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Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

Contributing to EyeRounds: A guideline for authors

Christopher A Kirkpatrick, MD, Patricia G. Duffel, MA, Thomas A Oetting MS, MD

August 16, 2015

Background is a service of the University of Iowa Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.  Content of the site is for teaching purposes and written with an intended audience of medical practitioners, ophthalmology residents and fellows in training, and medical students. The goal of EyeRounds is to provide a free, peer-reviewed, comprehensive online source of ophthalmic information for educational purposes produced by the faculty, fellows, residents, and students of the University of Iowa Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.

Types of contributions

  • Case presentations
  • Tutorials
  • Photo atlas entries
  • Video atlas entries
  • Other (systems-based cases, communication primers, etc.)


At least one author must currently be a resident, fellow, or faculty member at the University of Iowa Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. All cases must be co-authored with a current University of Iowa Ophthalmology faculty member. Medical students from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine or visiting medical students from another institution who have successfully completed the ophthalmology rotation at the University of Iowa are eligible to submit cases, but must have both a current resident or fellow and faculty member as co-authors.

Example workflow for a case submission

  • Identify a case – ideally this case would present a specific pathology that is not already covered on EyeRounds.
  • Discuss the case with the faculty member responsible for the case and determine its relevancy for educational purposes and obtain their agreement to co-author the case with you.
  • Write the case report (example format below).
  • Submit the case to the responsible faculty co-author for review; if the case was written by a medical student, it should be reviewed by the resident or fellow co-author prior to being submitted to faculty.
  • When appropriate edits are made and a final draft is completed, submit the case to the EyeRounds Chief Medical Editor who will assign the case to be reviewed by a member of the EyeRounds Editorial Board and returned with edits, suggestions, and comments.
  • Again, once appropriate edits are made, return the case to the EyeRounds Editorial Board member who originally reviewed it – when revisions are complete, they will then submit the case to the EyeRounds Chief Medical Editor for final review.
  • Once the case has passed final review, it will be submitted to the EyeRounds Executive Director for publication.

Suggested case submission format

(download template - MS Word)

The following are suggested elements to include in a case submission. All of these elements may or may not apply to your specific case - include additional information about the case if needed and if points below are not applicable, do not include them. Abbreviations should be defined the first time they are used (e.g., Right Eye (OD), Both Eyes (OU), Prism Diopters (PD), etc.). Sentences within the text should be followed a single space following the punctuation before beginning the next sentence.

Title of Case

This is usually the general pathology that you are presenting

Subtitle (optional)

This is where you can be more descriptive or specific to your case

Authors (please included credentials; e.g., BS, MD, PhD)

Date of submission (this will be replaced with the date of posting after all edits have been made)


Chief Complaint: What was the patient's main presenting problem?

History of Present Illness: Be succinct. Try to stick to only pertinent positives and negatives when detailing onset, duration, timing, course, quality/character, aggravating/alleviating factors, associated symptoms, etc.

Past Ocular History: List format is acceptable. Make this complete even if some of this information is mentioned in the HPI.

Past Medical History: List format is acceptable. Non-ocular surgeries may also be listed here if relevant.

Medications: Generic names are preferable. Ocular medications can be listed under Past Ocular History. If trade names of drugs are necessary (such as with combination drugs), the accompanying generic name must also be named in parentheses.


Family History: Limit to positives and negatives pertinent to the case. It is acceptable to write "Non-contributory" if applicable.

Social History: Limit to pertinent positives and negatives. It is acceptable to write "Non-contributory" if applicable.

Review of Systems: Limit to pertinent positives and negatives. It is acceptable to write "Negative except for what is detailed in the history of present illness" if applicable.


