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for the Blind

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Information for JVIB Authors

The Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness (JVIB) is the international, interdisciplinary journal of record on blindness and visual impairment that publishes scholarship and information and serves as a forum for the exchange of ideas, airing of controversies, and discussion of issues.

Included in This Section

Calls for Papers

JVIB invites authors to submit research and practice articles for peer review. The current calls for papers for the journal are available here.

Instructions for Preparing Structured Abstracts

Every article published in JVIB after January 1, 2012 that includes original data and meta-analyses needs to include a structured abstract of no more than 300 words. Abstracts should be prepared in JVIB style. Please follow this link for the Instructions for Preparing Structured Abstracts.

Steps to Publication: Guidelines for New JVIB Authors

The thought of submitting your writing to a journal that has been around for more than 100 years can be intimidating. This guide written by Jane N. Erin of the University of Arizona and editor emerita of JVIB will show you that the process of organizing your writing isn't as difficult as you might think.

Guidelines for Contributors

These guidelines provide detailed information on the various categories of papers that can be submitted to the journal; as well as technical details regarding length, abstracts, terminology, figures and artwork, tables, photographs, and the like. Contact information for the academic editor in chief, as well as the editorial offices of the journal are also listed.

Steps to Publication: Guidelines for New JVIB Authors

The Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness (JVIB) welcomes submissions from new authors, whether you are a seasoned researcher who may be unfamiliar with JVIB, a graduate student, or a practitioner with lots of good ideas but not much experience putting them on paper. The journal is especially interested in articles that have practical relevance for professionals working in the field. The following guidelines outline the steps to publication: thinking, writing, and reviewing and revising.


You have an idea that is important and innovative. In fact, it is so exciting that you want to share it with others. It may be a description of an instructional approach, a way of presenting literature about a topic, or a research study you have completed. How will you shape your idea to communicate effectively with the diverse reading audience of JVIB?

Consider Your Reading Audience

JVIB is mainly read by professionals who work directly with people who are blind or visually impaired. These professionals include teachers of visually impaired children, orientation and mobility specialists, vision rehabilitation therapists and certified low vision therapists, administrators, and university personnel. The journal is carried in many libraries at universities, as well as in schools and agencies that serve people who are blind or visually impaired. It is also read by families; people who are blind or visually impaired; and professionals in related fields, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, optometry, sociology, psychology, and rehabilitation counseling.

Read the Journal

Before you begin to organize your article, review past issues of JVIB to explore the ways in which authors have presented their ideas. Can you find an article that is similar to what you want yours to be? Does your idea belong in a special section? If it is a brief idea about professional practice, it may be most effective as a Practice Report. If it is a pilot study, it may work best as a Research Report. These short pieces often are more suitable for authors who are just beginning to publish their work. It is also important to read the journal's "Guidelines for Contributors" to make sure you understand how articles should be written.

Think About Why Your Ideas Are Important

Imagine that your article is completed and that you are a reader opening the journal. What can you say at the beginning of the article that will interest a reader? What can you say that will encourage someone to continue reading?

Plan How to Organize Your Article

A professional article should have a clear plan to help the reader understand how it will achieve its stated purpose. It is not like writing a mystery: The reader should not be kept in suspense. Instead, the structure of an article should allow the reader to move logically and comfortably through the material, remaining oriented to the author's intentions at every point.

Most authors use section headings as landmarks for the reader. For example, if you are writing about a teaching idea to submit as a Practice Report, your sections may be Introduction, Methods, and Conclusion. If you are submitting a longer research article, you will have more major sections. A research article usually includes Introduction, Review of the Literature, Methods, Results, Discussion, and Conclusion. Because the journal is mainly read by professionals in direct service, it is also important to describe how your topic can be applied to professional practice. This can be included in the discussion or conclusion or, preferably, in a separate section called Implications for Practice.


When you are ready to begin writing, it may be helpful to develop an outline to guide you in organizing your work. Be sure that you have planned what will be included in each section.

Write a Strong Introduction

The introduction to an article is critical because it:

  • builds the reader's interest
  • states the purpose of the article
  • establishes the importance of the topic
  • describes how the article will be organized.

Authors often use their first few sentences to capture the reader's interest. They may find a way of connecting with readers through a common professional experience, or they may identify a problem that encourages the reader to keep reading.

