Guide for Authors
Method of literature searchEditorial: Retaining the Past
1. THE SUBMISSION PROCESS Survey of Ophthalmology is a teaching and review journal. It does not publish original research or case reports, although a limited amount of original material can sometimes be integrated into a review article. Articles should not duplicate material already available in textbooks or other reviews. Articles should be submitted only by individuals with experience and expertise in the topic that they are reviewing. The type of in-depth, critical reviews that characterize Survey simply require such experience. At least one author should have an academic affiliation.
Step 1: Submitting an OutlineStep 2: Submitting a Manuscript
Before preparing a manuscript, the author should submit a detailed outline of the proposed article to the Editor-in-Chief to assure that the material is appropriate and that no similar article is in preparation. The outline should include a preliminary reference list. The outline should be submitted to the journal's Editor-in-Chief: John Gittinger Jr, MD, Stellar Medical Publications, 20 North Street- Unit 1, Plymouth, MA 02360 (firstname.lastname@example.org). Outlines are sent to referees; please allow 4 to 6 weeks for a response.
Once the outline is approved, the manuscript can be submitted to the journal. Manuscripts should be submitted electronically via the EES platform. The website is http://ees.elsevier.com/survoph/default.asp and there are step by step instructions for submitting.
a. Exclusivity Requirementsb. Conflict of Interest Policy
Manuscripts are considered with the understanding that they are being submitted only to this journal. If any portion of the text, figures or tables has been published or is being considered for publication elsewhere, the author must submit copies of the other manuscripts to the Editor-in-Chief.
Authors are required to disclose commercial or similar relationships to products or companies mentioned in or related to the subject matter of the article being submitted. Sources of funding for the article should be acknowledged. Affiliations of authors should include corporate appointments relating to or in connection with products or companies mentioned in the article, or otherwise bearing on the subject matter thereof. Other pertinent financial relationships, such as consultancies, stock ownership or other equity interests or patent-licensing arrangements, should be disclosed to the Editor-in-Chief in the cover letter at the time of submission, and this information should also be listed in the manuscript's Disclosure section, which appears before the Reference section. Questions about this policy should be directed to the Editor-in-Chief.
c. The Peer Review ProcessAfter the author has appropriately addressed the comments of the reviewers, the editor-in-chief may provide additional editorial suggestions that will attempt to bring the paper in line with Survey's editorial style. Survey's objective is to publish critically integrated, literature-based reviews that are readable. The primary responsibility for the text is the author's. Authors whose native language is not English may need to enlist the assistance of English language medical editors before submitting their manuscripts.
The Editor-in-Chief will conduct a preliminary evaluation of all submitted manuscripts. If the paper is deemed to be appropriate for the journal, it will be assigned to the appropriate section editor and sent for peer review. The manuscript will undergo peer review in accordance with the journal's policies, and once the review is complete, the author will receive a summary of the reviewers' comments with a request for revision or a final decision.
Manuscripts must contain the following: a title page, a narrative abstract, key words, organized text, a conclusion, formatted references, a literature review statement, and tables and figures (if appropriate).
Title page should include title, authors' names, highest degrees and institutional affiliations, and address for mailing proofs.
The paper should contain a 100-200 word narrative abstract.
Key wordsOrganized Text
The paper should contain 5-10 key words.
The text should contain concise internal headings in outline format (I, A, 1, a, etc.). Tables and figures should be cited by number Please avoid abbreviations. While a few well known abbreviations are acceptable, most are not.
The manuscript should include a concluding paragraph that focuses on the unresolved issues of the current knowledge and suggests potential areas of future study.
Methods of literature search and criteria for including/ excluding articles must be stated in the manuscript. Searches must be comprehensive and international.
Every author must disclose any financial and personal relationships with other people or organizations that could potentially and inappropriately influence (bias) their work and conclusions. Examples of potential conflicts of interest include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications/registrations, and research grants or other funding. The existence of competing interests is common and often inevitable. Competing interests are not inherently unethical, but not declaring them is. Any grant funding or support for the article should be listed in this section. If no conflicts exist, the authors should state: The authors report no proprietary or commercial interest in any product mentioned or concept discussed in this article.
References must be arranged alphabetically, by author and cited by superior numbers in the text. Every reference listed in the reference section MUST be cited in the text. Only peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters should be listed in the reference section of your review.
