Final Manuscript Preparation Guidelines for Optometric Clinical Practice

General Style Considerations

Pattern manuscript style after the American Medical Association Manual of Style (10th edition). Stedman’s Medical Dictionary (27th edition) and Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (10th edition) should be used as standard references.

Final Manuscript Preparation Guidelines for Optometric Clinical Practice

This document provides details on typesetting and layout requirements pertaining to final manuscript submission to Optometric Clinical Practice.

Formatting Requirements

  • Begin the document with the introduction. (Title page, including the abstract, will be added to your paper by the editors in the appropriate space/area.)
  • Do not include page numbers, headers, or footers. These will be added by the editors.
  • Write your article in English (unless the journal expressly permits non-English submissions).Submit your manuscript, including tables, figures, appendices, etc., as a single file (Word, RTF, or PDF files are accepted).
  • Page size should be 8.5 x 11-inches.
  • All margins (left, right, top and bottom) should be 1.5 inches (3.8 cm), including your tables and figures.
  • Single space your text.
  • Use a single column layout with both left and right margins justified.
  • Font:
    1. Main Body—12 pt. Times New Roman
    2. Footnotes—10 pt. Times New Roman
  • If figures are included, use high-resolution figures, preferably encoded as encapsulated PostScript (eps). Copyedit your manuscript.
  • When possible, there should be no pages where more than a quarter of the page is empty space.

Additional Recommendations

Indenting, Line Spacing, and Justification

Indent all paragraphs except those following a section heading. An indent should be at least 2 spaces. Do not insert extra space between paragraphs of text except for long quotations, theorems, propositions, special remarks, etc. These should be set off from the surrounding text by additional space above and below. Don't "widow" or "orphan" text (i.e., ending a page with the first line of a paragraph or beginning a page with the last line of a paragraph). All text should be left-justified (i.e., flush with the left margin—except where indented).

Language & Grammar

All submissions must be in English. Except for common foreign words and phrases, the use of foreign words and phrases should be avoided. Authors should use proper, standard English grammar. The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White (now in its fourth edition) is the "standard" guide, but other excellent guides exist as well.

Article Length

Because this journal publishes electronically, page limits are not as relevant as they are in the world of print publications. We are happy, therefore, to let authors take advantage of this greater "bandwidth" to include material that they might otherwise have to cut to get into a print journal. This said, authors should exercise some discretion with respect to length.

Colored text

Set the font color to black for the majority of the text. We encourage authors to take advantage of the ability to use color in the production of figures, maps, etc., however, you need to appreciate that this will cause some of your readers problems when they print the document on a black & white printer. For this reason, you are advised to avoid the use of colors in situations where their translation to black and white would render the material illegible or incomprehensible. Please ensure that there are no colored mark-ups or comments in the final version, unless they are meant to be part of the final text. (You may need to "accept all changes" in track changes or set your document to "normal" in final markup.)

Emphasized text

Whenever possible use italics to indicate text you wish to emphasize rather than underlining it. The use of color to emphasize text is discouraged.

Font faces

Use Times New Roman, except, possibly, where special symbols are needed.

Font size

The main body of text should be set in 12pt. Avoid the use of fonts smaller than 10pt.

Foreign terms

Whenever possible, foreign terms should be set in italics rather than underlined.


Headings (e.g., start of sections) should be distinguished from the main body text by their fonts or by using small caps. Use the same font face for all headings and indicate the hierarchy by reducing the font size. There should be space above and below headings.

Main text

The font for the main body of text must be black and in Times New Roman.


Whenever possible, titles of books, movies, etc…, should be set in italics rather than underlined.

Tables and Figures

To the extent possible, tables and figures should appear in the document near where they are referenced in the text. Large tables or figures should be put on pages by themselves. Avoid the use of overly small type in tables. In no case should tables or figures be in a separate document or file. All tables and figures must fit within 1.5" margins on all sides (top, bottom, left and right) in both portrait and landscape view.In no case should tables or figures be in a separate document or file. All tables and figures must fit within 1.5" margins on all sides (top, bottom, left and right) in both portrait and landscape view.


Roman letters used in mathematical expressions as variables should be italicized. Roman letters used as part of multi-letter function names should not be italicized. Whenever possible, subscripts and superscripts should be a smaller font size than the main text.

Short mathematical expressions should be typed inline. Longer expressions should appear as display math. Also, expressions using many different levels (e.g., such as the fractions) should be set as display math. Important definitions or concepts can also be set off as display math.

