Editorial  |   July 2000
What IOVS Authors Should Know
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science July 2000, Vol.41, i-vi. doi:
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      What IOVS Authors Should Know. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2000;41(8):i-vi.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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NOTE: This is an outdated set of instructions published in 2000. For the most up-to-date instructions, please click on the FOR AUTHORS link above, or go to 
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science (IOVS) is the official journal of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), an international organization whose purposes are to encourage and assist research, training, publication, and dissemination of knowledge in vision and ophthalmology. Included are original contributions that report mainly hypothesis-driven, statistically good results from basic and clinical research that clearly advance the fields of ophthalmic investigation and vision research. Subjects cover the 13 sections represented by ARVO’s membership. Short updates on notable new developments in important research areas are also published but only by invitation. Summaries of meetings/symposia and general review articles are not considered. 
Send your manuscripts to the following address: 
IOVS Editorial Office 9650 Rockville Pike, Suite 1514 Bethesda, MD 20814-3998 Tel: 301-571-1860 Fax: 301-571-8315 E-mail: * 
(*The e-mail address is to be used only for inquiries and brief messages, not for submitting manuscripts.) 
For PDF version of IOVS’s Copyright Transfer Form, see 
A manuscript will be considered with the understanding that it (or its essential substance) has not been previously published anywhere, in any language, and is not under simultaneous consideration by another publication. Duplicate publication of essentially the same data constitutes a violation of copyright law and of the ethics of scientific publication. Where there could be doubt about the common source, overlapping, or coincidence of data in articles based on the same study, the author(s) should consult the Editor-in-Chief before submission. Authors are responsible for all statements in their work, including changes made by the copyeditor after a manuscript is accepted. 
Authors must send a Copyright Transfer Form, signed by all authors of the manuscript, with their submission. Failure to do so will delay the processing of your paper. 
If you plan to include figures, photos, or tables from other publications, obtain written permission from the copyright holder to reprint such items in IOVS and submit this permission to the IOVS Editorial Office.  
For PDF version of IOVS’s Quick Manuscript Checklist, see 
Please review your manuscript carefully prior to submission. Authors needing or seeking assistance with English grammar and usage may utilize the IOVS Volunteer Editor Program (see Any changes made to the text or art after acceptance may necessitate another round of reviews. All submitted material will be considered the property of IOVS.  
Announcement to Authors: Manuscripts submitted after July 1, 2000, and subsequently accepted are subject to a $60 per page charge for the first eight (8) pages and $150 per page thereafter (ARVO Board of Trustees, May 4, 2000). The following guidelines may be used to estimate the length of your manuscript in journal pages: 
1 typeset journal page 
45 references 
1 typeset page 
Each figure or table 
1/4 to 1/2 typeset page 
Title, authors’ names, and abstract 
1/2 typeset page 
Type the manuscript on one side only of 8 1/2 × 11 inch (21.5 × 28 cm) paper or similar size available in your country. Use double-spacing throughout the paper, and single-space after periods. Leave margins of at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) on all sides; do not justify right margin. Put the first author’s name on each page and number all pages consecutively, beginning with the title page. Submit five high-quality copies of the typescript and five sets of illustrations, one high-quality original for the printer and four high-quality copies for the review process (see Figures and Illustrations below). The manuscript should be ordered: title page, structured abstract, text, acknowledgments, references, figure legends, tables, and figures. Follow guidelines of style, terminology, measurement, and quantitation as set forth in the American Medical Association Manual of Style (9th ed., Baltimore, MD: Williams & Wilkins; 1998). If you referenced an earlier paper of yours that would help the reviewers understand your methods more completely, please attach a copy of that article to each copy of your submission. 
Use initial caps and descriptive clauses for titles and subheadings, avoiding complete sentences or questions. Keep symbols, abbreviations, and acronyms to a minimum and define them at first mention. Use Systeme International (SI) measurements throughout the paper. Exceptions are visual acuity measurements and intraocular pressure recordings. See AMA style manual for guidance. 
Title Page
    Limit the full title to 90 characters and make it explicit for indexing. Do not use abbreviations, complete sentences, or questions.
    Provide a short title of no more than 50 characters.
    Provide word count for text, excluding references and legends.
    List the number of tables and figures.
    Assign section code(s) to indicate best fit for your manuscript. See Scientific Section Descriptions below for listing of section codes.