Most authors then provide a summary of recent literature on a subject to establish the importance of the topic. If it is a long article, a fuller review of the literature may be included in a later section. If it is a Practice Report or Research Report, a few paragraphs about important articles on the same topic may provide a rationale.

The introduction should also state the main purpose of the article and should include a short description of how the purpose will be achieved. This section usually comes at the end of the introduction. Here is an example of how two authors described the purpose and structure of their article:

The study presented here investigated the specific types of collaboration that may or may not take place between residential schools and LEAs during transitions. It explored the amount of engagement in collaborative activities with LEAs, how the collaborative process is defined, the benefits of collaboration that result, and the changes that residential schools would like to see to improve the collaborative transition process (Zebehazy and Whitten, 1998, p. 648).

Use APA Style

Use of a standard style for writing, citations, and references makes it easy for reviewers and readers to check the references you have used. The style guidelines of the American Psychological Association (APA) are particularly easy to use because only an author's last name and publication date are cited in text references, creating little interruption in the flow of the text. If you are unfamiliar with this style, purchase a copy of The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th Edition, available in bookstores or from the American Psychological Association (APA). Although editors will allow for minor stylistic errors in an article that has potential, significant mechanical and style problems can contribute to the rejection of an article for publication.

Use Standard Language

Use words that are clear and understandable to all readers, including people who do not work in the field of visual impairment. If an unusual or technical word is used, briefly define it. Make sure that each word and sentence is necessary to the meaning of the article, and eliminate those that are redundant. In identifying inappropriate language, it can be helpful to read your article aloud.

Write a Strong Conclusion

The conclusion has several purposes:

  • to summarize the important information in the article
  • to identify future needs related to this topic
  • to interpret what the information means for professionals.

The conclusion should restate the main ideas of the article and should challenge the reader to think about what the future may hold in this area. Just as the introduction captured the reader's attention, the conclusion should motivate the reader to find out more about the questions posed in the article.

JVIB is read by professionals who are working with people who are blind or visually impaired. For this reason, the conclusion should provide a bridge from theory and research to practice. Whenever possible, the author should describe how information from the article could be applied in educational or rehabilitation settings.

Add the Title

Although some authors create a title before beginning to write, they often change the title after completing the article. It is helpful to reread the article and consider what words will describe it clearly. Although it is tempting to use a title that gets the reader's attention, it is important that the title tell what the article is about. When the article is used for future reference and research, readers should be able to decide whether it contains information on the topic they are exploring.

Reviewing and Revising

After completing an article, most authors set it aside for a few days and reread it. When reviewing the article, an author should take the role of the reader. In that role, the author should be alert to vague or redundant sections of the article, and to statements that may not clearly convey information to someone unfamiliar with the topic being discussed. Reading aloud at this stage may help identify sections such as these.

It is especially helpful for new authors to ask others to read their work. It is best if more than one person reads an article. A co-worker may provide practical suggestions about content, a university faculty member may be able to discuss writing style and mechanics, and a family member may be able to support your efforts as a new author.

When it is submitted for publication, an article will be seen by several professionals who volunteer as peer reviewers. Even if an article receives very positive reviews, authors are almost always asked to make changes before publication. Many changes are minor, and having others read an article before it is submitted can make the author's job easier during revision.

Authors who are encouraged to revise an article and resubmit their manuscripts should follow the recommendations of the reviewers. If an author chooses not to follow a recommendation, the reason why should be described in the letter that accompanies the revised manuscript. Authors who have questions during the revision process should contact the Editor in Chief of JVIB.

Successful authors are persistent in finding the best ways to deliver their message. The process of writing will ensure that an author's ideas are shared with others and contribute to the quality of professional practice.


Zebehazy, K, & Whitten, E. (1998). Do residential schools and local education agencies collaborate to improve the transitions of students with visual impairments? Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 92, 647-655.

Guidelines for Contributors

General Guidelines on Preparation and Length of Manuscripts

Manuscripts should be written in standard English, following the style outlined in The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th Edition. The manual is available for purchase from the web site of the American Psychological Association (APA). In addition, a number of web sites offer guidance on APA format, such as the APA Style web site and the APA Style Writing Workshop of the Online Writing Workshop of Purdue University.


A manuscript needs to meet the length requirements of the category or department of the journal to which it is being submitted. Details are available in the description for each category in the Submission Categories section of this page. The maximum length of full manuscripts is 5,000 words. Maximum lengths of Research Reports and Practice Reports are 2,500 words. The word count includes all tables and references, but does not include the cover page. Note that one double-spaced word- processed page equals about 250 words.


