Guidelines for Submission of Biographies*
Choice of biographical subjects, story length and format
To ensure that DCBAsia does not already have a story on your proposed subject in its line-up, please email DCBAsia (firstname.lastname@example.org) a one-paragraph summary (about 100 words) of your proposed subject citing the person’s full name, contributions, and the major points of his or her life before embarking on your research and writing. Subjects whose stories already appear in the DCBAsia website or line-up will not normally be considered unless the proposed article includes significant new material and insights.
Your subjects need not be confined to professional clerics, missionaries, or theologians, but might include laypersons from various walks of life whose stories are essential to an understanding of the church in Asia.
- The purpose of the DCBAsia is to record the history of Asian Christianity so please focus on the stories of those who are no longer living.
- DCBAsia will not publish the stories of living subjects. If submitted, stories of living subjects who are of a venerable age and have retired from active ministry will be kept on file by DCBAsia for future use.
- The suggested length for articles is between 500 and 1,500 words, excluding notes and bibliography.
- Include full bibliographic data wherever possible:
- Author of book, book title, location, publisher, year of publication
- Author of chapter within a book, title of the chapter, title of the book, name of the editor of the book, full publication data
- Author of article in periodical, title of article, periodical name, volume and number of periodical, date of periodical, page numbers of article
- Use endnotes and not footnotes in your article. Do not use the footnote/endnote and numbering feature in your word-processing programme. Instead, manually insert endnotes in the text by putting endnote numbers in square brackets [ ] and simply use numbers (no brackets) followed by a full stop for the notes themselves. Do not use the superscript function for the square brackets. Please include sources quoted in your endnotes in the Bibliography.
- For proper credit to be given to you as a contributor, please include your name and a short one-line description of your occupation, vocation or relationship to the subject. Type your name exactly as you wish it to appear in print one line below the end of the text and before the notes and bibliography.
- Authors who are members of Catholic religious societies are requested to include the initials of their society after their name (e.g., Joseph M. Lee, OFM).
- Required formatting and style for stories:
- Because of the vast scope of the DCBAsia, the stories must conform as closely as possible to the same style and format for consistency and clarity. In the main, the DCBAsia follows the Chicago Manual of Style on matters of style and British English spelling and vocabulary.
- As we have a very small budget for translation work, we need to receive your stories in English.
- Paragraphs should not be indented and you should use one extra space between paragraphs. The text should be left-justified.
- Opening format: At the top of the first page, flush left, type the following:
- Subject’s name in full using bold text. For Chinese names, the Chinese characters, if known, should be written in bold and be followed by the pinyin placed in parentheses.
- Year of birth and death. Examples:
- 1855-1920 (if both years are known)
- Use circa if the exact year of birth and/or death is uncertain e.g. circa 1855-1920
- Use none if the year of birth and/or death is unknown e.g. 1855-
- Church affiliation
- Short description of subject
- Country or countries of ministry
Wong Nai Siong 黃乃裳 (Huáng Nǎishang)
Political reformer, preacher and pioneer settler
- Biographies should begin - with no paragraph indentation - with the subject’s full name in an introductory sentence briefly citing the major points of the subject’s life.
Wong Nai Siong is probably one of the best-known pioneers from China to arrive in Sibu, Sarawak. Wong was born on July 25, 1849 in Fujian province in China. In 1866, missionaries from the United States belonging to the Methodist Episcopal Mission came to his village. Wong was one of the earliest converts and was baptised at the age of 17, on December 16, 1866.
Lorraine Eloise Gribbens was born to Emma and Lee Earl Gribbens in South Chicago in 1920. In 1958, at the age of 38, she arrived in Sarawak from the United States to assume the post of pharmacist at the newly opened Christ Hospital in the little town of Kapit. She was supposed to serve for three years there but she stayed for 18.
- Warning against plagiarism: Plagiarism is when you draw any idea or language from someone else without adequately crediting that source, regardless of whether the source is a published author or a website without clear authorship. Any form of plagiarism is unacceptable, whether it happens intentionally or by accident. The most obvious form of plagiarism is copying someone else’s words verbatim and presenting them as your own without proper attribution. But, paraphrasing by changing a few words here and there while maintaining the rest of the source material is also plagiarism.
- To avoid plagiarism, make sure that you quote your sources properly and use quotation marks for all directly quoted material, even for short phrases and key terms.
- To ensure that your citations are complete, never paraphrase or quote from a source without immediately adding a citation to your draft. By doing this, you will not lose track of where you got a quotation or an idea and end up inadvertently taking credit for material that is not your own.
- Each manuscript will be reviewed and edited for style and content by the editors. If the editors have no substantive questions about content, the manuscript will be approved for publication. If the editors request substantive changes or additions, the manuscript will be returned to the original writer for revision.
Information to be included in biographies
- Name of subject
Given name of the subject
Nicknames or other names by which subject was known
- Subject’s family
Clan or kinship group
- Life story
Date or approximate date of birth
Place of birth: village, city, province, nation
Formative experiences such as illnesses, personal misfortunes, tragedies, visions, etc.
Education, degrees (including dates)
Conversion (including date, if applicable)
Calling and/or ordination to ministry (including date)
Date or approximate date, place, and circumstances of death
- Languages(including first, second, third, etc.)
- Church affiliation
- Names, locations and descriptions of churches begun or served by the subject
- Ministry details: Where? How long? What happened? Short-term and long-term impact? (Where stories include anecdotes and interviews, please ensure citation details are complete.)
- Continuing influence and significance of the subject
- Publications, reports, writings, letters, musical compositions, artistic contributions by the subject
- Sources of information about the subject:
Unpublished: For eyewitness and oral accounts, anecdotes and interviews, give names and the town/city where your sources live and include details of their relationship to the subject.
Published: Include complete data on author of book, book title, location, publisher, year of publication and other relevant details in the Bibliography.
- Other pertinent information
*These guidelines have been adapted with permission from the Dictionary of African Christian Biography (https://dacb.org) as well as from The Instructional Manual for Researchers and Writers (2nd edition, revised 2015), developed for DACB. You may refer to the manual at https://dacb.org/resources/final_instr_manual.pdf for more detailed and comprehensive instructions on how to research and write biographies.