict of Interest statements, if any, are accurate. 

    6.2 Online First publication

    Online First allows final articles (completed and approved articles awaiting assignment to a future issue) to be published online prior to their inclusion in a journal issue, which significantly reduces the lead time between submission and publication. Visit the Sage Journals help page for more details, including how to cite Online First articles.

    6.3 Access to your published article

    Sage provides authors with online access to their final article.

    6.4 Promoting your article

    Publication is not the end of the process! You can help disseminate your paper and ensure it is as widely read and cited as possible. The Sage Author Gateway has numerous resources to help you promote your work. Visit the Promote Your Article page on the Gateway for tips and advice. 

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    7. Further information

    For submission guidelines in Chinese language, please visit

    Any correspondence, queries or additional requests for information on the manuscript submission process should be sent to the Journal of Chinese Writing Systems editorial office as follows:

    Dr. Chunfeng Zhang
    Journal of Chinese Writing Systems Editorial Office
    Rm 1607, Building of Science (A),
    Center for the Study and Application of Chinese Characters (CSACC),
    East China Normal University (ECNU)
    3663, Zhongshan Road (N), Shanghai, 200062, China
    Editorial Office email: 

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