The effect of temperature and heating rate on the cross-link density of char samples obtained by pyrolysing Goynuk oil shale was investigated using the volumetric solvent swelling technique. The cross-link density decreases slightly with increasing pyrolysis temperature. The heating rate and thus the pyrolysis time had at most a small effect on the cross-link density. Char-solvent interactions do not follow regular solution theory. The demineralized kerogen swells more than does the native kerogen (16% ash). Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.