    List five keywords from the IOVS Manuscript Keywords list to facilitate indexing. See keyword list at
    Give full names, degrees, and affiliations of all authors. For corresponding author, include full address, telephone and fax numbers, and e-mail address. All correspondence and reprint requests will be sent to the corresponding author.
    Acknowledge grant support and provide name and location of sponsoring organizations.
    Disclose commercial relationships (formerly proprietary interest) as in following example: “CR: Cc7.” See ARVO’s Commercial Relationships Policy below for category list.
Structured Abstract
A structured abstract of fewer than 250 words is required for articles. Arrange under the following headings: Purpose, Methods, Results, Conclusions. Do not include references and define abbreviations at first mention. The abstract should be written in the third person and be intelligible to a broad spectrum of vision researchers. An example follows: 
purpose. To determine the effect of ocular sympathetic nerves on corneal epithelial proliferation in the rat. 
methods. Osmotic pumps filled with bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) were implanted subcutaneously in adult rats to label corneal epithelial cells entering the S-phase of the cell cycle during a 24-hour period. Corneas in some animals were wounded with n-heptanol. Several days or weeks before pump implantation, animals were subjected to either unilateral superior cervical ganglionectomy (SCG), unilateral transection of the cervical sympathetic trunk (sympathetic decentralization), bilateral SCG plus unilateral topical norepinephrine administration, or unilateral SCG plus systemic capsaicin administration. Differences in BrdU-labeling indices between experimental and control eyes in each group were determined from cell counts on paraffin sections. 
results. SCG and sympathetic decentralization significantly decreased epithelial proliferation in nonwounded and wounded corneas. Topical applications of norepinephrine to eyes that had been deprived of their sympathetic innervation completely reversed the antiproliferative effect of ocular sympathectomy. Systemic administration of the neurotoxin capsaicin, in conjunction with unilateral SCG, did not alter the proliferative rate; comparison was made to animals that received unilateral SCG only. 
conclusions. Ocular sympathetic nerves stimulate rat corneal epithelial proliferation under normal physiological conditions and during corneal wound healing. The promotion of DNA synthesis by these nerves occurs independently of functional interactions with capsaicin-sensitive, ocular sensory nerves and appears to be related, at least in part, to the release of norepinephrine. (Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1996;37:2535–2547) 
The material should be presented for the wide spectrum of vision researchers who represent ARVO’s membership. Follow the format shown below: 
In a brief Introduction (don’t use any subheadings), provide the research rationale and objectives without extensively reviewing the literature. 
In the Methods section, describe the experimental design, subjects used, and procedures followed. Previously published procedures should be identified by reference only. Provide sufficient detail to enable others to duplicate the research. Use standard chemical or nonproprietary pharmaceutical nomenclature. In parentheses, identify specific sources by brand name, company, city, and state or country. 
If experimental animals were used in the investigation, the Methods section must confirm adherence to the ARVO Statement for the Use of Animals in Ophthalmic and Vision Research (see below). If human subjects were involved in the investigation, the Methods section must confirm that: (1) the research followed the tenets of the Declaration of Helsinki (see below); (2) informed consent was obtained from the subjects after explanation of the nature and possible consequences of the study; and (3), where applicable, the research was approved by the institutional human experimentation committee or institutional review board (IRB). 
Present the Results with a minimum of discussion. Cite all tables and figures in numerical order. 
Limit the Discussion to the significance of the data and their limitations. Do not reiterate results. 
Acknowledgments should be written in the third person and be limited to colleagues and research assistance. Acknowledgments are not meant to recognize appreciation for personal or manuscript production support. Including dedications to individuals or groups is not permitted by IOVS journal policy. 
List your references numerically by order of citation in the text. (Do not simply list alphabetically.) All references must be cited in the text or tables, shown as superscript numbers. Unpublished data (including material in preparation or submitted) or personal communications should be listed parenthetically in the text only. References to journal articles should include (1) author(s) (if there are more than six, write “et al.” after the third name), (2) title, (3) journal name (as abbreviated in Index Medicus), (4) year, (5) volume number, and (6) inclusive page numbers. References to books should include (1) author(s), (2) chapter title (if any), (3) editors (if any), (4) title of book, (5) city of publication, (6) publisher, (7) year, and (8) inclusive page numbers. Authors are responsible for the accuracy of references. Examples follow: 
1. Choudhury A, Palkanis VA, Bowers WE. Characterisation and functional activity of dendritic cells from rat choroid. Exp Eye Res. 1994;59:297–304. 
