Citation of Non-English Peer Review Publications – Some Chinese Examples

Isaac Chun-Hai Fung, Georgia Southern University

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Articles published in English language journals with citations of non-English peer reviewed materials are not very common today. However, as epidemiologists are becoming more aware of data and information being readily available and accessible in the non-English literature, the question of whether non-English materials can be cited in English language journals and if so, how should they be cited, has become an increasingly important issue. Bringing together personal insights from the author's familiarity with both the English and Chinese language epidemiological literature and results from a survey on the use of citations of non-English peer reviewed materials across a sample of epidemiology and public health journals, this commentary discusses the different ways authors cite non-English articles in different English language journals and the different methods used by journals to handle non-Latin scripts (e.g. transliteration). This commentary will be useful to both epidemiologists and editors alike.