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Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology
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     Instructions to the Authors



 About the journal |  Authorship criteria |  Categories of Manuscripts |  Preparation of manuscripts |  Submission of manuscripts |  Sending a revised manuscript |  Types of manuscripts |  Reprints and proofs |  Manuscript submission charge |  Permissions |  Protection of patients'... |  Copyrights |  Checklist |

   Journal Scope and Aims Top

The Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology (MEAJO), published four times per year in print and online, is an official journal of the Middle East African Council of Ophthalmology (MEACO). It is an international, peer-reviewed journal whose mission includes publication of original research of interest to ophthalmologists in the Middle East and Africa, and to provide readers with high quality educational review articles from world-renown experts. MEAJO, previously known as Middle East Journal of Ophthalmology (MEJO) was founded by Dr Akef El Maghraby in 1993.


   Authorship Criteria  and Responsibility Top

Submissions are accepted with the understanding that they have not been published elsewhere and are not simultaneously under consideration by another publisher. The Copyright Transfer, Financial Disclosure and Authorship Responsibility form must be completed and signed by the corresponding author before the manuscript is published. Once accepted for publication, copyright is transferred to the Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology and the article may not be published elsewhere (in whole or in part) without permission.

The corresponding author should provide all co-authors with information regarding the manuscript, and obtain their approval before submitting any revisions. Participation solely in the acquisition of funding or the collection of data does not justify authorship. Manuscripts are accepted for publication with the understanding that the authors will permit editorial amendments. Proofs, however, will be submitted to the corresponding author prior to press for review. After approval the corresponding author will bear the burden of responsibility for any publication errors missed on the galley proof found after publication. The authors should be able to provide upon request raw data for quality assurance and assessment of any study considered for publication.

Prepare submissions according the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Bio-medical Journals (or Vancouver Style) as revised by the International Committee for Medical Journal Editors - October 2005; for details, please refer to: http://www.icmje.org/ Manuscripts must be written in English with American spelling. Noncompliance with the Instructions to Authors will result in unnecessary delay in processing and possible withdrawal of the manuscript.

Ethics It is required that the author(s) has/have considered the ethical aspects of the study and honored the Helsinki Declaration. All manuscripts and transmittal correspondence reporting the results of experimental investigations involving human subjects should confirm that voluntary consent was obtained from the subject or subject’s guardian. Research must be conducted in compliance with local and regional authorities on human ethics.



Original Articles
These manuscripts cover a wide spectrum of topics related to ophthalmology and may emphasize the clinical, laboratory, and/or academic aspects of vision. Articles should contribute to the advancement and understanding of ophthalmology. Text should not exceed 3500 words (excluding abstract, references and legends). References to be no more than 25 and a total of 5 figures and/or tables.

Brief Communication
These manuscripts are short reports of original studies or evaluations or first time reports of clinical case series. Text should not exceed 1500 words (excluding abstract, references and legends). References to be no more than 15 and a total of 3 figures and/or tables.

Review Articles (by invitation only)
These manuscripts review current or historical literature, methods, approaches, and challenges applicable to ophthalmology. Text should not exceed 4000 words (excluding abstract, references and legends). References to be no more than 50 and a total of 5 figures and/or tables.

Case Reports
These manuscripts report unique and interesting cases. Clear and distinct illustrations are essential. Text should not exceed 1000 words (excluding abstract, references and legends). References to be no more than 7 and a total of 2 figures and/or tables.


The entire manuscript must be double-spaced with 1” (2.5cm) margins. Number pages in upper right corner. Pages should be numbered consecutively, beginning with the title page and continuing to the last typewritten page. Insert line number (use continuous line numbering feature of the MS Word)

First Page/Title Page
The title page must contain (1) title of the article in English with the capitalization of only the first letter of each word, (2) listing the correct order of authors using first and family names, the middle initial is optional followed by the highest level of degree; if authors are from various institutions, indicate by numerical superscripts, and list institutions below the author names, (3) disclosure of monetary grants or sponsoring organizations should be indicate, (4) provide the complete name, mailing address, fax, phone number and email to whom inquiries should be sent if it differs from the first author.

