Instructions for Authors

History of Science in South Asia invites contributions on the history of science, technology and medicine, primarily in South Asia but also in other geographical areas in so far as they have a bearing on the developments in South Asia. In addition to original reports of research and theory, HSSA welcomes also feature articles that reflect on methodological issues, especially in the context of non-Western sciences. 

Contributions should focus on questions relevant to the field of the history of science in South Asia. These questions should be pointed and may also have implications for broader history of science problems, regionally or globally. Contributions should show an awareness of the contemporary state of international academic research in the field that they address.

Types of Articles

Research Articles

Contributions reporting original research using qualitative and/or quantitative historical data related to the history of science should include a literature review and/or theoretical/conceptual framework, methods, and analysis sections. The methods need to be clearly outlined and should match the research question or stated purpose of the contribution. Please include a brief description of any methodologies that are less familiar to the history of science research community.


HSSA welcomes feature submissions that report on, or present opinions about, topical issues in the history of science in South Asia; present analyses of debates and controversies in the field; present new ideas or theories about the history of South Asian science, in short essay form; or present reflections on the history of South Asian science in the context of current issues. Feature articles are meant to be different from traditional research contributions. Therefore, features need not contain literature reviews or extensive descriptions of methodology. However, feature articles should do much more than just present personal anecdotes and opinions. Features should demonstrate well-informed and factually sound interpretations of educational issues that advance knowledge in the discipline and/or improve practice in the field.

Book and Media Reviews

HSSA publishes reviews of books and other media related to the field. Books and other media for review (one copy each) should be sent to the editor.

Formatting and style

For general questions of style, grammar, punctuation, referencing, bibliographies and general formatting, you may refer to the MHRA Style Guide,  

Sanskrit words should be italicized.  Words of Indian origin like yoga and karma that now appear in standard English dictionaries should not be italicized when used as English words (e.g., "yogam kuryāt means `he should do yoga'").  Use capital letters for proper names etc., as described in the MHRA Style Guide; do not use capital letters to indicate importance or emphasis ("he achieved samādhi" not "Samādhi,"  "Samadhi" or "Samādhi").


HSSA does not fetishize footnotes, referencing and bibliography.  Whichever system you use, please apply it accurately and consistently. Look at past issues of HSSA to see common usage.

HSSA prefers the “Harvard/Chicago” or “author-date (click tab)” style,  This is described in the MHRA Style Guide on section 11.4.

HSSA will also accept the “Oxford referencing style” described in sections 11.2-3, of the MHRA Style Guide. The Chicago Manual of Style calls this the “notes and bibliography” style.  Full bibliographical details are given in a footnote when the item is first referred to, and later notes contain a shortened form. There is no bibliography at the end of the article.

You are strongly encouraged to use one of the many excellent bibliography management and referencing software tools that are available today, such as Zotero, EndNote, JabRef, BibLaTeX, Mendeley, citeulike or Reference Manager. A useful guide and comparison chart is available at Wikipedia. These tools greatly assist you with accuracy and consistency, as well as saving much time in journal production  If you do use one of these programs, please submit your bibliography items in the export format of your program, such as BibTeX, RIS, JSON, etc.  If you can do this, then HSSA editors will take care of the details of note and bibliography formatting.

All references in the bibliography should include a DOI, if one exists.  You can fetch this from

Text references

Specialist editions of Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian, Tamil, Latin, or other texts may not be readily available to readers. Therefore, citations from original texts should be given in full, together with a translation in English. We recommend the following format:
    [main text:]
    In the internal terms of the Carakasaṃhitā,
    Vimānasthāna ch. 8, it would be classified as a friendly debate
    (sandhāyasaṃbhāṣā) whose aim is to establish the truth.99 

        99. (Ācārya 1941: 264): dvividhā tu khalu 
        tadvidyasaṃbhāṣā bhavati sandhāyasaṃbhāṣā 
        vigṛhyasaṃbhāṣā ca 16//  “There are two kinds of debate 
        with experts, friendly debate and inimical debate.”

In this example, the footnote begins with the chapter and verse numbers of the text, and is followed in parentheses by the specific edition and page number from which the citation is copied. After that comes the Sanskrit text, which could be in Devanāgarī, and finally the English translation. Other formats are acceptable as long as the above four components – text-location, edition location, text in original language, English translation – are presented.

Criteria for publication

Significance and Impact

Contributions should focus on questions relevant to the field of the history of science in South Asia. These questions should be pointed and may also have implications for broader history of science problems, regionally or globally. Contributions should explicitly state their contributions, whether theoretical or historical.

Advancement of the Field

The contribution should push existing theory in a new direction, and/or extend or bring a new perspective to current literature.

Clarity and Style

Contributions should be well written in clear, concise language and be as free as possible of technical jargon. HSSA strives for all articles to be widely accessible to non-experts with university-level skills in other fields. Previously published HSSA articles can serve as examples of the style of writing appropriate for our audience. We understand that the specific organization of a contribution may differ according to discipline and the author’s aesthetic sense.
External Proofreading Services

If, before you submit, your paper needs more style correction than the you are able to provide, or for multi-author papers that need harmonization, we recommend that you use a commercial editing services.  The following companies are mentioned only as examples:  we have no experience with them, and there are many other companies that provide similar services.