ARVO Insight - October 11, 2017
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IOVS editor's picks

Thomas Yorio picks his top articles from the September 2017 issue of IOVS.

Evidence for Cerebrospinal Fluid Entry Into the Optic Nerve via a Glymphatic Pathway
Emily Mathieu; Neeru Gupta; Amir Ahari; Xun Zhou; Joseph Hanna; Yeni H. Yücel

Role of Microbiota in Strengthening Ocular Mucosal Barrier Function Through Secretory IgA
Abirami Kugadas; Quentin Wright; Jennifer Geddes-McAlister; Mihaela Gadjeva

Intraretinal Correlates of Reticular Pseudodrusen Revealed by Autofluorescence and En Face OCT
Maarjaliis Paavo; Winston Lee; John Merriam; Srilaxmi Bearelly; Stephen Tsang; Stanley Chang; Janet R. Sparrow



JOV editor's picks

Dennis Levi chooses his top articles from the September 2017 issue of JOV.

The saccadic flow baseline: Accounting for image-independent biases in fixation behavior
Alasdair D. F. Clarke; Matthew J. Stainer; Benjamin W. Tatler; Amelia R. Hunt

Letter and symbol identification: No evidence for letter-specific crowding mechanisms
Eric Castet; Marine Descamps; Ambre Denis-Noël; Pascale Colé

Nonlinear dynamics of cortical responses to color in the human cVEP
Valerie Nunez; Robert M. Shapley; James Gordon 


TVST editor's picks

See Marco Zarbin's top picks from the September 2017 issue of TVST.

Towards Treatment of Stargardt Disease: Workshop Organized and Sponsored by the Foundation Fighting Blindness
Avery E. Sears; Paul S. Bernstein; Artur V. Cideciyan; Carel Hoyng; Peter Charbel Issa; Krzysztof Palczewski; Philip J. Rosenfeld; SriniVas Sadda; Ulrich Schraermeyer; Janet R. Sparrow; Ilyas Washington; Hendrik P.N. Scholl

Comparison of Saccadic Vector Optokinetic Perimetry and Standard Automated Perimetry in Glaucoma. Part I: Threshold Values and Repeatability
Ian C. Murray; Antonios Perperidis; Lorraine A. Cameron; Alice D. McTrusty; Harry M. Brash; Andrew J. Tatham; Pankaj K. Agarwal; Brian W. Fleck; Robert A. Minns

Restoration of Cone Photoreceptor Function in Retinitis Pigmentosa
Henry J. Kaplan; Wei Wang; Douglas C. Dean 

Satgunam awarded ARVO Publications Grant

PremNandhini Satgunam, PhD, received the grant to publish her work in TVST on the development of a new tool that helps measure visual field in children and those with special needs.

PremNandhini Satgunam, PhD, has been awarded an ARVO Publications Grant for her article, Pediatric Perimeter—A Novel Device to Measure Visual Fields in Infants and Patients with Special Needs, which was published in the July issue of TVST.

Satgunam is a member of the research faculty at L.V. Prasad Eye Institute in Hyderabad, India. She holds a BS in Optometry from Birla Institute of Technology and Science and earned a PhD in vision science from The Ohio State University.

The article discusses the “Pediatric Perimeter” tool developed by Satgunam and her associates. This device is the first of its kind, meant to measure visual fields in infants and patients with special needs.  In the paper, the authors describe the construction, validation and use of the device. Read the full article.


Enríquez-de-Salamanca receives ARVO Publications Grant

Amalia Enríquez-de-Salamanca, PhD, received the grant to publish a paper in IOVS that shares findings on the pre-transplant cytokine tear levels as susceptibility biomarkers for the development of chronic graft-versus-host disease. 

Amalia Enríquez-de-Salamanca, PhD, has been awarded an ARVO Publications Grant for her paper, Prehematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation Tear Cytokines as Potential Susceptibility Biomarkers for Ocular Chronic Graft-Versus-Host Disease, which was published in the September issue of IOVS.

Enríquez-de-Salamanca is principle investigator at Institute of Applied Ophthalmobiology, University of Valladolid, Spain. She earned a PhD in Biochemistry from the Complutense University in Madrid, Spain.

In the paper, the authors determine that cytokine tear levels before hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) may help anticipate the occurrence of ocular chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD). Read the full paper.

Have you applied for the ARVO Publications Grant?

Supported by the ARVO Foundation, the grant provides no-cost publication to several individuals per year.

The ARVO Publications Grant provides no-cost publication to several individuals per year. The grant is available to authors who need funding assistance to publish in one of ARVO’s three journals: Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science (IOVS), Journal of Vision (JOV) and Translational Vision Science & Technology (TVST). This grant is supported by the ARVO Foundation.

