The Roman calendar identified January as the month in which looking back and looking
forward were both appropriate. As Editor and Publisher, we are using this first issue of
January 1998 to do some of both.
Optics Express now has a six-month history of publication, following a
one-year period of preparation, and the first volume has been wrapped up. The vital
signs of the journal were positive from the beginning and are becoming stronger all the
time. In another article in this issue some data for Volume 1 are provided in the
summary by Deborah Herrin, OSA’s Manager of Electronic Publishing. The other
articles are the Index for Volume 1, a replay of an invitation to be added to the
Optics Express “publication alert” list, and
a comment about Focus Issues. Changes in the masthead and the look of the Table of
Contents can also be spotted.
In other words, Optics Express is approximately 4 times quicker to
publish its papers than is normal for print journals, while maintaining the OSA
tradition of two reviews per paper. We think this has been achieved partly because
reviewers have been attracted by a chance to help us work out the snags in the
electronic system that the journal uses, and partly because the system itself already
works so well that it promotes prompt and easy communications and decisions by reviewers
and the relevant Associate Editor. Another reason is probably the nature of the Focus
Issues that are being published regularly.
Multi-media capabilities are still practically unique to Optics Express
and offering them remains a key mandate of the journal from the OSA Board of Directors.
The policy of completely free publication cannot of course continue indefinitely.
Beginning soon the submission process will contain a notice of publication charges,
which we will temporarily allow to be honored on a voluntary basis. However, in a later
issue we will announce a detailed schedule of both submission and publication fees for
Optics Express that will not be voluntary.
One of the issues discussed about electronic publication is the archiving of the
contents. OSA is committed to indefinitely archive the contents of Optics Express,
including migrating that content to a new medium should technological change demand it.
As a start, we will be publishing in the near future a CD-ROM that contains the full
contents of Volume 1 and designed primarily to fit the needs of libraries. Since the
contents of Optics Express have been openly accessed on the Internet, there will be a
separate charge for this CD-ROM. Individuals who are interested in acquiring this
product should contact email@example.com for further information on publication schedule
With our best wishes for a constructive and fruitful New Year,
J.H. Eberly, Editor and G. Rassam, Director of Publications