Editorial  |   July 2002
What IOVS Authors Should Know
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science July 2002, Vol.43, i-iv. doi:
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      What IOVS Authors Should Know. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2002;43(7):i-iv.

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

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Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science (IOVS), published monthly in print and online, is an 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 and vision research. 
Beginning June 3, 2002, new manuscripts should be submitted online at the following URL: The current guidelines are subject to change. Please check the online site for changes at: If you feel you cannot submit online, see paper instructions for authors at:
Contact Information for IOVS Editorial Office
Address: 12300 Twinbrook Parkway 
Suite 250 
Rockville, MD 20852-1606 
Phone: 240-221-2920 
Fax: 240-221-0355 
Manuscript Central Support
If at any time during the online process you need help, click on the orange question mark in the upper right hand corner of each page, titled Get Help Now. This will take you to the ScholarOne Support department and there you will receive assistance in navigating the system. 
Revisions of previously submitted paper manuscripts are not accommodated by this system. See paper instructions at
ARVO/IOVS Terms and Policies
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. 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. Summaries of meetings/symposia, obituaries and general review articles are not considered. 
Lectures are written versions of ARVO awardees’ presentations given at each Annual Meeting. 
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 the author(s) whose article is discussed in a Letter will be given an opportunity to reply. Letters are published online and referenced in the printed journal. 
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. 
ARVO is organized into 13 Scientific Sections. IOVS authors are asked to select and indicate the section code that best suits their research area. For a complete description of each Section, please see the ARVO website at
A. Copyright 
1. Prior Publication 
IOVS will not consider any paper or component of a paper that has been published or is under consideration for publication elsewhere. Distribution on the Internet may be considered previously published material and may compromise the originality of the paper as a submission to IOVS.  
2. Copyright Transfer 
Authors must send a Copyright Transfer Form, signed by all authors of the manuscript. At the first decision stage, the decision letter will link to Authors may submit their signed transfer form online or fax it to 240-221-0355. 
3. Permissions 
If you plan to include figures, photographs, or tables from other publications, obtain written permission from the copyright holder to reprint such items in IOVS, and submit this permission to the Editorial Office via fax at 240-221-0355, email ( or mail: 12300 Rockville Pike, Suite 250, Rockville, MD 20852-1606. 
B. Compliance with Other Policies 
1. Declaration of Helsinki 
For research involving human subjects, IOVS requires that authors state in the Methods section of their manuscript that their research adhered to the tenets of the Declaration of Helsinki. For the full text of the Declaration of Helsinki, please see the ARVO website at
2. Use of Animals in Ophthalmic and Vision Research 
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 the full text, please see the ARVO website at
3. ARVO Commercial Relationships Policy for IOVS  
The ARVO Commercial Relationships Policy (“Policy”) for authors, revised as of May 4, 2000, 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. For the full text, please see the ARVO website at For code descriptions of articles published prior to October 2000, see
C. Financial Responsibilities 
1. Manuscript Charges 
Accepted manuscripts 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: 
3 double-spaced manuscript text pages/12 point type size = 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 
2. Color Illustrations 
The cost for color illustrations, currently $800 per page, is borne entirely by the authors. It is recommended that authors submit images in color only if they are prepared to pay the color charge. Authors of accepted manuscripts will be asked to mail or fax a signed Color Charge Approval Form to the Editorial Office. 
Please note: if more than one color figure is submitted it may be necessary to print them on separate pages. Any questions should be directed to the Editorial Office. For the PDF version of IOVS’s Color Charge Approval Form, see  
D. Manuscript Preparation 
1. Structure—the main manuscript document should be organized as follows: 
a. Manuscript Title: 200-character limit 
b. Structured Abstract: 250-word limit 
c. Text imbedded with figure legends, tables and figures 
d. Acknowledgments 
e. References 
1) Structured abstract 
A structured abstract of less than 250 words is required for articles and should be arranged under the following headings: Purpose, Methods, Results, Conclusions. Define abbreviations at first mention, and do not include references. 
2) Text 
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 and where applicable, the research was approved by the institutional review board (IRB). 
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; (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 statistically significant data and their limitations. Do not reiterate results. 
3) Acknowledgements 
Acknowledgments should be written in the third person and be limited to colleagues and research assistants. 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. 
4) References 
List references numerically by order of citation in the text, not alphabetically. All references must be cited in the text or tables, shown as superscript numbers. Authors are responsible for the accuracy of references. 
