About the Vetted Journals List

The journals included in this list have been reviewed by vision science librarians who are members of the association (AVSL) using criteria that have been informed by several resources:

Also see the AVSL Guide to Predatory Publishing.

Request a journal title to be reviewed for to the Vetted List of Vision Science Journals

Journal Review Process

All journals in this list meet the following Minimum Criteria:

  • Considered a journal publication (ie. Periodical publication schedule, varying authorship, collection of articles)
  • Includes an ISSN
  • Covers the appropriate scope (vision science, optometry, ophthalmology)
  • Has published for 2+ years

The journals that pass the minimum criteria are then reviewed using the following classes of criteria:

  • Policy Statements
  • Publication Information
  • Editorial Information
  • Content Quality

Journals are also flagged during the review if any predatory type practices are identified. Although this does not immediately exclude them from the list, these journals are further scrutinized.

Overall Process

Each journal undergoes consideration by 3 reviewers. The primary reviewer evaluates the journal according to the process described below, and recommends that it be added to the Vetted Journals List or rejected. Two secondary reviewers then each go over the primary reviewer’s response and either uphold or dismiss their decision. If the original decision is upheld, the journal will be added to the Vetted Journals List or rejected per that decision. If the original decision is dismissed by both secondary reviewers, the original decision will be overturned.

The Vetted Journals List is updated monthly and members are notified of the journals that were added to the list as well as those that were rejected. Due to the complexity of the process, reasons for rejection are not given. Trade journals are not considered for inclusion in the Vetted Journals List.

First Review – Part I

An initial review consists of determining if the journal meets certain minimum standards. If it does not, the journal is rejected for inclusion. It can, however be recommended that the journal be reviewed again at a later date. This would be, for instance, if the journal has been published for less than 2 years, one of the minimum standards.

If the minimum standards are met, the journal is then evaluated to see if it meets any of the “No-Brainer” standards. If so, the journal is immediately added to the Vetted Journals List. If not, the reviewer continues with Part II of the first review.

First Review – Part II

In this phase of the process, the journal is scored on several points in each of 4 areas: policy statements, publication information, editorial information, and content quality. The reviewer can also comment on any red flags that are noted or on any special considerations. The scores are then evaluated by an internal algorithm which gives an accepted or rejected result.

Secondary Reviews

The primary reviewer’s scores, including comments, are made available to 2 secondary reviewers. Each of them can uphold or dismiss the original decision based on consideration of this data. If the secondary reviewers do not agree, a 3rd reviewer is brought in to break the tie.


A reviewer can recommend that a journal be reviewed again at a later date if, for instance it was rejected due to it not having been in publication for 2 years.