It is very easy to assume that other people, especially those in similar knowledge domain, to know everything you are talking about or implying. However, country specific information may be common sense to people living in the country but completely new knowledge to the wider international audience.

Here is some country-specific information on official institutions that, if not explained, may not be meaningful to some readers:

Nations, official institutions and entities

The author should refer to official institutions by their full names and locations if necessary. An example is Tsinghua University (Beijing, China) and National Tsing Hua University (Hsinchu, Taiwan). These two distinct universities have the same origin and their names read exactly the same in Mandarin Chinese. However, normally people just refer to them as TsingHua University, if the location is unspecified and not much country context is provided the reader may be confused. This Another type of confusion arising from referral to country specific information is with political institutions, and mixed with Romanization ( the conversion of writing from a different writing system to the Roman (Latin) script through transcription and transliteration that represent the written text or spoken word), can sometimes be confusing for readers.

For instance, the major political parties in Taiwan (officially Republic of China) include: Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), New Power Party (NPP),and Kuomintang (KMT). In this case Kuomintang is represented through transliteration (as opposed to translated as the Nationalist Party of China or Chinese Nationalist Party), but without context, many readers might not know that it is a political party. Similarly, The Legislative Yuan (Chinese : 立法院; pinyin: Lìfǎyuàn) is the unicameral legislature of the Republic of China (Taiwan), commonly understood as the equivalent to the parliament. The English word for this official authority is an example of partial translation-transliteration (‘Legislative’ and ‘Yuan’), and without further explanation it may not make sense to some either.

See these example sentences:

  1. “In 1989 KMT lost six of the 21 Taiwan Province counties and cities. The situation worsened when the KMT later lost majority seats in Legislative Yuan.”

Even though this sentence is in general clear and concise, but with no context or further information made available elsewhere, some readers without the particular knowledge (that KMT is a political party and Legislative Yuan is a legislature institution) will find it confusing.

  1. “One of the main political parties in Taiwan (officially the Republic of China), the Nationalist Party of China (also referred to as the Kuomintang or abbreviated as KMT), lost six of the 21 counties and cities during elections in 1989. The situation worsened when the KMT later lost majority seats in Taiwan’s parliament, referred to as the Legislative Yuan.”

This sentence, whilst sounding abounding, provides all necessary information for the reader to understand the intended message because it explains what all the elements are. If nowhere else in the paper does the author give more information about KMT, Taiwan, and Legislative Yuan, then it is more ideal, as demonstrated in this sentence, to give a comprehensive explanation.

  1. “In 1989 Kuomintang (KMT) lost six of the 21 Taiwan Province counties and cities to the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). The situation worsened when the KMT later lost majority seats in Taiwan’s parliament (Legislative Yuan).”

This last sentence is an improvement from sentence 1 and more concise than sentence 2 but the information provided may still be slightly insufficient for some readers because, first of all, the reader first sees ‘Kuomingtan (KMT)’ but does not know it’s a political party, they have to make the deduction from the later part of the sentence where it says ‘the Democratic progressive Party (DPP)’. If in other parts of the paper some background information is already provided (i.e. which main political parties there are in Taiwan) then this sentence is fine but otherwise not as comprehensive as sentence 2.

The above three sentences are all correct, but an author who writes using a style like in example sentence 2 or 3, will find the peer reviewers from international journals can better understand the country specific information.

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