Optics Express is 5 years old! Yes, with this issue, Optics
Express has been publishing high-quality, peer-reviewed, all-electronic,
multi-media rich, subscription-free research papers that cover
the entire field of optical science and engineering for 5 complete years. Five years of
operation is significant for almost any enterprise, but I think it is especially
important for a scientific journal. Given 5 years of history, statistics, and trends, we
should be able to judge the maturity, success, and future strength of the journal. So,
what do the numbers say?
First of all, the journal has published 618 peer-reviewed articles, for a total of 5386
pages. 33% of those papers used multi-media in some form (and almost all at least used
color figures) and there were 35 focus issues, covering an astounding range of topics,
both theoretical and applied. Those topics ranged from Quantum Structures in
nonlinear Optics and Atomic Physics to Signal Collection and Recovery, from Rydberg
Wave Packets to Mid-IR Laser Materials, and from Tomographic Image Reconstruction to
Digital Watermarking. The journal does, indeed, cover all of optical
science and engineering.
And what about the actual mechanics of the publishing process? The statistics for this
year, so far, are consistent with statistics from other volumes in other recent years:
The time to publication, from first receipt of a manuscript to posting on the Web, is
averaging 46 days. That’s 46 DAYS, not weeks. For the past 3 years
Optics Express has consistently published peer-reviewed papers
(with almost always 2 reviews per paper) in a phenomenal 46 to 48 days. There is no
quicker way to get your work published in a peer-reviewed journal anywhere else in
science, at least that I am aware of.
Finally, what about the acceptance of Optics Express by the science and
engineering community? One huge indication of our positive acceptance is that
Optics Express was ranked last year as one of the top 10 optical
science journals by the ISI, a huge achievement for a journal so young. Optics
Express is continually striving to increase the quality and impact of the
work it publishes, and that is reflected in the steadily increasing percentage of papers
that the journal rejects, a figure that now stands at about 30%. An indication of the
acceptance of the journal by readers comes from the almost 3900 subscribers to the Table
of Contents e-mail service for Optics Express.