Information for Authors

Information for Authors 

These instructions were last updated on 31 December 2020. Download the full guidelines here (PDF format).


Categories of Manuscripts




Text (excluding abstract, references)

Tables plus Figures


Original Article

Provides new information based on original research. Includes prospective studies with in-depth statistical analysis, unique retrospective observations of a disease or disorder, and studies of novel applications of an interventional procedure or treatment method.

Structured with headings: Objective(s), Methods, Results, Conclusion. ≤250 words

≤3500 words




Systematic reviews or meta-analyses of recent developments in a specific topic. Scoping reviews of the literature that identify area(s) for future research will also be considered. No new information is described, and no subjective opinion or personal experiences are expressed.

Structured with headings: Objective(s), Methods, Results, Conclusion. ≤250 words

≤5000 words




Narrative review articles discussing recent developments in a specific topic. No new information is described; may include subjective opinion or personal experiences.

Unstructured ≤250 words

≤2500 words



Case Report

Brief discussion of a case with unique features not previously described. Additional cases (case series) may be added to augment the discussion. The discussion should be succinct and focus on a specific message.

Unstructured ≤250 words

≤1500 words



Photo Essay

Teaching exercise with message in the figures and legends. Emphasis is on quality of the illustrations and clinical relevance of the message.

Not required

≤1500 words



Clinical Quiz

A scenario is described followed by clinical questions. Answers and brief review of relevant literature to be provided in a separate page.

Not required

≤1500 words



Letter to the Editor

Short letter on any matter of interest to journal readers, including comments on an article that has previously appeared in the journal. The authors of the article commented on would be invited to reply.

Not required

≤250 words




Manuscript Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted via the Hong Kong Journal of Ophthalmology (HKJO) online submission system at

Before submission, please ensure that you article meets the requirements detailed below.

Before Submission


HKJO adheres to the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE;, and the Core Practices of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE;

Submitted manuscripts must be original works that have not been published elsewhere (in whole, in part, or as a preprint) and are not under consideration by another publication.

Reporting Guidelines

To improve the quality and clarity of published articles, HKJO recommends the use of reporting guidelines in the preparation of manuscripts, such as those advocated by the EQUATOR Network (for example, CONSORT for randomized trials, or CARE for case reports).


Any sponsor(s) of the research involved, along with grant number(s) should be provided.

Conflicts of interest

All authors must provide a statement reporting any conflicts of interest. Where none exist, please state ‘The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.’ Authors may use the ICMJE Conflict of Interest form.


All studies must be conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki.

For all research involving living humans (including studies involving human tissue, retrospective studies, and database studies), an appropriate research ethics committee must be consulted. A statement must be included in the manuscript that provides the name of the research ethics committee and approval number (or waiver).

A statement on consent must also be included, indicating how patient(s)/guardian(s) provided informed consent (eg, written or verbal), or that the requirement for patient consent was waived by the review board.

Identifying information must be removed from the manuscript; where this is impossible, for example a patient photograph, consent for publication must be provided by the patient.

For studies involving animals, appropriate ethics approval is required, and this should be stated in the manuscript.

Data availability

The authors shall make available the complete data on which the manuscript is based. A statement describing how the data can be accessed must be included in the manuscript (e.g., “The data are available from the corresponding author upon request.”). For clinical trials and other large datasets, HKJO recommends that data are deposited in a public repository and shared using a permanent identifier (such as a DOI).

Preparation of Manuscripts

In general, manuscripts should be prepared following the ‘IMRaD’ structure as recommended by the ICMJE.

Blinded Manuscript

Please provide a blinded manuscript as a single file, with figures and tables included. The title page (if any) should be provided separately. Any identifying information (eg, references to past publications, name of an author’s institution) should be masked or removed from the blinded manuscript. Manuscripts should be submitted in Word format (.doc or .docx).

Supplementary Material

Supplementary material will only be considered in exceptional circumstances. Any such material should be submitted for review with the manuscript. Accepted supplementary material will be formatted and proofread by the Journal and published online only.


Manuscripts must be written in English. Please use US English spellings as per the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.


For each author, provide the full name, professional qualifications, and affiliation (where the study was conducted).

The full name, postal address, telephone and fax numbers, and email address of the corresponding author must be provided. The corresponding author, on behalf of the authors, is responsible for all contact with the Journal.


The title should concisely convey the main topic of the study. Avoid obvious terms such as “a study of” or “novel”. If appropriate, please include the study design in the title (eg, ‘randomized controlled trial’, ‘systematic review’, ‘case report’). An abbreviated title of <45 characters is also required.


An abstract of ≤250 words is required for certain articles types, including Original Articles and Reviews. Please consult the Categories of Manuscripts for details. The abstract should provide a complete summary of the article, including the aims/purpose, main methods, key results, and conclusions. Abbreviations and clinical or technical jargon should be avoided.