Eligibility criteria and general guidelines

  • Membership in ARVO is not required to apply for or be awarded this grant.
  • ARVO considers all applications for publications grants, regardless of the author’s country of residence. There are no geographic restrictions or priorities.
  • Publications Grants are available for one of the three ARVO journals: IOVS, JOV and TVST.
  • Publications Grants are not available for articles in special issues produced by ARVO and/or non-ARVO publications.
  • Only original research articles are eligible. Letters to the editor, author responses, editorials, research highlights, conference proceedings and similar submissions are not eligible for grants.

Learn more about the ARVO Publications Grant.

Learning from rejection

ARVO Journals Director Jon Mallett, PhD, offers constructive tips on what you can learn from the peer review process.

Learning from Rejections/Revisions

Publication plays a vital role in the scientific process by disseminating the results and initial conclusions of research to the appropriate audience, allowing results to be validated, modified or disproven by subsequent study. Peer review acts like a filter to ensure that the community is reading valid or relevant and rigorously checked material. It also helps to improve articles via the process of manuscript assessment, revision and reassessment. From the author’s point of view — having already thought about the work very carefully, possibly having reviewed it with colleagues and having refined it — peer review may feel like an obstacle to publication. Further, being exposed to qualitative judgments, peer review can appear less precise than the science that it regulates. So how should you approach the process? Below are some helpful suggestions.

What do I gain from this experience?

There are at least three things to gain from the peer-review experience:

  1. An improved manuscript, so that when it is published it is better received by the whole community (even if it ends up being published elsewhere)
  2. General lessons on how to improve research methods and how to better present the findings
  3. A better understanding of how to navigate the peer review process itself to get the best possible results for the present or future publication of the manuscripts

Understanding the peer-review process

What is the first step?

The first substantive stage of the review process is the initial editorial screening. This is increasingly used to spare reviewers time, often filtering out work that is out of scope, low-quality or not sufficiently original. Rejection by the editor is disheartening to an author. However, if a manuscript really is unsuitable for the journal, it saves author, as well as reviewer, time for it to be redirected early in the process. The rejection message sent by editors to authors should give a reason for the rejection, which should help the author gain a better understanding of the journal requirements and/or scope.

This will be useful when deciding where to submit future work and how to better communicate the relevance of the work in the cover letter and/or article abstract and introduction. It also may reveal a misunderstanding by the editor of the submitted manuscript. This issue may be resolved by contacting the editor and having a direct discussion about the manuscript and its contents.

What is the next step?

Once the editor has assigned your manuscript to an Editorial Board Member, the peer review process begins. ARVO editors and staff make every effort to minimize processing times and review cycles, but do not want to compromise quality for hurriedness.

Receiving the first reviews with the editor’s comments may be the most exciting step in the whole process. When these are positive, but with constructive feedback, it is easy for the authors to see how to gain from the process, quickly improve their work and progress to publication. 

When the comments are more negative, it is important for the author not to overreact, and to take a considered approach in responding to the comments and in revising the manuscript. In most cases, negative comments will be well-intended and will be expressed politely. It is important also to remember that even criticism that is poorly expressed is still intended to show how the work may be improved.

The best response to a disputed comment is to address it calmly, acknowledge any element of truth and explain where it may be misunderstood. If the reviewers have not fully understood the work, it may be that the general reader would also misunderstand. Addressing this by further clarifying the work will often improve it.

Dealing with rejection

Rejection is perhaps even harder to deal with after going through the peer review process. This is especially true when revisions have been made to accommodate reviewers’ concerns. However, it is important to remember that more manuscripts are rejected from ARVO journals than accepted, and most of these (at least an estimated 70%) are ultimately published elsewhere. Advice received during the review process and changes made to the manuscript should be beneficial and help toward eventual publication of the work, even when it ends up in another journal.

When considering the fairness of the decision, remember that the peer review process is not precise and relies on judgment calls. There will be times when an author is right and the reviewers and editors, acting in good faith, are later shown to be mistaken on technical issues or to have underestimated the significance of the work. Even when an author believes that this is the case, there may be opportunities to strengthen the manuscript in these areas before submitting elsewhere.

The outcome

ARVO journal editors and staff are always glad when we are able to publish your manuscript, and hope that something constructive can be learned whenever we do not.


Call for papers: Special issue on AMD

Submit your original research for publication in a special issue of IOVS on dry AMD.

IOVS is accepting papers for a special issue on dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Submit your original research by March 1, 2018.

Guest editors are Milam Brantley, Jr., MD, PhD, of Vanderbilt Eye Institute and James Handa, MD, of Wilmer Eye Institute.

The issue will open early in 2018, as the first accepted papers are ready to publish. In addition to original peer-reviewed research articles, the issue will feature several invited papers on epidemiology, inflammation, lipids, oxidative stress, big data analysis, imaging and stem cell possibilities.

For more information, contact IOVS Editorial Coordinator Marco Stoutamire at