Original Articles: Include a summary (not more than 250 words) in a structured format (PURPOSE, METHODS, RESULTS, CONCLUSION). Abstracts have no reference numbers and avoid use of abbreviations.

Brief Communications: Include a summary (not more than 200 words) in a structured format (PURPOSE, METHODS, RESULTS, CONCLUSION). Abstracts have no reference numbers and avoid use of abbreviations.

Review Articles: Include a summary of (not more than 250 words) in unstructured paragraph form. Abstracts have no reference numbers and should avoid abbreviations.

Case Reports: Include a summary (not more than 150 words) in in unstructured paragraph form. Abstracts have no reference numbers and avoid use of abbreviations.

Introduction: A brief introductory statement should state the objective and intent for presenting this information. This should not include exhaustive review of the literature but only that portion which is pertinent to the purpose of the study.

Material and Methods: Describe precisely and clearly how and why as if to be replicated. In studies of diagnostic accuracy, the methods should include the inclusion and exclusion criteria of the patients involved in the study as well as disclosing the methods of recruitment. Include a statement on IRB/EC approval, and, indicate whether or not the study adheres to the tenets of Declaration of Helsinki. The journal reserves the right to ask for proof of IRB approval.

Results: Clear presentation of all findings in a logical manner. Use of statistical and mathematical analyses, combined with tables and figures to show results. 

Discussion: Comments should be elucidated from the results and limited to significance of the data. Limit the word count to a maximum of 1000 for original articles. Conclude the discussion with a summary of the paper.
Avoid using sub-titles and bullet text in all sections.

Acknowledgements, if any, should be included in the First Page/Title Page file and not in the main Article file. It should conform to the Uniform Requirements for Biomedical Journals which states: List all contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship, such as a person who provided purely technical help, writing assistance, or a department chair who provided only general support. Financial and material support should also be acknowledged. Groups of persons who have contributed materially to the paper but whose contributions do not justify authorship may be listed under a heading such as “clinical investigators” or “participating investigators” , and their function or contribution should be described, for example, “served as scientific advisors” “critically reviewed the study proposal”, “collected data” or “ provided and cared for study patients”. Because readers may infer their endorsement of the data and conclusions, all persons must have given written permission to be acknowledged.

References should be cited consecutively in the text with superscript numbers. Follow the Vancouver Style for references. The author is responsible for complete and accurate references. Where previous studies are mentioned in a table the author’s names should appear in Vancouver style, with the names and reference numbers appearing in one column, and any other necessary information appearing in a separate column. Please try to avoid using conference papers or abstracts as references, these can only be allowed if published by journals included in the Index Medicus. List all authors whereby if the number of authors is 5 or more the listing will default to 3 authors followed by et al. All authors up to 4 will be accounted for. References to journal articles should include, in this order: (1) authors, (2), title, (3) journal name (as abbreviated in Index Medicus, if not included in Index Medicus journal title should be stated completely (4) year, (5) volume, (6) inclusive page numbers.Examples:


  • Rao SK, Rajagopal R, Sitalakshmi G, Padmananbhan P. Limbal autografting: comparison of results in the acute and chronic phases of ocular surface burns. Cornea 1999; 18(2):164-171.
  • Fung YKT, Murphree AL, T’Ang A, et al. Structural evidence for the authenticity of the human retinoblastoma gene. Science 1987; 236:1657-1661.


  • Murray PR, Rosenthal KS, Kobayashi GS, Pfaller MA. Medical Microbiology. 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby; 2002.

Chapter in a Book:

  • Teichmann KD. Orbital hemorrhages. In: Fraunfelder FT, Roy FH, eds. Current Ocular Therapy 4. Philidelphia (PA): Saunders; 1995:755-756.
  • Meltzer PS, Kallioniemi A, Trent JM. Chromosome alterations in human solid tumors. In: Vogelstein B, Kinzler KW, eds. The Genetic Basis of Human Cancer. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2002: 93-113.