2. Sun WS, Baker RX, Chike JC, et al. Age-related changes in human blinks: passive and active changes in eyelid kinematics. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1997;38:92–99. 
3. Sommer A, Tielsch JM, Katz J, et al. Racial differences in the cause-specific prevalence of blindness in east Baltimore. N Engl J Med. 1991;325:1412–1417. 
ARVO Abstracts  
1. Otaishat NM, Li S, Naash MI, Pepperberg DR. Retinoid kinetics in the VPP mouse, a model of autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa [ARVO Abstract]. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1997;38(4):S303. Abstract nr 1415. 
1. Stryer L. Biochemistry. 2nd ed. San Francisco, CA: WH Freeman; 1981:559–596. 
2. Gouras P, Lopez R, Brittis M, Kyeldbye HM, Fasano MK. Transplantation of retinal epithelium. In: Agardh E, Ehinger B, eds. Retinal Signal Systems, Degenerations and Transplants. Amsterdam: Elsevier; 1986:271–286. 
3. Fahn S. Parkinsonism. In: Rowland LP, ed. Merritt’s Textbook of Neurology. Baltimore, MD: Williams & Wilkins; 1995:713–730. 
4. Ogden TE. The glia of the retina. In: Ryan SJ, ed. Retina. Vol. 1. St. Louis: Mosby; 1989:53–56. 
Data that can be given in the text in two or three sentences should not be presented in table format. Each table should have a brief, self-contained title understandable without reference to the text. Assign a short heading to each column in the table. For footnotes in tables, use symbols in the following sequence: *, †, ‡, §, ∥,¶ , and #. Omit horizontal and vertical lines within the body of the table. 
For PDF version of IOVS’s Quick Figure Quality Checklist, see 
Type figure legends double-spaced, each on a separate sheet of paper, and number them consecutively in Arabic numerals. Legends are brief captions that should identify and describe the illustration without including the obvious. Use complete sentences or noun phrases with necessary modifiers and conclude with a period. Do not repeat in the figure, caption, or text any information that appears in one of the other two. 
Note: All figures submitted are considered property of IOVS and will not be returned unless specifically requested. There will be a $50 fee to honor each such request; only one set will be returned. 
Use figures only when they are needed to clarify the text and present them in the smallest useful size. Submit five identical reproducible copies of each figure. The figure number, first author’s name, and an arrow indicating “top” should be typed on a gummed label affixed to the back of each figure. Do not write directly on the front or back of figures. 
If the figure consists of several parts, arrange them in the way they should be printed, creating a composite. Leave 1/16 inch of space between parts. Label the individual parts with CAPITAL letters in a sans serif font (a good font to use is Helvetica). 
A typical composited figure would have 4 parts, and the arrangement would be as follows:  
\[\mathrm{A\ B}\]
\[\mathrm{C\ D}\]
Submit figures in the most appropriate size, since reduction or enlargement may diminish quality. Figures will be reduced unless they adhere to the following horizontal measurements:  
1-column width: 3–1/8 inches (8.2 cm) 
1.5-column width: 5 inches (12.6 cm) 
2-column width: 6–5/8 inches (17.0 cm) 
Make sure you do not exceed the depth of the page which is 9–1/4 inches (23.5 cm). Plan to leave space for the legend at the bottom. Each figure should be sized to fit on one page with all its parts and the legend.  
All letters, numbers, magnification bars, and markers must be sized so that they remain legible if the figure must be reduced. None should be smaller than 6 pts. Please letter your illustrations to match the style of the journal. If they do not conform, the figures may be returned to you for revision, thereby delaying production of your manuscript. Magnification and stain should be provided when pertinent. If you use a scale bar on the original photograph, keep the bar away from the edge of the photo. If you use no bar, recalculate the magnification after receiving proofs; this information will then be included in the legend. 
Color Illustrations
For PDF version of IOVS’s Color Charge Approval Form, see 
The cost for color illustrations, currently $1,200 per page, is borne entirely by the authors. It is recommended that you submit images in color only if you are prepared to pay the color charge. You must complete the Color Charge Approval Form if you submit color figures with your manuscript. Please note: If you submit more than one color figure, it may be necessary to print them on separate pages. Any questions should be directed to the IOVS Editorial Office. 