Key Words

Five relevant index terms should be provided, selected from the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH;


Tables should be typed using the ‘Insert Table’ feature of MS Word, with one item of data per cell and minimal formatting. Large tables may be provided in MS Excel format. Tables should be numbered and concisely titled. Abbreviations should be defined in footnotes.


The number of figures should be restricted to the minimum necessary to support the textual material. Figures should be submitted in .jpg format with a resolution of 350 dpi or above. Figures should be included in the manuscript file; large image files may be submitted separately. Legends should be provided for each figure to indicate the anatomical area and pathological condition shown. All symbols and abbreviations should be defined in the legend.


The references should be numbered in the order in which they are first cited in the text. Each reference citation should be in superscript Arabic numerals after full-stops and commas. At the end of the article, the full list of references should be presented in Vancouver style. Include the complete title, and names and initials of all authors. Examples are shown below:


  1. Lewis T. Paroxysmal tachycardia. Heart 1909;1:43-72. (if more than three authors, please use "et al." after the third).

Books (edited by other authors of article)

  1. Furman S. Pacemaker follow-up. In Barold SS, (eds): Modern Cardiac Pacing. Mount Kisco, New York, Futura Publishing Company, 1985, pp. 889-958.

Books (identical author and editor)

  1. Chung EK. Principles of Cardiac Arrhythmias. Baltimore, MD, Williams & Wilkins, 1977, pp. 97-188.


  1. Same as periodicals and followed by "(abstract)".

Please refer to the latest ICMJE recommendations on Manuscript Preparation for further information on references and for general guidance on style:


Any individuals who contributed substantially to the study but do not qualify for inclusion as authors should be acknowledged. Written permission from acknowledged individuals is required.

After Submission


On acceptance of an article for publication in HKJO, copyright of the article is transferred to the Journal. The Journal has a fully Open Access policy, and publishes all articles under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). For any use other than that permitted by this license, written permission must be obtained from the Journal.


Accepted manuscripts undergo technical editing and copy-editing, so that style and language are consistent with international standards and HKJO style, and to ensure that articles can be clearly understood by our international readers. The corresponding author is sent the edited manuscript (galley proof). A few days are usually given for the authors to check the paper, respond to any queries, and to suggest changes. After acceptance, only minimal changes will be allowed; substantial changes will incur charges, and the addition of new material may require another round of peer review. Authors are responsible for all statements made in their work, including changes made by the copyeditor.


The corresponding author is sent the final version (page proof) of the manuscript to proofread. The corresponding author is responsible for ensuring that all authors read and approve the final version of the manuscript.


Reprints are available from the Editorial Office ( Quotes for reprints will be provided on request.

Costs to Authors

There are no submission or page charges for publication in HKJO. However, the Journal may charge for substantial alterations or excess figure(s) or table(s) added after acceptance of the manuscript - HK$200 per layout page.

Sharing Your Article

Authors are encouraged to share their articles as widely as possible, to maximize readership and impact. Authors are recommended to always share articles with the DOI. This is a number beginning ‘10.12809/hkjo’ that should be shared as a URL (eg, This will always link to the most recent version of the manuscript.


Preprint servers, such as medRxiv and ResearchSquare, are becoming a popular way to disseminate research early. However, these papers are not peer reviewed before being made available to the public. Submissions of papers previously posted to a preprint server will be considered only in exceptional circumstances. Please contact the Journal for enquiries.

Author Accepted Manuscript

For selected high-priority papers, authors will receive a copy of the ‘Accepted Manuscript’. This version of the manuscript can be shared freely on personal websites and social media. The following text is recommended, using the article DOI included in the manuscript:

  This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Hong Kong Journal of Ophthalmology, available at [DOI].

Please do NOT publish this version of the manuscript on any public websites, such as institutional repositories or scholarly networking sites such as ResearchGate or Mendeley until after the embargo (the final publication date).

Version of Record

This is the final published version of the manuscript. This can be downloaded from the HKJO website and shared freely, including uploading to an institutional data repository. However, please be aware that certain types of re-use are restricted by the Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) used by HKJO. It is recommended that the article DOI is used to share.


Information for Reviewers

All manuscripts submitted to the Hong Kong Journal of Ophthalmology (HKJO) are subject to double-blind peer review (except editorials and letters to the Editor which are reviewed internally).

Invitation to review
Individuals invited to review articles for HKJO must have sufficient expertise in the area of research to evaluate the originality, scientific content, conclusions, and importance of the research. Reviewers are required to respond to the review request and to complete the review by the deadline (typically within 2-3 weeks). Reviewers should decline the review if they have any reason to think they cannot deliver an objective review within the timeframe given.

Conflicts of Interest
Reviewers must disclose any potential financial or personal conflicts of interest relating to the study.

Online review process
HKJO uses an online peer review platform. Once your review is complete, please use this platform to respond to some questions and submit your comments for the Editors.

