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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: J. H. Eberly
  • Vol. 2, Iss. 1 — Jan. 5, 1998
  • pp: 1–2
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New Year Message from Editor and Publisher

J. Eberly and G. Rassam  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 2, Issue 1, pp. 1-2 (1998)

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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.

© Optical Society of America

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.

As a peer-reviewed all-electronic journal, Optics Express is unique in optics publishing and is almost unique in the physical sciences. For a benchmark we can use the Journal of Semiconductor Nitride Research, established a year earlier and perhaps the most visible other refereed Internet journal in the physical sciences. The simplest comparative statistic shows that Optics Express is publishing approximately twice as many papers. However, the Optics Express statistic of greatest interest to potential authors may be the average interval between submission and publication. This continues to be about 8, but the reader should note that the scale here is weeks, not months.

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.

We called attention in the first issue to the many friends of OSA and Optics Express who were instrumental in its startup. We want to thank them again here. Every new issue shows how important their advice and plans were to the success of the journal and how well they have been realized. The members of the development consortium came from 6 countries, and their names were listed on each masthead page through Volume 1. The Associate Editors along with the essential OSA staff have been key to the journal’s continuity, and their names appear on the masthead page in every issue. Current members of the Optics Express Editorial Board are: (Tufts University), Thomas Brown (University of Rochester), Charles Clark (National Institute of Standards and Technology), Michael Duncan (Naval Research Laboratory), Roger Falcone (University of California, Berkeley), Mikhail Fedorov (General Physics Institute, Moscow), Michael Feit (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory), Bruce Shore (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory), and James Wyant (University of Arizona).

Looking ahead, we expect Optics Express to continue to grow and to make a place for itself among the most valued journals of optical science and technology. The electronic linking of articles to each other within Optics Express is just beginning to be exploited. However, the multi-media capabilities that are open to authors have already been used by a surprisingly high fraction of authors. We have published many movies and other kinds of animation, probably more than two dozen of them, including even the covers of Issues No. 6 and 12, and more color illustrations and color-enhanced computer plots than it makes sense to count. An electronic journal can do this at little or no extra cost, and so color graphics and movies will continue to be offered free to authors for the time being. To check these out quickly, you can go directly to http//:epubs.osa.org/opticsexpress/v1n6cvr.htm, or /v1n12cvr.htm.

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 grassa@osa.org for further information on publication schedule and cost.

With our best wishes for a constructive and fruitful New Year,

J.H. Eberly, Editor and G. Rassam, Director of Publications

ToC Category:
Research Papers

Original Manuscript: January 5, 1998
Revised Manuscript: January 5, 1998
Published: January 5, 1998

J. Eberly and G. Rassam, "New Year Message from Editor and Publisher," Opt. Express 2, 1-2 (1998)

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