The Asia Pacific Memo idea

Asia Pacific Memos communicate academic research about contemporary Asia to broader audiences.

Why write a Memo?

Asia Pacific Memo is growing rapidly. Memos are delivered twice-weekly to over 2,700 subscribers and our website attracts thousands of visitors per month. Publication of an Asia Pacific Memo can be a useful additional avenue to communicate and disseminate your research findings, increase the impact of your research, network with those who share your interests, and to contribute to or start a conversation. Our subscribers and readers have a diverse background but share an interest in current issues in Asia and across the Pacific.

The perfect Memo

The perfect Memo is written to be accessible to a reader of any mainstream newspaper. But a Memo is different from a newspaper article because it develops one academic concept rooted in research and communicated in very short form (300 to 350 words), while also linking to current events or related resources when appropriate.

The Memo makes a strong case for an observation/conclusion. That means that phrases such as “my research explains…” are not appropriate. Instead, the Memo should offer the explanation or an element of the explanation referred to here.

In this aspect, a Memo is quite different from a typical article abstract that is more likely to include phrases like “I analyze…”.

Here are some of our favourites: Memo #2, Memo #49, Memo #58, Memo #210Memo #257, Memo #268 and Memo #285.


Write a 300 to 350 word Memo using lively, jargon-free language and clear writing. A Memo should explore an academic concept relating to the Asia Pacific. Where possible, integrate current events into your Memo. Your submission should effectively convey a single key point, backed up by concise arguments and evidence.

On first attempts, most prospective authors balk at limiting themselves to 350 words. However, as you can hopefully see in the Memos that we have published, you can say something substantial within this space, but only if the Memo has a single clear focus.

While we will work with you to meet the length limits and increase accessibility, it is the author’s responsibility to have proofread the memo prior to submission for grammar, spelling, syntax, and style. We reserve the right to decline to publish submissions that do not fit with our guidelines.

Editing process

We have developed an editing process to ensure that published Memos are academic in nature and accessible to our readers. Your Memo will be reviewed by our editorial panel and you will receive comments on your Memo. Often, a few rounds of editing are required.

The articles published in Asia Pacific Memo do not necessarily express the views or opinions of the Institute of Asian Research of the University of British Columbia or any of its representatives. Any opinions or views expressed in an article that is published in Asia Pacific Memo are the personal opinions or views of the author of that article.

Along with your Memo, you must include:

  • A headline
  • A second headline (less than 110 characters) for our Facebook, Twitter, and accounts
  • A 1-sentence biography, and link to your website (if available)
  • Maximum of 5 links to related articles/videos/pictures, or links to scholarly journals, books etc.
  • Emailed consent about the “Permission to Publish” document (see below)

The Permission to Publish document

  • Read and agree to the terms in our Permission to Publish document.
  • Email with “I have read and understood the terms in the Permission to Publish document for my Publication titled ______”
  • Key points of the document: 1) you provide UBC permission to publish and republish your Publication (see 1.1). 2) you, the author, retains copyright and can also republish the Publication (see 2.4). 3) that the Publication is original (see 3.2)

Please include (optional):

  • An email address (we publish this along with your Memo, so readers can have the option to contact you.)
  • Any related images you would like to publish along with the Memo
  • A translated version of your Memo in any language (Note: it may be better to translate your Memo after it has been approved by our editors)

Submit your Memo

Send it to and you will receive a confirmation within a few days.