Submission Guidelines

Submission Guidelines for Opinion Pieces

We recommend our opinion pieces take inputs from our intelligence based daily newsletter in some way or the other. Essentially, we want well analysed pieces that take the liberty to make ‘educated guesses’ rooted in scholarship. Our submission guidelines are a little different from conventional ventures:

1. The word length should be ranging between 1400-1800 words on topics that concern China, regions of Asia and the Indo-Pacific from a geo-political, geo-security and geo-economic tangent. Your piece should have citations in the form of hyperlinks (please use official and authentic sources for facts, quotes and numbers) and should be justified with 1.5 spacing in Times New Roman (size 12). Please only submit Word documents.
2. While we want assessment and individual opinion in a non-partisan manner, we also want to give you the chance to expand on your analyses by focusing on reading between the lines. Intelligence driven reporting is what we at ORCA focus on via Conversations in Chinese Media, our daily newsletter. A similar kind of thought process that binds together your piece is what we are looking for.
3. Unconventional topics that ultimately focus on geopolitical security are always welcome; concurrently, we also seek assessments on topics in mainstream media that require immediate focus.
4. Pitch your idea (300 words) to us at; once approved, we would expect a completed piece in a week’s time along with a short biography and picture. Post copy-editing and final approval from both you and us, your piece will be ready to be published!
5. If you have a finished piece that you are confident fits our requirements, share it with us at .
6. While at present we are seeking to commission paid pieces only from senior scholars, if your piece performs well, we may just commission one from you the next time!
7. We would also want you to share extensively the pieces we publish, follow our Twitter platform and keep tabs on our website to read and review.
8. Plagiarism is strictly not-allowed; each submission with be thoroughly checked for the same.
9. Pieces on China’s domestic politics are most welcome with proper fact-checking.
10. When sharing your pitch/complete piece, please share a short biography and a formal picture of yourself along with it.

Submission Guidelines for Issue Briefs 

An Issue Brief is a balanced analytical paper on a particular topic/theme that should be comprehensible to both – a conversant as well as a general reader. The following are the guidelines that need to be followed while writing Issue Briefs:
  1. Focused analyses that clearly define a specific issue and put forward a clear, unbiased and convincing argument. Policy recommendations are not a requirement. However, the paper should leave the reader with a deeper understanding of the topic at hand as well as how the theme is likely to develop in the near future. 
  2. The total length of the paper should be between 3000-4000 words without references.
  3. Please use British English (United Kingdom) for the paper. No use of American English or a mix of both.
  4. Please identify at least 5 keywords at the start of your paper.
  5. A short abstract of the paper (of maximum 100 words) has to be submitted before the main paper. This would also be placed before the introductory paragraph of the paper.
  6. A brief detail about the author(s) (approximately 3-4 sentences) should be added for inclusion in the paper.
  7. Kindly provide endnotes (please use official and authentic sources for facts, quotes and numbers). 
  8. Please only submit Word documents (not PDFs) that are justified with 1.5 spacing in Times New Roman (size 12).

Text Style Guide

  • Please write short, crisp sentences, which would add to readability.
  • Please write dates in a Month Day, Year format – beginning with the month, followed by the date and then the year (for instance: March 21, 2011).
  • In the text, please write numbers in words till the number nine and then in numerals (example: two, four, nine; and then 10, 11, 12 and so on).
  • Kindly write ‘per cent’ and not ‘%’ or ‘percent’.
  • Acronyms should carry the full-form in their first mention with the acronym in bracket; thereafter, please use the abbreviated version only.
  • Names of books, journals, newspapers and foreign terms in the body of the text should appear in italics, for example, The India Way: Strategies for an Uncertain World; Strategic Analysis; The Telegraph; de facto.
  • While referring to currency, please use Rs 5,000 crores, not 5000 crores of rupees. Similarly, $3.6 million, not 3.6 million dollars.
  • Use lowercase while referring to establishments like the government, the army, and so on. Use uppercase if these are accompanied by the name of the country (as an example: the Indian Government or the Chinese Army). The president or prime minister should stay in lowercase, unless the name is mentioned (for instance: Prime Minister Tony Blair or External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh).

References/Endnotes Guidelines

  1. References/Endnotes should be sequentially numbered.
  2. The author(s) would be responsible for the accuracy of the citations.
  3. If two successive citations/references refer to the same source, please use Ibid.
  4. If the same reference is to be cited after a few other references/citations, please write the name of the author followed by the citation number, for example: Kulbir Krishan, no. 10.
  • While referring to a book, please follow the example below:
    S. Jaishankar, The India Way: Strategies for an Uncertain World, HarperCollins India, 2020, pp. 19-33.
  • When referring to a chapter in a book:
    Meena Singh Roy, “Building a Peaceful Asia”, in Jasjit Singh (ed.), Reshaping Asian Security, Knowledge World, New Delhi, 2001, pp. 348-61
  • While referring to an article in a newspaper:
    Ben Bland, “If the U.S. Is Serious About China Competition, It Needs Indonesia,” The Strait Times, December 12, 2021, (Accessed January 4, 2022)
  • While referring to a paper in a journal:
    Jagannath P. Panda, “Narendra Modi’s China policy: between pragmatism and power parity”, Journal of Asian Public Policy, 9 (2), pp.- 185-197, March 31, 2016, at (Accessed January 4, 2022)
  • While referring to a paper presented at a conference:
    R.V. Phadke, “Security of Energy”, Paper presented at the International Conference on Oil and Gas in India’s Security, New Delhi, 2001, pp. 82-86. Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi, 2001.
  • While referring to an online article:
    Andrew Sheng, “What’s driving the crisis of democracy around the world?”, South China Morning Post, January 1, 2022, at (Accessed January 4, 2022)