For a complete survey of reference design on all forms of publication and media please refer to the Uniform Requirements commonly referred to as the Vancouver style for the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors on the World web: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/uniform_requirements.html

Download a PowerPoint presentation on common reference styles and using the reference checking facility on the manuscript submission site.


  • Tables should be self-explanatory and should not duplicate textual material.
  • Tables with more than 10 columns and 25 rows are not acceptable.
  • Number tables, in Arabic numerals, consecutively in the order of their first citation in the text and supply a brief title for each.
  • Place explanatory matter in footnotes, not in the heading.
  • Explain in footnotes all non-standard abbreviations that are used in each table.
  • Obtain permission for all fully borrowed, adapted, and modified tables and provide a credit line in the footnote.
  • For footnotes use the following symbols, in this sequence: *, †, ‡, §, ||,¶ , **, ††, ‡‡
  • Tables with their legends should be provided at the end of the text after the references. The tables along with their number should be cited at the relevant place in the text

Illustrations (Figures)

  • Upload the images in JPEG format. The file size should be within 4 MB in size while uploading.
  • Composite images (eg. Figure 1 A, B, C) should be under one frame. 
  • Figures should be numbered consecutively according to the order in which they have been first cited in the text.
  • Labels, numbers, and symbols should be clear and of uniform size. The lettering for figures should be large enough to be legible after reduction to fit the width of a printed column.
  • Symbols, arrows, or letters used in photomicrographs should contrast with the background and should be marked neatly with transfer type or by tissue overlay and not by pen.
  • Titles and detailed explanations belong in the legends for illustrations not on the illustrations themselves.
  • When graphs, scatter-grams or histograms are submitted the numerical data on which they are based should also be supplied.
  • The photographs and figures should be trimmed to remove all the unwanted areas.
  • If photographs of individuals are used, their pictures must be accompanied by written permission to use the photograph.
  • If a figure has been published elsewhere, acknowledge the original source and submit written permission from the copyright holder to reproduce the material. A credit line should appear in the legend for such figures.
  • Legends for illustrations: Type or print out legends (maximum 40 words, excluding the credit line) for illustrations using double spacing, with Arabic numerals corresponding to the illustrations. When symbols, arrows, numbers, or letters are used to identify parts of the illustrations, identify and explain each one in the legend. Explain the internal scale (magnification) and identify the method of staining in photomicrographs.
  • Final figures for print production: If the uploaded images are not printable quality, the publisher office may request for higher resolution images which can be submitted at the time of acceptance of the manuscript. Submit sharp, un-mounted, color photographs, with height of 4 inches and width of 6 inches at the time of submitting the revised manuscript. Print outs of digital photographs are not acceptable. Ensure that the image has minimum resolution of 300 dpi or 1800 x 1600 pixels in JPEG format.
  • The Journal reserves the right to crop, rotate, reduce, or enlarge the photographs to an acceptable size.

   Submission of Manuscripts:


All manuscripts must be submitted on-line through the website www.journalonweb.com/meajo. First time users will have to register at this site. Registration is free but mandatory. Registered authors can keep track of their articles after logging into the site using their user name and password. Authors do not have to pay for submission, processing or publication of articles. If you experience any problems, please contact the editorial office by e-mail at info [AT] meajo [DOT] org

The submitted manuscripts that are not as per the “Instructions to Authors” would be returned to the authors for technical corrections, before they undergo editorial/ peer-review. Generally, the manuscript should be submitted in the form of two separate files:

1.     Title Page/First Page File/covering letter: 
This file should provide

a.     The type of manuscript (original article, brief communication, case report, review article, Letter to editor) title of the manuscript, running title, names of all authors/ contributors (with their highest academic degrees, designation and affiliations) and name(s) of department(s) and/ or institution(s) to which the work should be credited, . All information which can reveal your identity should be here. Use text/rtf/doc files. Do not zip the files.

