Optica Publishing Group publishes high-quality, peer-reviewed articles in its portfolio of journals, which serve the full breadth of the optics and photonics community.

Optica is an open-access, online-only journal dedicated to the rapid dissemination of high-impact peer-reviewed research across the entire spectrum of optics and photonics. Published monthly by Optica Publishing Group, Optica provides a forum for pioneering research to be swiftly accessed by the international community, whether that research is theoretical or experimental, fundamental or applied.

The Journal seeks articles that will be of significant interest to the optics and broader scientific community. As a result, the process for paper acceptance is inherently highly selective.

The acceptance criteria for Optica include:

  1. Significance, potential impact, originality,
  2. High technical quality, integrity and scientific rigor,
  3. Readability, interest to the broader optics and scientific communities.

Optica publishes original research letters (4 pages), research articles (6-8 pages), and mini-reviews (8-12 pages). The Journal has recently introduced memoranda (2 pages); short announcements of particularly exciting breakthroughs and innovations. Comments and Replies will also be published. Incremental work that does not convincingly add new and important results of broad interest to the optics and photonics communities will be declined by Optica.

Submission Information

Is my paper appropriate for Optica? Read about all of our journals here.

Mini-reviews will usually be invited, but authors may contact the Editor-in-Chief (optica@optica.org) to suggest a potential topic if they wish to submit such a paper.

Please see the Author Resource Center for instructions to prepare and submit a manuscript.


Key Journal Metrics

Impact Factor: 11.104*
Immediacy Index: 2.162*
Article Influence Score: 3.969*
Google Scholar h5-index: 98
Median Time to Publication: 129 days

*Source: 2021 Journal Citation Reports® (Clarivate, 2021).
2021 Google Scholar Optics & Photonics Top Publications.

For more information on Journal metrics, click here.

Cover Letter and Editorial Review

A 250-word submission cover letter is required for all memoranda, letters, and research articles. The letter must specifically address the following two items: (1) the conceptual novelty of your work and how it advances the state-of-the-art; and (2) the anticipated major impact on the broader optics and photonics community through enabling new applications, solving important problems, presenting critical data, providing new theoretical insights, etc.

In addition, the title and abstract should be accessible to a general audience. Simple, brief titles tend to be clearer and more attractive to readers. For the abstract, we suggest beginning by giving the context and purpose of the work before outlining the methodology and results. The abstract should conclude with a statement evaluating and indicating any implications of your result. Abstracts for memoranda, however, are limited to 35 words and should be carefully crafted to make the impact of the work clear.

The cover letter and manuscript for letters and research articles will generally be evaluated by two editorial board members—an associate editor in the manuscript's topic area as well as a deputy editor or the Editor-in-Chief—to determine if the paper will proceed to external peer review. When appropriate, the deputy editor or EiC will make the determination themselves. Memoranda will be evaluated in full at this stage and will be accepted or rejected on the basis of editorial review. Every effort will be made to complete this editorial review for all article types within seven business days of submission. It is the editorial policy of Optica not to reveal the name of the associate editor at the editorial review stage.

If the editorial board declines the paper for Optica at the initial review stage but deems it appropriate for further consideration by Optica Publishing Group, the author will receive a decision letter that offers a limited-time option to transfer the manuscript to another Optica Publishing Group journal. See details below.

Peer Review Process

Letters and research articles that pass the initial editorial review will be assigned to a member of the editorial board (associate editor) who will then obtain at least two external peer reviews. The external referees will evaluate the manuscript using these criteria.

Editorial decisions after peer review include:

  1. Accept without revision
  2. Provisional acceptance, minor revisions requested
  3. Revisions requested prior to final decision
  4. Reject, transfer option or resubmission processed as a new manuscript
  5. Reject, decline further consideration

If the associate editor rejects the paper after peer review but deems it appropriate for further consideration by Optica Publishing Group, the author will receive a decision letter that offers a limited-time option to transfer the manuscript with peer reviews to another Optica Publishing Group journal. See details below.

Revised manuscripts may be sent for further review at the discretion of the editor. Generally, the authors' response and the original review comments will be provided for re-review. Every effort will be made to provide a final manuscript decision in a timely manner. On occasion, the editors may receive pertinent information to justify re-evaluation of a paper after it has been accepted. Such matters will be handled judiciously.

The editorial office staff will also review the manuscript title, abstract, introduction and conclusions to judge their effectiveness in engaging the reader, outlining the problem addressed, and communicating the potential impact of the work. Developmental editing will be performed as necessary on accepted manuscripts to ensure broad accessibility for the paper.

Beginning in February 2021, Optica offers the opportunity for authors and reviewers to agree to publish the peer review correspondence (decision letters, anonymous reviewer comments, and author response to reviews) associated with an article. This transparent peer review option is explained as part of the submission process.

Transfer Request

A unique feature of Optica is its transfer request option. Submissions that are initially declined by Optica but that are deemed by the editors to merit consideration by other Optica Publishing Group journals, can be transferred, with the author's permission, to another Optica Publishing Group journal and will carry the original submission date.

The author must activate the transfer request within two weeks of the decision letter from Optica. If the authors are granted the transfer option, details will be provided in their Optica decision letter. The author will submit a request via Prism. The request should include the new Optica Publishing Group journal selection and a brief statement for the new Editor.

The new Editor will approve or decline the transfer request. If approved, the paper will be transferred to the Resubmit Step at the new journal where a resubmission can be completed in adherence with any format/length requirements of the new journal. The original submission date will be retained. If the transfer is declined, any further resubmission will be considered a new manuscript with a new submission date.