Comments for the authors
In addition to responding to the questions on the online form, please provide thorough comments for the authors in 3 parts:
1. Summary: Provide a summary of the manuscript in your own words, highlighting the aims and purpose of the study, the conclusions, and novelty and importance of the work to the field.
2. Main points: Provide some key points of interest. Reviewer comments should be objective, acknowledging positive aspects of the material under review, as well as identifying negative aspects constructively, and indicating areas for improvement. Reviewers should explain and support their judgement clearly enough that editors and authors can understand the basis of the comments.
3. Minor points: All manuscripts are copyedited after acceptance, so please do not comment on matters of English grammar or style. However, comments on aspects that the copyeditor might overlook, such as missing references, misused or uncommon terminology, or unclear descriptions of procedures, are welcomed.

Material under review should not be shared or discussed with anyone outside the review process unless approved by the editor. Reviewers should not retain copies of submitted manuscripts and should not use the knowledge of their content for any purpose unrelated to the peer review process.


Editorial Policies

Pre-submission inquiries
Pre-submission inquiries are welcomed, for authors who wish to submit a review article to the Hong Kong Journal of Ophthalmology (HKJO). Inquiries should be addressed to the Editor-in-Chief (

Peer review process
HKJO operates a double-blind peer-review process.
Authors should not recommend the names of any reviewers but may give the names of people whom they wish to exclude as reviewers at the beginning of the manuscript file.
All submitted manuscripts are initially reviewed internally. Those manuscripts that do not comply with the Information for Authors, or those that are of insufficient priority for publication, are rejected.
The remaining manuscripts are assigned to the Editor-in-Chief or an Editor to send for external peer review (except editorials and letters to the Editor which are reviewed internally). Reviewers and Editors (including the Editor-in-Chief) who are authors of the paper, who disclose any other conflicts of interest relating to the study, or who recuse themselves for any other reason are excluded from the review process.
Peer review and author identities are kept confidential. Reviewers are invited by emails and submit comments via the online submission system. Three independent reviewers are invited for each manuscript; two to three weeks are usually given.
Manuscripts that require revision are returned to authors, and two to three weeks are usually given for re-submissions; a request for a revision does not indicate that the manuscript will be accepted. When preparing a revision, authors should clearly respond to each point raised by each reviewer, indicating where appropriate changes were made in the manuscript.
When appropriate, a manuscript will be reviewed by the Journal’s statistical advisor to specifically appraise the statistical content. HKJO reserves the right to send a paper for further rounds of peer review if necessary.
The final decision rests with the Editor-in-Chief.

Conflicts of interest
HKJO follows the ICMJE definition of conflict of interest. Authors may use the ICMJE Conflict of Interest form when submitting a manuscript.

HKJO follows the ICMJE Recommendations for defining authorship, using the following four criteria:
1. Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
2. Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
3. Final approval of the version to be published; AND
4. 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.
All individuals meeting these requirements should be credited as authors. Individuals who contributed substantially to the study but do not meet these requirements should be acknowledged.


Ethical policies and procedures

Plagiarism and fabrication
All manuscripts are assessed for plagiarism using iThenticate ( before being sent for peer review.

Duplicate submission and redundant publication
Manuscripts are considered on the understanding that they are submitted solely to HKJO and have not been published previously, either in print or electronically, and are not under consideration elsewhere.
Redundant publication is publication of a paper that overlaps substantially with one already published. When submitting a paper, authors should make a full statement to the Editor-in-Chief about all submissions and previous reports that might be regarded as a redundant publication of the same or similar work. If in doubt, submit copies of any material that has been previously published or that is being considered elsewhere at the time of manuscript submission. If redundant publication is attempted without such notification, authors should expect editorial action to be taken; at the least, rejection of the manuscript.

Image manipulation
If the Journal is made aware of suspected image manipulation in any published articles, the relevant COPE flowchart on Image Manipulation in a Published Article is followed.

If authors wish to appeal a decision, they should contact the Editorial Office (, stating clearly the reason(s) for appeal and how the manuscript could be revised or clarified to address limitations identified by the editor(s) or reviewer(s).
If the Editorial Board considers that the appeal is with merit, authors will be invited to submit a revised manuscript. Invitation to submit a revised version after appeal is not a guarantee of acceptance. The manuscript will enter a new round of peer review.

Allegations of Misconduct
The Publisher and the HKJO Editorial Board take reasonable steps to identify and prevent the publication of papers where research misconduct has occurred, including plagiarism, citation manipulation, and data falsification/fabrication. In the event that HKJO is made aware of any allegation of research misconduct relating to a published article, the COPE ‘Retraction guidelines’ guide decisions on whether retraction, correction, or other action is appropriate. Allegations of misconduct should be reported to the Editor-in-Chief ( If the alleged misconduct involves any of the Editors, the Publisher should be contacted (