Low Vision News

For low vision specialists and those who consult them

What are the best journals which publish low vision research?

A PhD student in our lab is submitting her first paper in the low vision field and we were discussing where she should submit it so that it reaches the right audience. This led to quite a long conversation about what journals publish what type of low vision research. This post gives my subjective “top ten” low vision research journals, and my impression of which journals tend to publish which types of low vision research.

1: OPTOMETRY & VISION SCIENCE
I think OVS is currently the best journal for low vision research. Their papers tend to be clinically relevant and focus on reading, low vision devices, and quality of life research. Their readership is largely optometrists (it is the journal of the American Academy of Optometry) but papers I have published here seem to be cited by non-optometrists. International readership.

2: VISION RESEARCH
Vision Research generally publishes more laboratory based research which furthers our knowledge of the visual system. They are particularly strong in publishing reading research, and many classic papers appear in Vision Research. Its readership is largely vision scientists, biologists and psychophysicists. This may be a more difficult read for the lay person than some of the more clinical journals here.

3: INVESTIGATIVE OPHTHALMOLOGY & VISUAL SCIENCE
IOVS is a relatively high impact factor journal and publishes clinical and laboratory work from across all areas of ophthalmology. Only a small proportion of their papers will be relevant to low vision, but they will be of high quality.

4: OPHTHALMOLOGY
Major clinical journal with an international readership. Again, not a huge amount of low vision research is published here, but the papers here are high quality. Tends to publish epidemiological research and studies with many participants.

5: OPHTHALMIC AND PHYSIOLOGICAL OPTICS
OPO publishes a reasonable amount of low vision research, particularly in the optics and devices field. It is the journal of the College of Optometrists in the UK. My perception is that the quality of this journal has slightly decreased recently, which seems to be reflected in a falling impact factor.

6: RETINA
Recently, Retina has published more work of interest to the low vision rehab community. For example, a recent Retina paper which caught my eye discussed changes in referral to low vision services since the availability of new AMD treatments.

7: JOURNAL OF VISUAL IMPAIRMENT AND BLINDNESS
This is one of the more readable journals here and would be a good place to start for someone new to reading scientific papers. Publishes work on education, reading, and daily living with low vision. It is published by the American Foundation for the Blind. Possibly has a less international readership than some of the other journals in this list.

8: BRITISH JOURNAL OF OPHTHALMOLOGY
Another leading clinical journal, with the occasional high-quality low vision paper. International readership.

9: JOURNAL OF REHABILITATION RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
JRRD is the journal of the Veterans Administration in the USA and often publishes low vision rehab research. Most (if not all) of the papers I have read in here are by employees of the VA.

10: VISUAL IMPAIRMENT RESEARCH
Visual impairment research was the journal of the International Society for Low Vision Research and Rehabilitation. Unfortunately it has ceased publication – maybe because of the large number of alternative journals for low vision research.

Other journals which publish low vision research include Journal of Vision, Neuro-ophthalmology, Clinical & Experimental Optometry and Journal of Optometry — there’s no particular reason why these haven’t made my top 10 other than I read research in the journals above more than these.

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