Please use the Vancouver format when formatting your references. "In press" articles may be included; the journal must be specified. Use Index Medicus style of abbreviation, and punctuation. Some typical examples follow; note the absence of periods after initials and abbreviations. When there are 5 or more authors, name the first three, and use "et al" to indicate additional authors.Journal Articles
1. Drummond PD. Triggers of motion sickness in migraine sufferers. Headache. 2005;45(6):653-6
2. Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347(7):284-7
Volume with supplementIssue with supplement
1. Geraud G, Spierings EL, Keywood C. Tolerability and safety of frovatriptan with short- and long-term use for treatment of migraine and in comparison with sumatriptan. Headache. 2002;42 Suppl 2:S93-9
1. Glauser TA. Integrating clinical trial data into clinical practice. Neurology. 2002;58(12 Suppl 7):S6-12
Book ChaptersOther Cited Material
1. Stevens JT. A transcendentalist's view of optics, in Smith JD (ed). Ophthalmology and the Universe, Vol. 6, Part 3. Boston, Bayside Press, 2001, ed 2, pp 230-245
References to websites, abstracts, and meeting presentations, and other similar sources should be listed in a separate section below the references entitled "Other Cited Material." This information should be arranged in the order in which it appears in the text and it should be cited with use of superscript capital letters. For instance the first citation should be "A" and the next "B"
FiguresColor figures: The cost for color printing is the responsibility of the author. The charge is $325 the first color figure on a page, and $125 for each additional color figure on the same page.
Figures must be submitted electronically in either TIFF or JPEG format, and they must be submitted as separate files and not embedded in the WORD document file. Legends or titles should be supplied for all figures. Magnification and stain should be specified. Legends for previously published figures must acknowledge original source (author's and publisher's written permission to reprint must be enclosed).
Tables must be submitted as separate files and not embedded in the WORD document file. Tables should be used to organize key information in the manuscript. Tables should be used to make the presentation more concise and not used to duplicate what is already contained in the text.Permission Requirements The author must submit written permission of the author and publisher to publish:
a) Previously published figures and tables, even if they have been redrawn. Material "adapted from" other articles must be accompanied by the original material, so that the Editor-in-Chief can determine whether permission to reprint is required.
b) Previously published text of more than 100 words.
c) Personal communications and acknowledgments: Written permission of the communicator or acknowledgee is required.
d) Recognizable patient photographs: Written permission of the patient or his/her parent or guardian is required.
3. INSTRUCTIONS FOR FORMATTING REFERENCES Ordering and Numbering the ReferencesArrange the references alphabetically. Do NOT use the autonumbering function that is probably available in your word processing processor. Type reference numbers manually so our reference checking program will recognize them as part of the text that is being searched. If you autonumber, the whole reference section will have to be manually renumbered before we can check references.
Formatting the Journal Article ReferenceHere is a sample of a typical journal article reference that our program would have no trouble reading.
2. Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347(7):284-7Please note:
a. The reference number is followed by a period.
b. There is no comma between last name and initial of authors.
c. Authors are separated by commas (not semi-colons).
d. There is no "and" before the last author.
e. There is a period after the last author.
f. There is a period after the article title.
g. There is a period between the journal abbreviation and the year of publication.
h. There is a semicolon between the year of publication and the volume number.
i. The issue number (if there is one) appears directly after the volume number and it appears within parentheses.
j. There is a colon between the volume (issue) number and the page numbers
k. Page numbers do not repeat nonchanged numerals in the concluding page number (i.e., 182-3 or 182-93 or 182-203).
l. There is no period at the end of the reference.
m. Article titles begin with a capital letter, but subsequent words are lower case. Do not use ALL- CAPS, ital, boldface, etc., unless these are used in the cited reference (ERG, ELIZA test may be capitalized; genus-species names may use caps and italics (e.g., Staphylococcus aureus). Each word in the journal name begins with a capital letter (Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci).
Abbreviating Journal NamesAbbreviate journal titles in MEDLINE style as nearly as possible, although minor errors will be picked up by the program. E.g., "Surv Ophthalmol" NOT "Surv Oph". The program will recognize the completely spelled out title of the journal, so if you don't know the correct abbreviation (as is often the case especially with foreign journals) it is better to spell it out.
Citing References in the TextCite the references in the text by superscript numbers (NOT by numbers in parentheses, author name, etc.)
Referencing Chapters in BooksWe will gradually build our own database of chapters and books. Below is a sample of correct formatting of such a reference.
