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Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • Cover letter is completed
  • COI Disclosure is completed (if applicable)
  • A brief bio sketch of the lead author is provided
  • Manuscript adheres to requirements outlined in the Submission Guideline
  • The submission file is in Microsoft Word or RTF document file format.
  • Where available, DOI for the references have been provided.

Author Guidelines

Instructions for Authors

The Canadian Journal of Optometry publishes concise papers, which are subject to peer review. The Journal considers articles of original research, clinical procedures, case reports, literature reviews, practice management tips, guidelines, editorials, and so on. Requirements are in accordance with “Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals” from The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. The editorial policies of the journal are in line with those of the Council of Science Editors.

Optometric journals generally publish six basic types of manuscripts:

  1. research reports
    2. clinical procedures
    3. case reports
    4. literature review
    5. practice management manuscripts
    6. Editorials

I. Research Report

Research report outlines the processes with a detailed description of all procedures and observations, data, and findings of a systematic investigation.

II. Clinical procedures manuscript

This type of manuscript generally describes a procedure method or technique useful to the practicing clinician. It can also review a body of literature on a specific clinical subject for the purpose of providing the practitioner with sound guidelines or recommendations regarding the subject matter. Headings for the clinical procedures paper do not usually follow the standard format for a research paper, but the author should use headings and subheadings that promote understanding of the topic.

III. Case reports

Case reports describe a case, or a series of cases, in which something new or unusual is presented. This could involve clinical findings, diagnosis or management. The subheadings are: (1) Abstract; (2) Introduction; (3) Case report(s); and (4) Discussion. Other types of case reports may be submitted in different formats, and authors should consider that innovative formats may accomplish the goal of sharing knowledge and information in a readily understandable manner.

IV. Literature reviews

The purpose of the review is to analyze, consolidate and synthesize the literature on a subject of interest. Topics should be relevant to the journal’s readers. A review can make an important contribution to the literature by arriving at a  supportable conclusion. Headings for the literature review do not usually follow the standard format (research manuscripts), but the author should use headings and subheadings that promote understanding of the topic.

V. Practice management manuscripts

Topics should be selected that would enhance the efficiency of patient care and promote sound practice administration. Abstract, key words and references are not necessary; however, headings and subheadings that facilitate understanding of the topic should be used.

VI. Editorials

An editorial is generally a concise article consisting of a critical argument or personal opinion, or highlighting an important issue. An editorial does not necessarily depend upon literature support. Letters to the editor are encouraged.

Manuscripts are usually considered for publication only if they are original contributions and have not been submitted for publication elsewhere. Manuscripts submitted for consideration for publication are evaluated by any or all of the following: (1) journal editor; (2) members of a peer review board; and (3) two or more independent referees who are specially selected as nationally recognized experts in the subject area of the manuscript. Referees judge the manuscript on one or more of the following criteria:

  1. usefulness to the practicing optometrist;
  2. compliance with the editorial standards and objectives of the journal with regard to the originality of the contribution;
  3. clinical or scientific significance to the profession and suitability of the subject matter;
  4. Enrichment of the optometric and other scientific literature.


Authors are generally defined as persons who have contributed sufficiently to a scientific report to be listed on the byline of the published report. Authorship also implies responsibility and accountability for published work. Authors submitting a manuscript with multiple contributions are required to assess their own contribution to qualify for authorship  of a manuscript after the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) criteria:

  • Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
  • Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
  • Final approval of the version to be published; AND
  • Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

In a multi-authored manuscript, the person should be listed first who has made the most significant intellectual contribution to the work regardless of academic rank or professional status. This list should include only those who have made a substantial contribution to the design and execution of the work and the writing of the manuscript. Please include each author’s academic credentials and affiliations as well as ORCID ID.

For complete transparency, all submitted manuscripts should include an author contributorship statement that specifies the work of each author. The statement is to fill in the cover letter to submit along with the manuscript. See instructions below.

Cover Letter

A separate cover letter should be filled in and submitted along with the manuscript. Please download and fill in the cover letter template to disclose any conflict of interest (COI) and personal information about the author(s).

The lead author should also provide a brief bio sketch.

Authors should identify the name and address of the author to whom correspondence should be sent.

Manuscript Preparation

Manuscripts should be double-spaced with margins of at least 2.5 cm (1 inch) and consecutive line numbering, and approximately 1,500 to 3,000 words. Print quality should be high resolution. All pages should be numbered consecutively.

Authors should arrange manuscript pages as follows:
1. Title page - abstract and key words
2. text (start on a new page)
3. acknowledgements (start on a new page)
4. footnotes (start on a new page)
5. references (start on a new page)
6. appendices (start on a new page)
7. tables (each on its own page)
8. figure legends (all on one page, if possible)
9. figures (each separately) NB: High resolution files (e.g. .TIF), each uploaded separately

An abstract of up to 250 words should be provided, and a statement that the study was approved by the relevant research ethics board should be included, where relevant.