The list below is not all inclusive nor all required. Please included portions of the ocular exam that are pertinent to your case

Visual Acuity with/without correction

(specify method – Snellen, Allen, HOTV, Teller, etc. if applicable):

  • Right eye (OD):
  • Left eye (OS):
Other Visual Acuity Tests

(specify pinhole, glare/brightness acuity, manifest/cycloplegic refraction, etc. if applicable):

  • OD:
  • OS:

Ocular Motility/Alignment: (can be descriptive or list in standard motility table form if there is more complex pathology)

Intraocular Pressure (IOP):

(specify method – applanation, Tonopen, Perkins, etc. – and units if applicable)

  • OD:
  • OS:

Pupils: (typically list size in dark, then light, then presence/absence of RAPD)

  • OD: mm in dark, mm in light, no relative afferent pupillary defect (RAPD)
  • OS: mm in dark, mm in light, no RAPD

Confrontation visual fields: (specify method – count fingers, red targets, toys, etc. if applicable)

External: (de-identified pictures with captions should be included if available and relevant).

Slit lamp exam: (de-identified pictures with captions should be included if available and relevant)

  • Lids/lashes: (can provide individual bulleted lists for OD and OS if significantly different findings between the eyes, or combine into a single bulleted list)
  • Conjunctiva/sclera:
  • Cornea:
  • Anterior chamber:
  • Iris:
  • Lens:

Dilated fundus examination (DFE): (de-identified pictures with captions should be included if available and relevant)

  • Vitreous: (can provide individual bulleted lists for OD and OS if significantly different findings between the eyes, or combine into a single bulleted list)
  • Disc:
  • Cup-to-disc ratio:
  • Macula:
  • Vessels:
  • Periphery:

Additional testing: (this is where you will display diagnostic study results such as OCT, B-scan, ERG, visual fields, etc.; de-identified images with captions can also be included)

Differential Diagnosis

(can provide links to other EyeRounds cases/atlas entries/videos of pathology in the differential diagnosis list)

  • List


(This is where you will detail laboratory testing, imaging, consultations, decision-making thought processes, etc. that occurred after the initial presentation that lead you to the final diagnosis.  Discuss any treatments the patient underwent and their final outcome, if known.)



(This section should contain more detailed information about the condition being presented. Below are some suggestions for subheadings, but these can be modified to fit the specific case and guide a more appropriate/thorough discussion on the topic.)



Testing/Laboratory work-up:


(This standard 2x2 table is meant to be a quick summary of the general condition, not necessarily your specific case. All information in this table should be mentioned in more detail in the discussion section above. The headings can be changed if needed to better fit an individual case. List format and brevity is appropriate here.)

  • List
  • List
  • List
  • List

Twitter/Facebook (optional): Submit a short description or question for posting.


(Within the text, the references should be numbered in parentheses (not superscripted). List references in this section in numerical order as they appear in the text (not alphabetically). Once a reference is cited, all subsequent citations should be to the original number. All references must be cited in the text or tables. Use the following format as a model for the bibliography. List all authors. If there is an extremely long list of authors (> 6), such as a list of all participants in a multi-center trial, it is acceptable to list the first three authors, followed by et al.) You may use the linked EndNote style (zipped for download) to format your references if you desire.


Kaiser Family Foundation. Mandatory Quality Reporting Requirement, 2006.  2006  [cited 2008 January 28]; Available from:


Brick DC. Risk management lessons from a review of 168 cataract surgery claims. Surv Ophthalmol 1999;43(4):356-360. [PMID 10022518]


Foster JA, Carter KD, Durairaj VD, Kavanagh MC, Korn BS, Nelson CC, Hartstein ME. Periocular malpositions and involutional changes. In: Canton LB, Rapuano CJ, Cioffi GA, editors. Orbit, Eyelids, and Lacrimal System. Section 7. Basic and Clinical Science Course. 2015-2016 ed. San Francisco: American Academy of Ophthalmology; 2004; chapter 11; p. 197-247.

Suggested Citation Format: Name FM, Name FM. Article Title. Month DD, YYYY. Available from

Suggested photo atlas submission format

(download M.S. Word template)

Submissions to the photo atlas can be sent directly to the EyeRounds Chief Medical Editor who will review the submission and make suggestions. Once appropriate edits have been made, the submission will be forwarded to the EyeRounds Executive Director for publication. Image specifications can be found below. The following is the suggested format for photo atlas submissions.

Entry type: Existing entry/Unique (Does an atlas page already exist for this condition or finding or is the entry new to the atlas?)

Title: (If an atlas entry already exists for this condition, provide the title of the existing entry to which the new material will be added; If this is a unique entry, provide a generic title that describes the condition rather than one that is specific to your case.)