Smith J, Brown M, Connor JG. Management of chemical burns of the cornea, in Tucker S, Aron D. Ocular surface disorders. Boston, MA, Stellar Medical Publications, 1999, ed 2, pp 24-324. METHOD OF LITERATURE SEARCH
The Literature Search StatementIn accordance with editorial policy, please prepare a section at the end of the review entitled, "Method of Literature Search." This paragraph should state the databases and search words used, years covered, and additional sources (e.g., articles cited in the reference lists of other articles), and should indicate criteria for inclusion or exclusion of articles from this review. It should also indicate how the foreign literature was treated. Were non-English articles translated, or were English abstracts used? Were some languages included and others omitted? Although not all SURVEY articles require extensive literature coverage, it is important to indicate how the articles that are referenced were selected.
Guidelines for Literature Searching1) The methods of literature search should be clearly formulated and should specify how search words were combined. E.g., "laser" is not a useful search term, but "'laser injury' and 'eye'" or "'laser' and 'posterior capsular opacification'" would be useful search terms.
2) MEDLINE is usually the main resource for locating relevant articles. However, authors should be aware there are many peer-reviewed medical journals worldwide that are not included in MEDLINE. We encourage authors to utilize additional sources, e.g., EMBASE, ISI, etc., if they are available. Authors should also obtain additional references that are cited in the articles they read. It is especially important that all articles reporting results of clinical trials are included.3) Authors should make every effort to include the non-English language literature. They should obtain translations of important articles. The published English abstracts may provide adequate information in some cases. If abstracts are used, this limitation should be acknowledged in the statement of "Methods of Literature Search." If articles in some languages are excluded, this should be acknowledged.
4) The authors should attempt to establish objective criteria for including/excluding retrieved articles. As examples, they might wish to state:"We included case reports only if they contributed new information about characteristics, diagnosis or treatment of the disease."
"We included reports of orbital cellulitis only if the condition was secondary to a surgical procedure."
"We included articles related to techniques in widespread clinical use and excluded those related to techniques that are considered experimental."
"We excluded studies with follow-up of less than 18 months."
"A few select articles published before 1990 are included for historical purposes, but the review is based mainly on articles published in the past decade."
5) Articles that meet the criteria for inclusion should be included. If the authors of the review feel that the study has important shortcomings, the study should still be cited and the shortcomings stated.
Retaining the PastWe are living in an age of an accelerating information explosion. In MEDLINE alone, there will be about 500,000 citations added to the database in 2004. In ophthalmology and visual sciences we have seen an increase in the number of articles published in many of our standard journals, and a review of the number of pages published per year from 1993 to 2003 indicates an increase as much a 50% per journal.
The question now arises as to what is an author's responsibility for reviewing the literature when preparing an article for publication. Survey of Ophthalmology has for a number of years required its authors to state how they reviewed the literature, including what databases were searched, what key words were used, and what languages were reviewed. The statement of literature search is published at the end of each article.When conducting a search of the literature, most authors rely only on the MEDLINE database, which goes back to 1996. However, prior to 1966 much significant research was published, and it is available in such abstract journals as Excerpta Medica/EMBASE (1947 to present), Ophthalmic Literature (1947-1998), Zentralblatt für die Geseamte Ophtalmologe und ihre Grenzebiete (1914-1981), and Zentralblatt für Praktische Augenheilkunde (1877-1919). In addition, the Index Catalog of the Library of the Surgeon General (1880-1961) and the cumulative Index Medicus (1879-1956) are excellent sources of previously published literature. Furthermore, MEDLINE has now embarked on citing the literature in its database going back to 1950; this database is called OLDMEDLINE.
It is apparent that any editor or reviewer, let alone an author, will have great difficulty in keeping track of not only the current literature in relation to their subject but also the past literature. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the individual to undertake a comprehensive and adequate review of the literature, not only when preparing a review article but also when preparing a research article or research grant. It would be pertinent for authors to state in the methods section of their articles and grants how they reviewed the literature. This statement should specifically indicate the rationale for including and excluding articles. For some articles that describe studies done on a new drug or new procedure, a limited review of the literature will probably be adequate, but this limited review may not apply for descriptions of diseases, concepts of disease, or the pathophysiology of the disease.Considering the tremendous effort that is made in pursuing research as well as preparing it for publication, it is only appropriate for that process to include reviewing what has been done in the past. Survey of Ophthalmology will continue to emphasize the importance of an adequate review of the literature, and it will encourage the use of MEDLINE as well as additional sources for this purpose.
Bernard Schwartz, MD, PhD
Updated August 2010