ARVO Journals Open Access Overview and
Frequently Asked Questions

ARVO has long promoted the free dissemination of scientific information. All content published in Journal of Vision (JOV) has been freely accessible since the journal's launch in 2001. Translational Vision Science & Technology (TVST) has also been a free access journal from its first publication in 2012. ARVO has now made the content of the journals even more easily available to users for reading, sharing and reusing. Starting in January 2016, all three journals, including Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science (IOVS), are open access.

For a detailed history of ARVO's journey to open access, see this article in Learned Publishing.


What is open access?
There are many different definitions of open access. As ARVO defines it, open access has two components: access and reuse. Open access content is freely accessible to all and reusable, usually through a Creative Commons license.

How is this different from before?
JOV and TVST have always been freely accessible, with no subscription required. With the move to open access, the only difference in access is that IOVS content is also freely accessible immediately upon publication. A subscription is no longer required to access IOVS.

Reuse and copyright
Authors previously signed the copyright of their articles over to ARVO. Beginning with articles published in 2016, authors retain the copyright of their articles. At submission, the author will be asked to select the terms by which the article will be reusable by others, via one of two Creative Commons licenses: CC BY-NC-ND (more restrictive) or CC BY (less restrictive). Anyone will be able to read/share/reuse the work, as long as they adhere to the terms of the license.

What is the CC BY-NC-ND license?
The CC BY-NC-ND license permits "others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially" (Creative Commons website,; see legal code here).

What is the CC BY license?
The CC BY license "lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation" (Creative Commons website,; see legal code here). Some funding agencies require this license in order to use grant funding for publication.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

My funding agency requires that I submit my paper to an open access journal. Do the ARVO journals qualify?
You should check with your funding agency to be sure; but the ARVO journals should qualify as open access in 2016. Please note that some funding agencies require the CC BY license instead of the CC BY-NC-ND license, so you will want to ask your funding agency before submitting your paper. You will have the option to choose a CC BY or CC BY-NC-ND license during the submission process.

How do I tell you which license I want?
There will be a place in the submission system where you will select either the CC BY-NC-ND or CC BY license. If you need to make a change after you have submitted your manuscript, please contact the editorial office by email: (IOVS), (JOV, TVST) or phone: +

So I don’t need to sign a Copyright Transfer Form anymore?
That is correct. Starting in 2016, you will no longer transfer copyright to ARVO and will therefore not need to sign the Copyright Transfer Form. However, we will need you to sign a License to Publish, which grants ARVO the right to publish your article in a journal and also to reuse any of the content in subsequent ARVO publications.

My institution requires that I deposit my article to its repository. Is this allowed?

Can I use copyrighted material in my open access article?
Yes, but that material will remain under copyright; it will not be open access. For example, if you have received permission to reprint a previously published figure in your new article, that figure will still be copyrighted (which mustl be noted in the figure caption). The original material in your article will be open access and reusable under the terms of the CC license you chose, but the copyrighted figure will not be.

Will articles published prior to 2016 be open access?
No. Back content through the end of 2015 will be freely accessible, but ARVO will still own the copyright. Permission must be received from ARVO to reuse any material published in the ARVO journals before 2016.

Will there be costs associated with open access?
For the last several years, ARVO journal authors have paid page charges for their published articles. Beginning with manuscripts submitted on or after December 1, 2015, there will be one flat article fee, which is the common practice for open access journals. Per the ARVO Board of Trustees, the fee is $1,850. The price is the same for all three ARVO journals.

I am an ARVO member. Do I get any discounts?
Yes. If the corresponding author is a current ARVO member at the time your manuscript is accepted, you will get a discount of $350. The Editorial Office will check for ARVO membership at the time of acceptance.

Does this mean I no longer need to ask permission to reuse material from an ARVO journal?
Not necessarily. If you would like to reuse material from an article published before 2016, you will still need to ask for permission (unless you were the author of the original article). You can go to the Copyright Clearance Center website at or contact the ARVO editorial office by email: or phone: + If you would like to reuse material from an article published in 2016 or later, you may do so without obtaining permission, as long as you adhere to the terms of the license associated with the article.


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