Author Guidelines

General Guidelines 

The British Undergraduate Journal of Ophthalmology invites all medical students, foundation year doctors and junior trainees to submit manuscripts. Whilst some sections require the supervision of senior co-authors, the journal prides itself on giving junior doctors, non-specialists and students a platform to submit independent pieces of work.

We recommend two approaches of submitting work to us. If you have already written an article, and would like it to be considered for publication in one of the categories below, please submit. If you have a specific idea for a potential manuscript, please email either the section editor or editor@buos.co.uk and gain advice from the editor before you begin writing. This allows for dialogue whereby you can be advised if your topic of interest is likely to be accepted.

Manuscripts should be exclusively submitted to The British Undergraduate Journal of Ophthalmology and must not be published, accepted or under consideration at another journal. Please ensure that all work is referenced appropriately, and the submitted manuscript has no major overlaps with other publications, whether those publications are yours or a third party’s. It remains the responsibility of authors to disclose the existence of any closely related manuscript that has been submitted for consideration to any other journal.

Please ensure that all submissions to BUJO adhere to the uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals as stipulated by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). These guidelines may be found here

Manuscripts should be compiled in the following order: title page; abstract; keywords; main text; acknowledgements; references. The title page should contain the title of the paper, a short running title and author details. All the authors of a paper should include their full names, affiliations, and email addresses. One author should be identified as the Corresponding Author. Articles for the Case Report, Education and Research sections must be co-authored with a Consultant Ophthalmologist.

All manuscripts must include a 250 word abstract. The abstract should depict a summary of what your manuscript entails. Research abstracts should include an introduction, methods, results and conclusion. For submissions to other sections, the abstract format lies at the discretion of the authors as long as it depicts an accurate summary of the manuscript to be submitted. Each abstract must include 4-6 key words.

Please refer to the House Style guidelines, which outline the formatting, language and referencing stipulations. The House Style also details further information on tables, figures, legends and references.Please ensure that you are aware and adhere to the guidelines prior to making a submission. It remains the responsibility of the authors to ensure the final manuscripts are formatted and presented as per guidelines.

Additional guidance discussing the expectations held for each individual section is discussed separately. Please take time to review the appropriate section guidance in addition to the general guidelines.

Authors will receive proofs (including figures) electronically, for correction. These must be returned to the editor within 56 hours of receipt.

To be listed as an author, it is imperative that individuals meet the criteria for authorship listed in ICMJE.  In general, one must contribute substantially to the conception, acquisition and interpretation of statistical methods and data; drafting and/or revision the article, and having the authority to accept and forward the finalised manuscript.

All authors must therefore have been involved in the synthesis of the manuscript and not solely in patient care. Individuals who have been involved in the care of the patients can be mentioned in the acknowledgements.

All the details of relevant authors must be provided on the cover letter, which includes their name, title, place of work, address and the nature of their contribution towards the submitted manuscript.

BUJO is an open-access journal, therefore there are no charges to author to publish nor are there any subscription fees to our readers.  We want everyone to enjoy learning about this fascinating specialty.  

All authors submitting an article must be sign with a copyright form which will give British Undergraduate Journal of Ophthalmology the sole copyright owner of the work.

House Style 

The journal is aimed at junior trainees, medical students and non-specialists. It is imperative, therefore, that the language used in the manuscripts reflects the audience. In light of this, the preferred dictionaries are Chambers 21st Century Dictionary for lay terms and Dorland’s for medical terminology.

Manuscripts must not exceed the maximum of three tables and three figures in any one manuscript. Accompanying each table and figure must be relevant legends. Please be advised that legends accompanying tables must be placed at the top, whereas legends accompanying figures must be placed at the bottom.  It is in the authors interest to provide tables and diagrams of the highest quality and resolution. 

Manuscripts must be in font Arial, size 11 and paragraph space of 1.5. Authors must ensure that these guidelines are adhered to whilst submitting a manuscript. Word limits for each section can be found under “Additional guidelines”, which provide further guidance specific to relevant sections.

References should be numbered in the order in which they appear in the text. All references must be listed at the end of the article following the Vancouver referencing system. Should authors require any further guidance they are encouraged to seek advice from the editors only after consulting the following web page: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/uniform_requirements.html. The absolute maximum number of references per manuscript is 25. If authors feel that their circumstances are mitigating and further references are required, they must seek advice from the editor before exceeding the allowed number. Failure to comply with guidelines will result in manuscripts being returned to authors to correct.

