Call for Papers: Special Issue on Chinese Historical Networks in the Journal of Historical Network Research (Spring 2021)

Chinese historical network research is a burgeoning academic field. In recent years, the digitization of source materials, the proliferation of databases, as well as the development of digital tools, have greatly facilitated the study of networks in Chinese history. This special issue invites scholars from all disciplines to share their research that applies the theories and methodologies of social network analysis to the study of any period of Chinese history as well as archaeology. With this special issue, we hope to initiate a dialogue between network scholars specializing in China and those studying other parts of the world. We also wish to promote an interdisciplinary dialogue about technology and methodology. Thus, we further welcome contributions from scholars who develop tools and databases that facilitate the study of networks in Chinese history and archaeology.

Contributions can be submitted in one of the following two sections:

First, we welcome outstanding and original research articles that engage with the diversity of networks connecting actors and/or objects in Chinese history, including articles that examine networks connecting China to other world regions and those that compare Chinese and non-Chinese networks. Excluded from the scope of this special issue are fictive networks, such as networks of character interaction in literary works.

Second, we call for contributions that focus on databases and tools pertaining to the study of networks in Chinese history. These include, for example, discussions of recent developments in Natural Language Processing that enable the harvesting of network data from Chinese source materials as well as contributions that focus on databases and tools for organizing and analyzing historical network data of China.

While English is the language of choice, contributions can also be submitted in Chinese. Submissions written in Chinese, if accepted, will be translated into English before publication. Research articles should not exceed 10,000 words, and contributions on databases and tools should not exceed 5,000 words.

Abstracts for research articles (1,000 to 1,500 words) should include discussion on:

Background – an overview of the topic and the research questions that will be addressed by your article,
Methods and data – an overview of the data used and the methods employed in your research, and
Findings – a description of the results of your research.

Abstracts for contributions on databases and tools should not exceed 400 words.

Submissions can be send to both editors, Henrike Rudolph ( and Song Chen (, in a PDF-format before June 1st, 2020. You may choose to include, as part of the PDF file, one or two graphs (or tables) that show the key results or main argument of your contribution. While these graphs and/or tables are not required, we strongly encourage contributors of original research articles to include them in the abstracts. Please keep in mind that the intended readership is not limited to specialists from the field of Chinese Studies.



Abstract deadline: June 1, 2020
Full paper deadline: October 1, 2020
End of the review process: November 15, 2020
Revised version deadline: December 15, 2020
Publication: Spring 2021