Category(ies): (Select from the existing atlas categories – include more than one if applicable)

Photographer: (Initials acceptable - photographer can be found in the "Photographer" column in OIS)

Contributor: (Initials acceptable)

Caption: (If this is a unique submission – a brief, general summary of the pathologic process being presented with subsequent highlighting of what is being demonstrated in the picture(s) is appropriate; a mini-case presentation is not necessary. If this is an additional submission to an existing atlas entry that already contains a general summary of the pathologic process present in the original post, then only specific highlighting of what is being demonstrated in the picture(s) is appropriate.)

Link(s): See related case/tutorial/video (If there is other related content on, please provide a link)

Reference(s): (If applicable)

Submission specifications


Please submit the case or tutorial as a Microsoft Word document without embedded images. Send images as separate files (see below). If Word is not available, Open Office or Google Documents may be used.


Submit images as jpeg, tiff, or png files separate from the Word document (not embedded). These may be sent as separate attachments clearly identifying the image or figure number that corresponds to the text in the file name or sent altogether as a Microsoft PowerPoint file. We prefer the highest quality images that are at least 1024 pixels (px) wide (we will reduce them to fit the web site and will link to the higher quality image). High-resolution images obtained by the ophthalmic photographers within the Department of Ophthalmology are strongly preferred. Images obtained in any other way must be accompanied by a written consent from the patient to use their images for this purpose. If the patient might potentially be identified in the photo, such as cases where the full or ¾ face is necessary to the case, you must obtain specific photo content from the patient or guardian. A pdf copy of this consent form must be submitted with the case.Images must be your own. Authors are responsible for getting permission to use copyrighted images and written permission must be submitted with the case. Descriptive captions for all images and figures should be included in the text. All images and figures must be de-identified for patient confidentiality purposes.


Videos may be submitted as either .mp4, .mpg, .avi, or .wmv (Flash is not accepted). In rare cases, videos may be uploaded to YouTube, in which case you must note the video's URL and embed the code in the manuscript (it will be embedded at the time of encoding). Please discuss this with the Executive Director before using YouTube to deliver the video. All videos must be de-identified for patient confidentiality purposes unless written consent from the patient stating otherwise is obtained. A pdf of the consent form must accompany the submission. All videos must be accompanied by a written transcript at the time of submission if there is an audio component. Below are the video specifications.

Video Codec


Frame rate

24, 25, or 30 frames per second (FPS)

Bit rate

  • 10,000 kbit/s for 1080p high-definition (HD) video  (preferred)
  • 5,000 kbit/s for 720p HD video
  • ≥ 2,000 kbit/s for standard definition (SD) video (minimum)

[Note: use square pixels]

  • 1080p HD video with 16:9 aspect ratio, 1920 x 1080 pixels (px)  (preferred)
  • 720p HD video with 16:9 aspect ratio, 1280 x 720 px
  • SD video with 4:3 aspect ratio, 640 x 480 px (minimum)

Audio Codec

AAC-LC (Advanced Audio Codec – Low Complexity)

Data rate

320 kbit/s

Sample rate

48 kHz

See Vimeo information

See  and


The content of the University of Iowa Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences web site, including, is copyright The University of Iowa. The University of Iowa allows visitors (including health care professionals who wish to distribute materials to patients) to duplicate portions of this site for personal or educational use without seeking permission from the authors. Authors may retain copyright of cases, tutorials, images, and videos by making note of the desire to do so, however, the rights will not be exclusive and once a case or tutorial has been posted, copyright is shared with the University of Iowa. Exclusive rights to the material cannot be extended to another publisher and permission to post the material to the web site cannot be revoked.

Intellectual Property Rights

We cannot accept material that has been published elsewhere. Scanned images from books, journals or other web sites can be used only with the expressed permission of the copyright owner. Documentation of this permission is required and will be kept with the case documents on the website.

Suggested Citation Format

Kirkpatrick CA, Duffel PG, Oetting TA. Contributing to EyeRounds: A guideline for authors. posted August 16, 2015; Available from:

last updated: 08/16/2015; updated 9/10/2015