Graphs, too, should be submitted in the specific figure sizes (see above). Avoid using different shades of gray (halftones, screens) to identify different bars in a graph; these are often difficult or impossible to distinguish in print. Instead, use solid black and solid white and patterns consisting of differently slanted lines (horizontal, vertical, and diagonal). 
Digital Art Submission
Authors interested in submitting their black-and-white or color images digitally must follow strict guidelines so that quality can be preserved or enhanced, cost-contained, and the schedule safeguarded. Educate yourself before attempting a digital submission by visiting the printer’s website at or e-mail questions to Please note that all digital submissions must be accompanied by camera-ready art and the IOVS Digital Art Submission Checklist (which is sent to authors upon acceptance of their manuscript). Always follow the requirements listed in the previous section on Figures and Illustrations. 
Articles present new data in one or more areas of vision research and are written concisely for a broad rather than a highly specialized audience. Because the readership comprises a diverse group of scientists, articles that present highly specialized subjects in a broad context will be given the highest consideration. To be considered for publication, papers that are merely descriptions of new methods must be exceptional contributions, with implications extending beyond the particular applied area. 
New Developments in Vision Research are solicited short reviews of new research findings or new general methodologies that are of broad interest to the ophthalmic and vision research community. 
Letters to the Editor will be considered for publication whether their relevance is to material published in IOVS or to issues of general interest to vision scientists. Letters about material published in IOVS may correct errors; provide support or agreement; and offer different points of view, clarification, or additional information. Letters will be reviewed and are subject to editing. The author(s) whose article is discussed in a Letter will be given an opportunity to reply. Letters will be published on-line and referenced in the printed journal. 
Announcements containing information of general interest to the ARVO community, such as obituaries and notices of research funding opportunities, should be submitted to the IOVS Editorial Office. If the material is appropriate, announcements may be published free of charge, but only when space is available. Space for announcing available positions and advertising products of interest to ophthalmologists and vision researchers, including notices of meetings, symposia, and courses, can be purchased according to the established IOVS Advertising Rate Schedule (see To place an employment ad or buy advertising space, contact the IOVS Advertising Representative at Cunningham Associates (Tel: 201-767-4170; Fax: 201-767-8065; E-mail: 
After an initial review of the paper, the Editor-in-Chief selects an Editorial Board Member who is expert in the field and who will be responsible for guiding the paper through the review process. The Editor may suggest reviewers as well. The Board Member selects several outside reviewers to ensure that two completed reviews can be obtained. Once the completed reviews arrive, the Board Member examines them and, if necessary, suggests a third reviewer. Finally, the Board Member critiques all reviews, synthesizing them in a coherent manner for transmission to the corresponding author. At the same time, the Board Member recommends a decision to the Editor-in-Chief. The Editor-in-Chief reviews all material and makes the publication decision, which is then forwarded to the author. Submissions by nonmembers of ARVO will be given equal consideration. 
Once a manuscript has been accepted for publication, the authors will be asked to submit an electronic version of the manuscript in its accepted form and a brief summary paragraph (with title) for the“ Inside IOVS” section. Please be sure to double-check your manuscript carefully before the final disk submission to avoid any delay in production for changes made after the paper goes into composition. 
If it is determined through the review process that your manuscript requires revision, please follow all instructions provided in the decision letter. To retain revision status, revisions must be returned to the IOVS Editorial Office within four months. Revisions not received within the allotted time will be considered withdrawn. Any revised manuscript received after that time will be treated as a new submission, assigned a new manuscript number, and subjected to an entirely new review. Authors can contact the IOVS Editorial Office if an extension is needed. 
All accepted manuscripts are subject to copyediting. Proofs will be sent to the author for approval approximately 6–8 weeks before publication. (Authors will not be notified in advance of the planned month of publication.) The proofs must be returned to the printer with the edited computer printout and color prints (if applicable), as indicated on the accompanying instruction sheet. Authors must check their proofs very carefully because approval indicates that all copyediting changes have been accepted unless corrections have been noted. Prompt return is imperative. Notification of the cost for printing illustrations in color and page charges will be provided at this proofing stage. A reprint order form also accompanies the proofs. Reprints must be ordered prior to publication. 
