Optics InfoBase
Published by The Optical Society of America

JOSA articles published by early OSA presidents

Reprint of the very first issue of JOSA

John Howard's History of JOSA, 1961-1983

Contact Us

Tell us about your favorite JOSA articles. We will post a sampling of responses on this site for others to see.

JOSA 90th Anniversary

The Journal of the Optical Society of America (JOSA) began publication in January 1917. JOSA quickly became regarded as the world's best optics journal. In addition to providing reputable peer-reviewed scientific articles, JOSA served as an archival record of OSA activities for nearly 50 years before OSA's second journal, Applied Optics, was introduced. The early JOSAs included abstracts from OSA Annual Meetings, highlights from topical meetings, Ives lectures, book reviews, and society news.

JOSA continued its legacy as the premiere source of optics research when it divided into JOSA A: Optics and Image Science and JOSA B: Optical Physics in 1984. The two journals were better able to capture the depth and breadth of the expanding field of optics.

In celebration of JOSA's 90th Anniversary in 2007, OSA is sharing treasures from the JOSA archives with you.

50 Most-Cited JOSA Articles

Many notable papers are included among the 50 most-cited papers from JOSA, JOSA A and JOSA B, including works from J. B. Keller, R. C. Jones, D. W. Berreman, E. N. Leith, E. H. Land, and A. W. Lohmann.

Visit the list of most-cited articles to discover, or perhaps rediscover, many of the important papers published in JOSA.

OSA has made all top-cited articles from the original JOSA open access for everyone to enjoy (31 articles). These articles are marked with an open access icon in the list.

The History of JOSA

Read OSA Historian John N. Howard's history of JOSA 1917-1961 to learn about JOSA's origins, early editors. Future postings to this webpage will include other JOSA-related articles from Howard's OPN column. Howard's history of JOSA, 1961-1983 is now posted.


Stephen A. Burns and Henry M. Van Driel continue the tradition of excellence as the current Editors-in-Chief of JOSA A and JOSA B, respectively. High-quality submissions from authors throughout the world are welcomed for consideration. Submission instructions.

See the impressive listing of important special issues that have been published in JOSA A and JOSA B.

© Copyright 2007 Optical Society of America
All Rights Reserved | Privacy Statement | Terms of Use