Equations should be numbered sequentially. Whether equation numbers are on the right or left is the choice of the author(s). However, you are expected to be consistent in this. Symbols and notations in unusual fonts should be avoided. This will not only enhance the clarity of the manuscript, but it will also help insure that it displays correctly on the reader's screen and prints correctly on her printer. When proofing your document under PDF pay attention to the rendering of the mathematics, especially symbols and notation drawn from other than standard fonts.


Authors are responsible for making sure that each reference is cited correctly with respect to content and the Journal’s style. Number references consecutively, ordered by their first appearance in the text. Citations should be formatted as superscript numerals following the nearest punctuation mark (e.g. period, comma, or semicolon). . Sample references are given below:

Journal article

References should include the first four authors. References with more than four authors should list only the first three, followed by “, et al.” Standardized journal abbreviations should be used and can be found here: http://www.issn.org/services/online-services/access-to-the-ltwa/. Note that that the last page numbers are abbreviated (e.g. 367-375 becomes 367-75).

Moore KE, Benoit JS, Berntsen DA. Spherical Soft Contact Lens Designs and Peripheral Defocus in Myopic Eyes. Optom Vis Sci 2017;94:370-9.

Quandt SA, Schulz MR, Chen H, Arcury TA. Visual Acuity and Self-reported Visual Function Among Migrant Farmworkers. Optom Vis Sci 2016;93:1189-95.

King BJ, Sapoznik KA, Elsner AE, et al. SD-OCT and Adaptive Optics Imaging of Outer Retinal Tubulation. Optom Vis Sci 2017;94:411-22.

Book section

Todd VR. Visual information analysis: frame of reference for visual perception. In: Kramer P, Hinojosa J, eds. Frames of Reference for Pediatric Occupational Therapy. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 1999:205–56.

Entire book

Kellman RM, Marentette LJ. Atlas of Craniomaxillofacial Fixation, 2nd ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 1999.


“Thesis” generally refers to the document created as part of the Master’s degree requirement, e.g. M.S. A “Dissertation” is the document normally associated with the awarding of the doctoral degree, e.g. Ph.D. The citation styles for these documents should not include abbreviations for the degree awarded, e.g. M.S., or Ph.D. Instead, note the level of the degree in square brackets as in the following examples.

Johnson MD. Spatial pattern recognition of videokeratography by decision tree classification of Zernike polynomials [Master's thesis]. The Ohio State University; 2002. Website or other online source (including databases)

World Health Organization (WHO). Global Initiative for the Elimination of Avoidable Blindness: WHO/PBL/97.61; 1997. Available at: http://whqlibdoc.who.int/hq/1997/WHO_PBL_97.61.pdf. Accessed July 7, 2006.

CANCERNET-PDQ [online database]. Bethesda, MD: National Cancer Institute; 1996. Updated March 29, 1996. Accessed July 7, 2016.

Conference Paper/ Proceedings

Li J, Singh M, Vantipalli S, et al. Assessment of the biomechanical properties of porcine cornea after UV cross-linking at different intraocular pressures. Proc SPIE 2015;9327:93270Z.

Meeting Abstract (AAO / ARVO)

AAO and ARVO annual meeting abstracts should be cited parenthetically in the text and should not appear in the article bibliography. The correct citation format depends on the publication date of the referenced abstract, i.e. the archival format.

For AAO Abstracts published before 2005: (Omlor RA, et al. OVS 2003;80S:120.)

For AAO Abstracts published since 2005: (King BJ, et al. OVS 2015;92:E-abstract 150100.)

For ARVO Abstracts before 2002: (Otaishat NM, et al. IOVS 1997;38:ARVO Abstract 1415)

For ARVO Abstracts published since 2002: (Roska BM, et al. IOVS 2002;43:ARVO E-Abstract 989)


Epi Info [computer program]. Version 6. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 1994.

R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing: Release 2012. [computer program] Vienna, Austria: R Foundation for Statistical Computing; 2012. Available at: http://www.R-project.org/. Accessed: May 11, 2018.

Online journal

Bex PJ, Langley K. The perception of suprathreshold contrast and fast adaptive filtering. J Vis 2007;7(12):1–23. Available at: http://journalofvision.org/7/12/1/. Accessed October 10, 2018.

If the citation includes the digital object identifier (doi) include it after the page number and end the citation.

Peter J. Bex, Keith Langley; The perception of suprathreshold contrast and fast adaptive filtering. J Vis 2007;7(12):1-23. doi: 10.1167/7.12.1.