If you wish to submit an image to be considered for an IOVS cover, please provide two copies of the artwork, as a print (8 1/2“ × 11” or smaller proportional size) on glossy paper, slide, or in a digital format (see Digital Art Submission above for guidelines). Please mark the image for orientation, preferably with a gummed label on the back, and include a legend. The submission can be related to a particular manuscript or it can be of a more general scientific nature relevant to IOVS. If the particular image has been published elsewhere or originated as someone else’s work, a copyright release or permission must be included. When selecting a picture, please keep in mind the size and shape of the journal cover and remember that logo will block part of the image at the top. Also, be sure that sufficient background is available around the edges so that any resizing or cropping will not cut into the essential part of the image. Remember that enlargement will emphasize any imperfection, so please send the clearest images possible. 
This ARVO Commercial Relationships Policy (“Policy”), revised as of May 4, 2000, for authors is intended to clarify and simplify the reporting procedures with respect to financial interests in order to promote a better understanding of, and enhanced compliance with, the Policy. 
It is the responsibility of the First or Corresponding Author to assure that each Co-Author is aware of the Policy and to list on the manuscript title page the relevant commercial relationships code, if any, and if there is no such relationship to so indicate. Conformity with this Policy is a requirement. 
Bias in research, presentation, and publication can arise from various forms of self-interest. The desire for professional recognition is inherent in academic activity, often with the indirect fringe benefits of increased stature and authority, academic appointment or promotion, more patient referrals, higher income, more travel, or other perquisites. These potential rewards for academic success can be strong sources of bias. They are omnipresent and should not be overlooked or excused, however intangible they may be. 
More tangible financial benefits can also accrue to the Author in some cases. The ARVO Board of Trustees believes that financial interests should not restrict publication, but that the audience is entitled to know that such interests exist. Therefore, authors of articles and other communications published in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science(IOVS) are required to provide disclosure of financial interests pursuant to this Policy. 
The Commercial Relationships Committee monitors compliance with the Policy on behalf of the ARVO Board of Trustees and recommends action for non-compliance. Concerns about the adequacy of disclosures in publications and presentations should be directed to the Commercial Relationships Committee through the ARVO Central Office. 
ARVO is organized into 13 Scientific Sections, as listed below. IOVS authors are asked to select and indicate the section code(s) that best suits their study’s research area on the title page of their manuscript. For a complete description of each section, please see the ARVO website at ;5q;(CO)> 
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 
Clinical and Epidemiologic Research 
Eye Movements, Strabismus, Amblyopia, and Neuro-Ophthalmology 
Immunology and Microbiology 
Physiology and Pharmacology 
Retinal Cell Biology 
Visual Neurophysiology (formerly Electrophysiology) 
Visual Psychophysics and Physiological Optics 
If experimental animals were used in the research, IOVS requires that authors confirm adherence to the ARVO Statement for the Use of Animals in Ophthalmic and Vision Research in the Methods section of their manuscript. 
For full text, please see the ARVO website at 
For research involving human subjects, IOVS requires that authors state that their research followed the tenets of the Declaration of Helsinki in the Methods section of their manuscript. 
For full text, please see the ARVO website at 
Table 1.
Disclosure Codes
Table 1.
Disclosure Codes
Category Code Specific Financial Interests
Financial Support F Indicates if you have received through your employing institution support from a for-profit company or competing company in the form of research funding or research materials or services (e.g., protein sequencing) at no cost, such support being the subject matter of your publication.
Personal Financial Interest I Indicates if you are an investor in a company or competing company, other than through a mutual or retirement fund, which provides a product, service, process, or equipment which is the subject matter of your publication.
E Indicates if you are an employee of a company or competing company with a business interest which is the subject matter of your publication.
C Indicates if you are, or have been within the last three years, a consultant for a company or competing company with a business interest which is the subject matter of your publication.
P Indicates if you are an inventor/developer designated on a patent, patent application, copyright, or trade secret, whether or not the patent, copyright, etc. is presently licensed or otherwise commercialized, which is the subject matter of your publication or could be in competition with the technology described.
R Indicates if you have received gifts in kind, honoraria or travel reimbursement valued at over $1000 in the last twelve months from a company or competing company which provides a product, service, process, or equipment which is the subject matter of your publication.
No Commercial Relationship N Indicates there is no commercial relationship whatsoever.

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