Every article published in JVIB after January 1, 2012 that includes original data and meta-analyses needs to include a structured abstract of no more than 300 words. Abstracts should be prepared in JVIB style—see Instructions for Preparing Structured Abstracts.

Other articles need to include an unstructured abstract of no more than 50 words that summarizes the objective, main points, and conclusions of the article.

Abstracts are not required for Research Reports, Practice Reports, Around the World, Practice Perspectives, editorials, commentaries, or special features. If you are unsure whether to write a 50- or 300-word abstract, please submit a 300-word abstract. The editors will provide additional guidance during the peer review process.


As in other areas of study, the fields of visual impairment and vision rehabilitation have their own terminology. However, different authors use these terms in different ways, and the meanings of various terms often overlap. To avoid confusion, authors are advised to define their terminology clearly in the manuscript. For a list of preferred terminology of AFB Press, the publisher of JVIB, visit the AFB Press Guidelines for Contributors.

Formatting and Electronic File Preparation

JVIB uses Microsoft Word as its standard word processor for text, but manuscripts may also be submitted in Rich Text Format or ASCII. Authors should prepare their manuscripts as plainly as possible to facilitate problem-free copyediting and typesetting. JVIB's standard file formatting preferences include one-inch margins, Times Roman 12-point type, double-spaced lines, and numbered pages.

Figures and Tables

Figures and tables should not be embedded in text files. Each one should be saved as a separate file. Figures should be created in black and white or grayscale only and in a mainstream graphics software package, such as Word, Adobe Illustrator, Free Hand, Adobe Photoshop, or Excel. Reserve tables and figures to present crucial data directly related to the text of the manuscript and to simplify a discussion that would otherwise be dense with numbers. These elements should in all cases supplement, not duplicate, the text.


When submitting photographs taken with a digital camera, images should be created at a minimum resolution of 300 dpi (dots per inch) and stored as .eps or .tif files. Note that photographs must be in black-and-white or grayscale format.

Submission Categories


Full-length manuscripts on research, theory, reviews of the literature, or practice-based activities. The topics may have far-reaching and broad impact. All articles are peer reviewed.
Length: 2,500-5,000 words

Research Report:

A shorter format for presenting research results. The main difference between articles and Research Reports is length. In addition, Research Reports may have a more focused or narrow impact than articles and may report pilot studies, research in progress, or studies with a small number of subjects. All Research Reports are peer reviewed.
Length: 1,000-2,500 words

Practice Perspectives and Practice Reports:

JVIB publishes two briefer features that are intended for readers who work daily with people who are visually impaired. Authors of these features are often practicing professionals.

In Practice Perspectives, authors describe strategies that have helped them in teaching a particular skill or topic. They use observations and examples from their own experience that will help others to be more effective in instruction roles. This feature is an excellent forum for first-time authors who are also practitioners. Practice Perspectives are peer reviewed.
Length: 500-2,000 words

Practice Reports also provide information that will be useful for professionals in practice, but they include data or systematic explorations of a question related to instruction. Although authors describe a more focused investigation of an issue or question than they would in a Practice Perspectives, literature reviews or methodological detail are not necessary. Practice Reports are peer reviewed.
Length: 1,000-2,500 words

Around the World:

A forum for reporting on research or programs that are specific to one culture or part of the world and that may not have broader relevance. Around the World manuscripts are peer reviewed.
Length: 500-2,500 words


A discussion of a timely topic, based on the author's experience or opinions. Comments are not peer reviewed.
Length: 500-1,000 words

Letter to the Editor:

A direct response to a paper that was recently published in JVIB. The authors of the paper referred to are given a chance to respond to the letter in the same issue in which the letter appears. Note that letters may be edited for length and style. Letters are not peer reviewed.
Length: Varies

Book Review:

An evaluation of a recent book that assesses its value for JVIB readers. Unsolicited manuscripts are not considered. Scholarly books should be sent to the Editor in Chief for consideration; general interest books about blindness or disability should be sent to AFB Press.
Length: 500-1,000 words

Speaker's Corner:

An invited platform for leaders in the blindness field who are experts on a particular topic of concern in the field. Submissions are solicited. Speaker's Corner manuscripts are not peer reviewed.
Length: 500-1,000 words