• Unpublished data (including material in preparation or submitted) or personal communications should be listed parenthetically in the text only with year received or recorded. 
• 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. 
Effective with June 1, 2002 manuscript submissions to IOVS, ARVO abstract citations are to appear parenthetically within the text, not as bibliographic references. 
• Reviewers are not required to look up online website references. 
1. Choudhury A, Palkanis VA, Bowers WE. Characterisation and functional activity of dendritic cells from rat choroid. Exp Eye Res. 1994;59:297–304. 
1. Stryer L. Biochemistry. 2nd ed. San Francisco, CA: WH Freeman; 1981:559–596. 
(Hung GK, ARVO Abstract #1271, 1998) 
5) Tables, legends, figures, movies 
a) Tables must be imbedded within the text. Each table should have a brief, self-contained title, understandable without reference to the text. Assign a short heading to each table column. Footnotes in tables should use symbols in the following sequence: *, †, ‡, §, ∥, ¶ and #. Data that can be given in the text in two or three sentences should not be presented in table format. 
b) Legends should sum up the intent and content of the data contained in the figure. Use complete sentences or noun phrases with necessary modifiers, and conclude with a period. 
c) Figures should be cited in the text, in numerical order using Arabic numerals. Figures may be inserted into the manuscript text document or uploaded individually. Please submit figures in GIF, JPEG, EPS or TIFF format. While original submissions of graphics may include GIF or JPEG files, graphics should be prepared using a program which can save files in a format that can ultimately be saved and submitted as an EPS or TIFF file. To insert a picture into an MS Word document, place the cursor at the location in the document where the picture should appear and, from the “Insert” menu at the top, select “Picture”→ “from File” and locate the picture. Figures must be inserted in the text throughout the manuscript. Please label each figure appropriately just beneath the inserted image. For example, labels should read “Fig. 1” or“ Figure 1.” 
d) Movies should be saved as QuickTime files. Since movies can only be viewed online, a movie may be linked to an image (for example, a frame or frames from the movie) that appears as a figure in the manuscript. 
2. File Formats 
It is recommended that manuscript documents must be submitted in the following formats: Microsoft Word (.doc) or Rich Text Format (.rtf). These files will be converted into an unalterable PDF format. Do not use other word processing systems as they are not supported by Manuscript Central nor are they all readily available to those involved in the review process. 
Figures must be inserted into the manuscript document. Please submit figures in GIF, JPEG, EPS or TIFF. While original submissions of graphics can include GIF or JPEG, graphics should be prepared using a program which can ultimately be saved and submitted as an EPS or TIFF file. 
3. Style 
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). 
• Use initial caps and descriptive clauses for titles and subheadings, avoiding complete sentences or questions. 
• Keep abbreviations, and acronyms to a minimum and define them at first mention. 
• Use Systeme International (SI) measurements( throughout the paper. 
• Use basic fonts such as Arial, Courier, Helvetica, Garamond, Times or Times New Roman. 
• Place equations in their appropriate locations within the text of the manuscript. This will ensure their accurate appearance in the PDF proof. 
E. Web Uploading Instructions 
By submitting online, authors will not only speed the review process, save on mailing and image duplication costs, but will also be able to monitor their manuscript’s progress through the peer review and decision making process. Manuscripts should be submitted online to IOVS at the following address: Follow the directions for each screen.  
Manuscript Review and Publication
After an initial review of the paper, the Editor-in-Chief selects an Editorial Board Member (EBM) who is an expert in the field and who will be responsible for guiding the paper through the review process. The EBM selects several outside reviewers to ensure that two reviewers can be obtained. Once the completed reviews arrive, the EBM critiques them, synthesizing them in a coherent manner for transmission to the corresponding author. At the same time, the EBM 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. All manuscripts, including invited “New Developments” reviews, ARVO award lectures, and Letters to the Editor, are subjected to peer review. 
The authors of articles, upon acceptance for publication, will be asked to submit an email attachment of a brief summary paragraph (with title) for the “Inside IOVS” section. 
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 submitted within four months of the date of the decision letter. 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 an 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 costs for printing illustrations in color and page charges will be provided at this proofing stage. A reprint order form also accompanies the proofs. Reprints should be ordered prior to publication. If you have a question regarding an author reprint order, or would like to order reprints for a commercial organization, please contact the IOVS Reprint Account Manager, Cadmus Professional Communications, at 1-800-407-9190 ext. 366 or fax to 410-820-9765. 
If you wish to submit an image to be considered for an IOVS cover, please upload a high-resolution image (either EPS or TIFF). Once you have entered the File Upload area of the Author Center, click on File Type and click on Cover Art. When you are prompted For Review, answer no. As an alternative, you may submit cover art as an email attachment. 
The cover 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 the IOVS logo will block part of the image at the top. 

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