b.     The total number of pages, total number of photographs and word counts separately for abstract and for the text (excluding the references, tables and abstract), word counts for introduction + discussion in case of an original article;

c.     Source(s) of support in the form of grants, equipment, drugs, or all of these;

d.     Acknowledgement, if any. One or more statements should specify 1) contributions that need acknowledging but do not justify authorship, such as general support by a departmental chair; 2) acknowledgments of technical help; and 3) acknowledgments of financial and material support, which should specify the nature of the support. This should be included in the title page of the manuscript and not in the main article file.

e.     If the manuscript was presented as part at a meeting, the organization, place, and exact date on which it was read. A full statement to the editor about all submissions and previous reports that might be regarded as redundant publication of the same or very similar work. Any such work should be referred to specifically, and referenced in the new paper. Copies of such material should be included with the submitted paper, to help the editor decide how to handle the matter.

f.      Registration number in case of a clinical trial and where it is registered (name of the registry and its URL)

g.     Conflicts of Interest of each author/ contributor. A statement of financial or other relationships that might lead to a conflict of interest, if that information is not included in the manuscript itself or in an authors' form

h.     Criteria for inclusion in the authors’/ contributors’ list

i.      A statement that the manuscript has been read and approved by all the authors, that the requirements for authorship as stated earlier in this document have been met, and that each author believes that the manuscript represents honest work, if that information is not provided in another form (see below); and

j.      The name, address, e-mail, and telephone number of the corresponding author, who is responsible for communicating with the other authors about revisions and final approval of the proofs, if that information is not included on the manuscript itself.

2.     Blinded Article file: The manuscript must not contain any mention of the authors' names or initials or the institution at which the study was done or acknowledgements. Page headers/running title can include the title but not the authors' names. Manuscripts not in compliance with The Journal's blinding policy will be returned to the corresponding author. The main text of the article, beginning from Title, Abstract till References, Legends (including tables) should be in this file. Use rtf/doc files. Do not zip the files. Limit the file size to 4 MB. Do not incorporate images in the file. The pages and lines should be numbered, beginning with the first page of the blinded article file.


3.     Images: Submit good quality color images. Each image should be less than 4 MB in size. Size of the image can be reduced by decreasing the actual height and width of the images (keep up to 1800 x 1200 pixels or 5-6 inches). Images can be submitted as jpeg files. Do not zip the files. Legends for the figures/images should be included at the end of the article file. 

4.     The contributors' / copyright transfer form (template provided below) has to be submitted with the signatures of all the contributors within two weeks of submission via online, or email (copyright AT medknow DOT com) as a scanned image. High resolution images (up to 5 MB each) can be sent by email on images AT medknow DOT com).

The Contributors’ form / copyright transfer form is to be submitted online from the authors’ area on www.journalonweb.com/meajo


   Sending a revised manuscript Top

The revised version of the manuscript should be submitted online in a manner similar to that used for submission of the manuscript for the first time. However, there is no need to submit the “First Page” or “Covering Letter” file while submitting a revised version. When submitting a revised manuscript, contributors are requested to include, the ‘referees’ remarks along with point to point clarification at the beginning in the revised file itself. In addition, they are expected to highlight the changes or colored text in the article.


   Reprints and proofs Top

Journal provides no free printed reprints. Authors can purchase reprints, payment for which should be done at the time of submitting the proofs. Proofs will be sent to the corresponding authors by email approximately 3-4 weeks after the acceptance date. The issues are published in the first week of January, April, July and October.


   Manuscript submission, processing and publication charges Top

Journal does not charge the authors or authors’ institutions for the submission, processing and/or publications of manuscripts.