Additional section guidelines

Education

The Education section aims to provide informative, peer-reviewed articles on a wide range of topics in ophthalmology, from basic sciences through to clinical management. We accept the following types of articles for publication:

A concise, focused review of a specific aspect in the diagnosis or management of a common condition e.g. the use of anti-VEGF agents in AMD.

Word limit: 1000 words

Informative articles about uncommon conditions or atypical presentations of common conditions. Examples include polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy, or floppy eyelid syndrome.

Word limit: 1500 words

The how to articles aim is to provide readers with a useful guide to approaching some of the practical aspects of ophthalmology, such as interpreting automated perimetry, interpreting ophthalmology case notes or carrying out a slit-lamp examination.

Word limit: 1000 words

A focus on basic anatomy, physiology, pharmacology of the visual system in the context of common pathophysiology. For example, an article on anterior chamber anatomy and aqueous flow may cover what happens in glaucoma and the principles behind the treatment options. 

Word limit: 1500 words

Images, diagrams and tables may be included in all types of articles but must be referenced.

Case Reports

We want to publish cases with lessons of clinical and educational value for our readership, a significant proportion of which will be undergraduate medical students, junior doctors and specialist trainees interested in ophthalmology. Therefore, as well as more unusual conditions and presentations, we are also interested in patients with common conditions who may be worthy of discussion around aspects of differential diagnosis, decision making, examination findings, management, clinical guidelines, pathology or ethical challenges.  Case reports will be judged on clinical interest and educational value for the journal readership not novelty or rarity of case presented. Each case will be peer reviewed by at least one external referee as well as the BUJO Case Reports Section Editor.  BUJO is interested in ophthalmology-related case reports that fit into the following categories. 

All case reports must be written using the BUJO case reports template and must be submitted with a signed BUJO Patient Consent Form  from patient(s)/guardian(s). If the patient has deceased we strongly encourage you to get consent from the next of kin. If you require further assistance when preparing your case report please contact the BUJO Case Reports Section Editor.

  • Reminder of important clinical lesson. Findings that shed new light on the possible pathogenesis of a disease or an adverse effect
  • Learning from mistakes/errors
  • Unusual presentation of more common disease/injury
  • Myth buster
  • Rare/new disease
  • Novel diagnostic procedure
  • Novel treatment (new drug/intervention; established drug/procedure in new situation)
  • Unusual association of diseases/symptoms
  • Unexpected outcome (positive or negative) including adverse drug reactions

Research

An easy-to-understand breakdown of the results of high-profile publications in ophthalmology in the past year e.g. CATT trial, and what it means for clinical practice.

Word limit: 2000 words

Systematic reviews of topics of interest in ophthalmology. This may be SSM reports done as part of a medical degree course or elective research project.

Word limit: 2500 words

Electives & Careers

Contributions of elective reports and overseas projects in ophthalmology are welcomed. A high standard of writing is expected from submissions which explore experiences in a unique and relevant context, in the context of existing literature on the underlying issues highlighted. It is anticipated that contact details of host supervisors/institutions and the elective student themselves will be made available in an online database to help other students plan their electives.

Word limit: 2500 words

Short articles on training and a career in ophthalmology.  We would be interested in career paths of Consultant Ophthalmologists

Word limit: 800-1500 words

Views & Reviews

The aim of this section is to describe, evaluate and offer perspectives on any themes concerning ocular pathologies, interventions and initiatives in order to inform and widen the reader perspective.  This section has the benefit and opportunity to explore a variety of avenues, which one may not expect to find under original research, careers or education articles. Patients, professionals and students are invited to submit manuscripts, which can relate to a number of things, for example:

  • The impact of ocular pathologies upon patient lives
  • Appraisal of upcoming diagnostic, treating and curative technologies
  • Informing and raising awareness of charities and hospital foundations
  • Explaining World Health Organisation concerns and initiatives
  • Ocular pathologies in various social groups e.g. the homeless, sex workers, asylum seekers etc

Successful articles shall demonstrate elements of creativity and originality. It is hoped submissions and/or comparative analyses from the international platform shall be made so that readers have an appreciation of what the bigger picture looks like. The word limit of views & reviews articles is 2500 words.

Should you wish to discuss an idea or theme prior to writing or submitting, please feel free to email the section editor with a 150 words detailing your ideas and scope. 

Supporting Documents