Invited manuscripts on a timely and important and perhaps controversial topic. All submissions are solicited. Perspectives manuscripts are not peer reviewed.
Length: 500-1,000 words

From the Field:

A venue for announcing and describing events, programs, initiatives, or other newsworthy items in the blindness field. From the Field submissions are not peer reviewed. Submissions should be sent to AFB Press.
Length: 250-1,500 words

News and Calendar:

Unsigned short pieces announcing new publications, programs, resources, and events related to blindness and visual impairment. Information, such as press releases or announcements, should be sent to AFB Press. The information will not be used in its entirety, but will be used as source material for staff-written items.
Length: 75-250 words

Publishing Criteria

All work submitted to JVIB must be the author's original work. The work must be submitted only to JVIB and must not have been published before, including online.

The manuscript needs to have the potential to provoke thought within the field of visual impairment and blindness or to help practitioners better perform their professional duties, add new knowledge, serve as a notation on previously published work, or have the potential to stimulate notations by others. Also, it is equally important in qualitative and quantitative studies to give a detailed account of sample selection, sample characteristics, and observation (including questioning) methods. Authors are encouraged to discuss how the findings of their study might affect the day-to-day services delivered by educators, rehabilitation specialists, and other practitioners.

JVIB encourages the submission of qualitative papers that interpret, describe, and narrate what has taken place. Qualitative papers can provide an additional, even necessary, dimension when survey data require supplementary, descriptive information or when a topic lends itself more to discussion than to conclusions. Single- and multiple-case histories and ethnographies are especially welcome. It is generally more important for a qualitative study to explain how the analysis was done; in quantitative studies that is usually fairly self-evident.

Copyright Transfer Agreement

Every author whose work is accepted for publication in JVIB is required to sign a Copyright Transfer Agreement, which gives AFB Press the exclusive right to publish and disseminate the author's work to the fullest extent, including online. For detailed information on authors' rights and responsibilities related to work submitted to JVIB, please visit the Permissions and Reprints page.

Conflict of Interest, Human Subjects, and Informed Consent

Conflict of Interest:

A conflict of interest exists when professional judgment concerning a primary interest (such as a research subject's welfare or the validity of research) may be influenced by another secondary interest (such as financial gain or personal rivalry). Conflicts of interest relating to materials submitted to JVIB should be acknowledged and openly stated. Although conflicts of interest do not necessarily preclude publication, readers are entitled to know that such interests exist, and the journal's editors must be aware of their existence. Therefore, authors are required to provide disclosure of financial interests or other potential conflicts. It is the responsibility of the first author of a submitted manuscript to communicate to the journal any author's possible conflict of interest at the time of submission.

Human Subjects and Informed Consent:

If human subjects were involved in a study, the authors must confirm that the research followed the tenets of the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki on Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects (available at>). A statement in the Methods section of the submitted article should explicitly state the name and location of the approving ethics committee (institutional review board) and that informed consent was obtained from the subjects.

Submission Information

Manuscripts may be submitted at any time throughout the year by e-mail or through postal mail. Online submissions should be in the form of e-mail attachments. Submissions sent through traditional mail should include one paper copy and one CD copy of the manuscript. Text and table files should be in ASCII text or Microsoft Word format. Figures and photographs must be submitted in black and white only. Images need to have a resolution of 300 dpi or higher, and should be submitted as EPS, TIF, or JPEG files.

All submissions should include a separate cover letter. The cover letter needs to include the following information for the lead author and the corresponding author (if different):

  • Name of author
  • Mailing address
  • Telephone number
  • Fax number
  • E-mail address

Authors will be required to sign a Copyright Transfer Agreement. JVIB does not consider manuscripts that are simultaneously submitted elsewhere or previously published elsewhere, including online postings.

Contact Information

E-mail submissions of manuscripts for peer review should be sent to Editor in Chief Dr. Diane P. Wormsley:

From the Field, News, and Calendar items, as well as general-interest books for review, should be sent to:

2 Penn Plaza, Suite 1102
New York, NY 10121
Fax: 212-502-7774
E-mail: or

Display advertisements or classified advertisements should be sent to:

JVIB Advertising Department
AFB Press
Attn: Anne Durham
1000 Fifth Avenue, Suite 350
Huntington, WV 25701
Fax: (917) 210-3979

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