   Copies of any permission(s)  Top

It is the responsibility of authors/ contributors to obtain permissions for reproducing any copyrighted material. A copy of the permission obtained must accompany the manuscript. Copies of any and all published articles or other manuscripts in preparation or submitted elsewhere that are related to the manuscript must also accompany the manuscript. The material should be sent to any of the two addresses given above.


   Protection of Patients' Rights to Privacy Top

Identifying information should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, sonograms, CT scans, etc., and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian, wherever applicable) gives informed consent for publication. Authors should remove patients' names from figures unless they have obtained informed consent from the patients. The journal abides by ICMJE guidelines:


1)  Authors, not the journals nor the publisher, need to obtain the patient consent form before the publication and have the form properly archived. The consent forms are not to be uploaded with the cover letter or sent through email to editorial or publisher offices.

2) If the manuscript contains patient images that preclude anonymity, or a description that has obvious indication to the identity of the patient, a statement about obtaining informed patient consent should be indicated in the manuscript.

   Copyrights Top

The entire contents of this journal are protected under Indian and international copyrights. The Journal, however, grants to all users a free, irrevocable, worldwide, perpetual right of access to, and a license to copy, use, distribute, perform and display the work publicly and to make and distribute derivative works in any digital medium for any reasonable non-commercial purpose, subject to proper attribution of authorship and ownership of the rights. The journal also grants the right to make small numbers of printed copies for their personal non-commercial use under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.


   Checklist Top

  • Covering letter

    • Signed by all contributors or corresponding author
    • Previous publication / presentations mentioned
    • Source of funding mentioned
    • Conflicts of interest disclosed


    • Last name and given name provided along with Middle name initials (where applicable)
    • Author for correspondence, with e-mail address provided
    • Number of contributors restricted as per the instructions
    • Identity not revealed in paper except title page (e.g. name of the institute in Methods, citing previous study as 'our study', names on figure labels, name of institute in photographs, etc.)

    Presentation and format

    • Double spacing
    • Margins 2.5 cm from all four sides
    • Page numbers (at right upper side) and line numbers included
    • Title page contains all the desired information
    • Running title provided (not more than 50 characters)
    • Article file contains the full title
    • Abstract provided (structured abstract for original articles and brief communications; unstructured abstracts for review articles and case reports. Abstracts are not required for letters to the editor)
    • Key words provided (three or more)
    • Introduction of 150 words (approx)
    • Headings in title case (not ALL CAPITALS)
    • The references cited in the text should be after punctuation marks, in superscript with square bracket.
    • References according to the journal's instructions, punctuation marks checked
    • Send the article file without ‘Track Changes’

    Language and grammar

    • Uniformly American English
    • Write the full term for each abbreviation at its first use in the title, abstract, keywords and text separately unless it is a standard unit of measure. Numerals from 1 to 10 spelt out
    • Numerals at the beginning of the sentence spelt out
    • Check the manuscript for spelling, grammar and punctuation errors
    • If a brand name is cited, supply the manufacturer's name and address (city and state/country).
    • Species names should be in italics

    Tables and figures

    • No repetition of data in tables and graphs and in text
    • Actual numbers from which graphs drawn, provided
    • Figures necessary and of good quality (colour)
    • Table and figure numbers in Arabic letters (not Roman)
    • Figure legends provided (not more than 40 words)
    • Patients' privacy maintained (if not permission taken)
    • Credit note for borrowed figures/tables provided
    • Write the full term for each abbreviation used in the table as a footnote 



Click here to download instructions

Click here to download copyright form


These ready to use templates are made to help the contributors write as per the requirements of the Journal.

Save the templates on your computer and use them with a word processor program. 
Click open the file and save as the manuscript file.

In the program keep 'Document Map' and 'Comments' on from 'View' menu to navigate through the file. 

Download Template for Original Articles/ABSTRACT Reports. (.DOT file)

Download Template for Case Reports.  (.DOT file)

Download Template for Review Articles.  (.DOT file)

Download Template for Letter to the Editor.  (.DOT file)


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