Anonymizing the manuscript

 Authors are required to submit a version of the manuscript without any information that would compromise the anonymity of the author(s) – i.e. authors’ names, emails and affiliations, acknowledgments, trial registration number and date, funding source. All information pertaining to authors will be included in the cover letter - this will not be sent to the peer reviewers.


Written permission must be obtained for material that has been published in copyrighted material; this includes tables, figures, and quoted text that exceeds 150 words. Signed patient release forms are required for photographs of identifiable persons. A copy of all permissions and patient release forms must accompany the manuscript.

Proofs for correction will be sent to authors by e-mail as a Word file. Authors are asked to e-mail corrections back to the publisher within 72 hours. Unless otherwise indicated by the author, manuscripts will be published as sent.

After acceptance, the author(s) must sign a copyright transfer agreement.

The Journal reserves the right to edit manuscripts to ensure conformity with the Journal’s style. Such editing will not affect the scientific content.

Manuscript Submission Requirements:

A. Title

The title should be concise, meaningful and clear. It generally should not be in the form of a complete sentence. Subtitles may be used whenever needed for specific purposes relating to the title or text. Titles should indicate the content of the manuscript, serve as a guide to reference librarians and facilitate communication.

B. Abstract

Authors are required to submit abstracts with their papers. The abstract should be typed on a separate sheet of paper in one paragraph and it should not exceed 250 words. Abstracts should be as informative as possible and should contain statements regarding the nature of the problem studied, method, results and conclusions.

C. Key words

Authors should select key words (about 5) that reflect the primary subject matter of the paper. The purpose of key words is to assist reference librarians and others in retrieval and cross-indexing. The key words also assist in search engine optimization, allowing the article to be found online when keywords are used in a search. Authors are encouraged to use Pubmed MeSH terms whenever possible.

D. Text

The goal of scientific writing is effective communication. More specifically, its goal is to communicate abstract propositions, logical arguments, empirical observations and experimental results including their interrelations and interactions. Authors should use the active voice (“This study shows” rather than “It is shown by this study”) and the first person (“I did” rather than “the author did”).  The past tense is appropriate for describing what was done in an experiment; the present tense is suitable for referring to data in tables and figures.

Lens formulas and associated acuities should be expressed as in the following example: OD: +2.25 – 1.00 x 95, 20/20 (6/6).
Generic drug names should be used, followed by the proprietary name in parentheses at the first mention. Acronyms and abbreviations should always be spelled out at first mention.

Symbols and diacritical marks, when used, must be clearly drawn and identified in the margin, for example, “prism dioptre sign”. Manuscripts should be organized within the framework of a formal outline. The standard outline for scientific reporting of studies, experiments or other research projects is as follows:

1. Introduction

The introduction has several functions. It acquaints the reader with other relevant work performed in the subject area. Only contributions that bear on the interpretation of the results should be referenced. The introduction also presents the general nature of the problem to be addressed, the specific aspect of the problem that was studied and the hypothesis and the manner in which it was tested.

2. Methods

The methods should be described in enough detail so that others could replicate them. However, if portions of the methods have been described elsewhere, a summary with appropriate citations is sufficient. It is essential to describe how case and control subjects were selected for study. It is important to describe any commercially available apparatus used in the study by identifying the manufacturer’s name and address. Brief descriptions of methods that have been published but may not be understood universally should be presented. In addition, limitations of the methods used should be presented, and new or modified methods should be described in detail.

It is important to identify all contact lenses, chemicals, drugs or ophthalmic lenses, including generic names, dosages and administration where appropriate. It is inappropriate to publish names of subjects or patients, their initials or other personal identification. Also, it is inappropriate to use ethnic terms when they serve only to perpetuate unnecessary, unscientific or derogatory connotations.

3. Results

The results should be presented in a logical order, emphasizing only the important findings of the study without elaboration. Limitations of the results and any implications should be stated. The statistical analysis, if any, should be clear and relevant.

4. Discussion

The discussion should elaborate on the data, noting the interrelations among the results and relating them to the original question asked in the study. Acceptance or rejection of the hypothesis should be stated. In addition, the discussion should emphasize any unique or new aspects of the study and discuss the relevancy of the results. It is important to draw only those conclusions that can be supported by the results. Implications for basic and applied issues should be stated wherever possible.

F. Acknowledgements

Only those who have made a substantial contribution to the study should be acknowledged. Authors are responsible for obtaining written permission from those acknowledged by name, because readers may infer that acknowledged persons have endorsed the methods and conclusions of the manuscript. Many contributions justify acknowledgement, but not authorship. Such contributions might include acknowledgement of technical help, financial support, and sources of materials and persons who have contributed intellectually to the development of the manuscript. Also, any financial relation that might be interpreted as a conflict of interest must be acknowledged.


