FAQs

Does CHDR post dissertations online?

No, CHDR does not post dissertations online, or make them available in any way.  We only post reviews.

Do you contact authors before reviewing their dissertations?

Yes. Before featuring a review on the site, we make contact with the author and ask for his or her permission.

Who are the reviewers?

Our reviewers are junior faculty, post-docs, and Ph.D. students specializing in Chinese history. We think this is helpful to all those involved, as it gives Ph.D. student reviewers more opportunities to read and analyze dissertations, and allows new faculty to contextualize the research they themselves recently completed.

Can I suggest a reviewer for my dissertation?

Absolutely. When you make contact with us, please let us know if there is someone you would like us to approach about reviewing your dissertation.

How do you choose which dissertations to review?

We currently do not have the personnel to review all dissertations currently being defended in the field of Chinese history, though that is our goal. At present, we choose dissertations based upon the willingness of the author and the availability of a suitable reviewer (i.e., a reviewer with appropriate expertise to offer a thoughtful review).

Are the reviews critical?

No. It is the policy of this review site not to publish critical reviews of dissertations. In the spirit of constructive feedback and improvement, however, reviewers also send private criticism to his/her respective author regarding areas for improvement.

Does the author receive any critical feedback?

Yes. In addition to the review itself, the reviewer also prepares a separate private email for the author (which is not published on the site) in which constructive criticism is offered.

How can I review for CHDR?

We would be very interested in having you review for us. To be eligible, you must be a professor (any rank), post-doc, or Ph.D. student specializing in Chinese studies.

How can I get my dissertation reviewed on CHDR?

If you are interested in having a dissertation reviewed on CHDR, please make contact and provide us with the title, the year in which it was defended, and a brief abstract of no more than 500 words. Please note that we are no longer reviewing dissertations from 2008 or earlier.

Why hasn’t my dissertation/my advisee’s dissertation been reviewed?

Unfortunately, due to limited personnel it is not possible for CHDR to review all of the Chinese history-related dissertations defended each year. That said, we do our best to review as many of them as possible, guided by whether or not we are able to match the dissertation with a reviewer whose area of expertise pairs well with that of the author. Also, due to our goal of reviewing only recently defended and unpublished work, a review will not appear on CHDR if you or your student’s dissertation was defended prior to 2008. We do encourage you to make contact with us, however, if you think there is a dissertation that should be featured.

Why are most of these dissertations from 2009 and after?

The goal of CHDR is to introduce readers to recently defended, unpublished dissertations, and to offer dissertation authors with useful, private feedback regarding areas for improvement. For dissertations defended prior to 2009, it is quitely likely that they are already well into the revision process or have already been published.

Does CHDR review every China-related dissertation each year?

Due to limited personnel, and in rare cases when authors do not wish to have their dissertations reviewed, CHDR is not able to review every Chinese history dissertation each year.

Does CHDR review China-related dissertations from outside of History?

While the primary focus of CHDR is the fields of History and Asian Studies, occasional reviews will be posted on dissertations defended in other departments (such as Religious Studies, Archaeology, Comparative Literature, Buddhist Studies, etc.) provided that the work has a robust historical focus.

I would like to read one of the dissertations featured on CHDR. Can I get it from you?

CHDR does not provide copies of original dissertations – only reviews. To acquire a copy of a given dissertation, we recommend using the Proquest search engine.

Do you review Chinese history dissertations from universities outside the U.S.?

While CHDR is starting off with an American academic focus, one of our goals is to begin reviewing dissertations defended in departments outside of the U.S. and written in languages other than English. If you are interested in helping us with this goal, please let us know. In such cases, our goal would be to have your review published both in English and the language of the dissertation.