Optometric journals discourage excessive or improper use of footnotes, but realize that on specific occasions, they may be acceptable. Footnotes can be used to designate a non-retrievable citation, a personal communication or the institutional affiliation of the author. A footnote can also be used to identify sources of equipment or instruments. Footnotes should be identified with small superscript lower case letters in alphabetical order in the text and referred to at the end of the text of the manuscript under a listing “Footnotes”.

H. References

A list of references is placed at the end of the manuscript after the corresponding author’s address. References should be listed in sequential order as they are cited in the text by superscript numbers. Accuracy of citations is of major importance because it makes each specific reference retrievable by the reader. Authors should make every attempt to cite references that are relevant, original and current, and only references actually consulted. Please provide the DOI of each reference, if available. Manuscripts that have been accepted for publication but not yet printed should be cited in the footnote section. Manuscripts that have been submitted for consideration for publication, but have not been accepted, should not be referenced. The list of references should be checked for accuracy against the original publications. Standardized journal abbreviations should be used. They can be found at

Examples of the correct form of referencing are listed below:

Journal articles

1. Standard journal article

(List all authors when six or less; when seven or more, list only the first three and add et al.)

Lo, Genna OD, MS; Ng, Jason S. OD, PhD, FAAO1. Lanthony D15 for occupational testing: Short-term repeatability. Optom Vis Sci 100(2): 158-163, February 2023.  DOI: 10.1097/OPX.0000000000001991

2. No author given

Anonymous. The OD–MD conflict: economic welfare. Optom Manag 1982 Jul;18(7):23–7

3. Journal paginated by issue

Kloos S. How do TPAs impact practice? Optom Manag 1987 Apr;23(4):14–21.

Books and other monographs

4. Personal author(s)

Leigh RJ, Zee DS. The Neurology of Eye Movements. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press; 2015.

5. Editor(s), compiler(s), chair(s) as author(s)

Suter PS, Harvey LH, eds. Vision Rehabilitation: Multidisciplinary Care of the Patient Following Brain Injury. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 2011.

6. Chapter in book

Mucha A, Fedor S, DeMarco D. Chapter 14—Vestibular Dysfunction and Concussion. In: Hainline B, Stern RA, eds. Handbook of Clinical Neurology. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:135–44. 

7. Published proceedings paper

Nordmark S, Jansson H, Palmkvist G, et al. The new VTI Driving Simulator—Multi purpose moving base with high performance linear motion. In: Proceedings of the Driving Simulation Conference (DSC) 2004. Paris, France; 2004:45–55.

8. Monograph in a series

Wurster U, Hoffman I. Influences of age and species on retinal lactate dehydrogenase isoenzymes. In: Hockwin O, ed. Gerontological Aspects of Eye Research. New York: S Karger, 1978:26–39 (von Hahn HP, ed. Interdisciplinary Topics in Gerontology, vol 13).

9. Agency publication

CA.Gov. Commission on Peace Office Standards and Training (POST). Medical Screening Manual. Available at: Accessed October 5, 2022.

I. Tables, illustrations, figures and appendices


Each table should be typed double-spaced on a separate page. Tables are usually not submitted as photographs. Tables should appear in consecutive order in the text designated by Arabic numerals (example: Table 1). Locations of tables within the body of the text should be specified in the manuscript. An appropriate table title should be on the same page as the table to which it applies. They should have a legend at the top indicating the information contained.  Illustrations may be sent electronically as a TIFF or JPEG file.  Do not embed images, etc., in text files

Note: Figure reproduction cannot improve on the quality of the originals. 

Numbers, units, and abbreviations

Measurements are to be metric. In scientific text, physical quantities and units of time should be expressed in numerals, for example, 2 kg, 6 mmol, 5 hours, 4°C.
Use only standard abbreviations, and avoid using abbreviations in the title. Define all


All figures, whether line drawings, black-and-white photographs or colour photographs, should add to the presentation of a manuscript.  All figures should be of professional quality, whether they are drawings or photographs, and be in a high resolution format.  All figures, whether line drawings, black-and-white photographs or colour photographs, should be designated as “Figures”. They should be numbered consecutively in Arabic numerals throughout the text of the manuscript (example: Figure 3). Locations of figures within the body of the text should be specified in the manuscript.


The numbers and captions should be typewritten, double-spaced, in paragraph form and on a separate page. Legends for several figures should be typed on a separate page. Legends should be kept as short as possible and should not contain explanatory notes that duplicate the explanation in the text. All internal labels in the figure should be identified in the figure legend.


Authors should label figures adequately.


Occasionally it is necessary for the author to supply subordinate information that is relevant to the study but that might distract the reader because of excessive detail; for example, computer programs, mathematical formulae, address lists, surveys or other data that might be cumbersome to present in the text. Appendices should be labelled Appendix A, Appendix B, Appendix C, etc. Each should have a short, descriptive title.


This section is for academic articles.  All submissions undergo a peer-reivew process.  Submissions must comply with submission guidelines.

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