Editorial Board

Prem Kumar,
Northwestern University, USA
Deputy Editors
Christophe Dorrer, University of Rochester, USA
Thomas Krauss, University of York, UK
Irina Novikova, College of William & Mary, USA
Nathalie Picqué, Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, Germany
Eric Potma, University of California, Irvine, USA
Siddharth Ramachandran, Boston University, USA
Associate Editors
Igor Aharonovich, University of Technology Sydney, Australia
Ady Arie, Tel-Aviv University, Israel
Lahsen Assoufid, Argonne National Laboratory, USA
Ole Bang, DTU Fotonik, Denmark
George Barbastathis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
Oliver Benson, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany
Pierre Berini, University of Ottawa, Canada
David Brady, University of Arizona, USA
Judith Dawes, Macquarie University, Australia
Sara Ducci, University Paris Diderot, France
Majid Ebrahim-Zadeh, ICFO-The Institute of Photonic Sciences, Spain
Lu Fang, Tsinghua University, China
Kai-Mei Fu, University of Washington, USA
Irene Georgakoudi, Tufts University, USA
Juliet T. Gopinath, University of Colorado at Boulder, USA
Robert Hadfield, University of Glasgow, UK
Amr Helmy, University of Toronto, Canada
Na Ji, University of California at Berkeley, USA
Nan Marie Jokerst, Duke University, USA
Franz Kärtner, Universität Hamburg, Germany
Mercedeh Khajavikhan, University of Southern California, USA
Philippe Lalanne, Institut d'Optique d'Aquitaine, France
Julien Laurat, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, France
Hoi-Kwong Lo, University of Toronto, Canada
Alexander Lvovsky, University of Oxford, UK
Antonio Mecozzi, University of L'Aquila, Italy
Vinod M. Menon, The City University of New York (CUNY), USA
Jerome Mertz, Boston University, USA
Maiken H. Mikkelsen, Duke University, USA
Kaoru Minoshima, The University of Electro-Communications, Japan
Daniel Mittleman, Brown University, USA
Dragomir Neshev, The Australian National University, Australia
Miles Padgett, University of Glasgow, UK
Klaus Petermann, Technische Universität Berlin, Germany
Olivier Pfister, University of Virginia, USA
Michael Pircher, Medical University of Vienna, Austria
Valerio Pruneri, ICFO—The Institute of Photonic Sciences, Spain
Monika Ritsch-Marte, Innsbruck Medical University, Austria
Laura Sinclair, NIST, USA
Melissa Skala, University of Wisconsin - Madison, USA
Volker Sorger, George Washington University, USA
Günter Steinmeyer, Max Born Institute, Germany
Michael Sumetsky, Aston University, UK
Anna Sytchkova, ENEA Optical Coatings Lab, Italy
Hiroki Takesue, NTT Basic Research Laboratories, Japan
Steven J. van Enk, University of Oregon, USA
Peter van Loock, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Germany
Ivo Vellekoop, University of Twente, the Netherlands
Laura Waller, University of California, Berkeley, USA
Daniel Wasserman, University of Texas Austin, USA
Sharon Weiss, Vanderbilt University, USA
Gerard Wysocki, Princeton University, USA
Vladislav Yakovlev, Texas A&M University, USA
Zongfu Yu, University of Wisconsin - Madison, USA
Qiwen Zhan, University of Shanghai for Science and Technology, China
Aleksei M. Zheltikov, Texas A&M University, USA, and M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia


E-mail Phone
Alison Taylor, Executive Editor ataylor@optica.org 202-416-1956
Dan McDonold, Editorial Director optica@optica.org 202-416-1984
Alexine Hart, Senior Managing Editor ahart@optica.org 202-416-1923
Christopher Videll, Director, Production & Technology cvidel@optica.org 202-416-1927
Review proposals optica@optica.org
Article processing charges billing@optica.org
Copyright permission requests copyright@optica.org
Online journal technical support elec@optica.org
Elizabeth Nolan, Chief Publishing Officer
M. Scott Dineen, Senior Director, Publishing, Production & Technology

Embargo Policy

All articles published in Optica are under embargo until 10am Eastern Time on the day of publication.

Our public relations consultant, on behalf of Optica Publishing Group, provides select advance articles and related material to members of the news media for the purpose of issuing news releases and conducting press outreach. These will usually be distributed under embargo 3-5 days before the publication date to our press list and over the EurekAlert! wire service, and the date and time of public release will be clearly stated.

We believe this provides fair access to published research and serves the scientific community, press and public by ensuring that the article is available to everyone at the time the results are reported in the media. It emphasizes the value of peer-review, gives reporters sufficient opportunity to research the work and hence report it accurately, and ensures authors and/or their institutions' public information officers have time to answer questions and coordinate coverage.

Information for Authors

If your paper is chosen to receive media outreach by Optica Publishing Group, you will be notified as soon as possible during the review process, usually just after a decision has been rendered.

Discussion of work under consideration for publication in Optica with other scientists, posting of preprints, and presentation of your results at conferences is acceptable. Our embargo policy is not intended to inhibit scientific communication. If you will be presenting your work after we have notified you that your paper has been chosen to receive promotion to the media however, please let us know.

You should not speak with reporters about your work, or provide them with information that is not publicly available more than 5 days prior to publication. If you do speak with a reporter in that time, the information may only appear in the press after the embargo is lifted on the day of publication.

If you are approached by a reporter, or your institution wants to feature your work and Optica Publishing Group have not selected your paper for outreach, please contact us so that we can coordinate outreach prior to or on the publication date. Do not respond to or reach out to reporters without contacting us first.

By working directly with Optica Public Relations staff on any press outreach related to your work, you are ensuring maximum press coverage, accuracy in reporting and best practices for dealing with the media.

Information for Press

Journalists who wish to be included on our press list should contact mediarelations@optica.org.

We ask that you credit Optica as the source of the results and provide a link to the journal and/or the article in any coverage.

Supporting material including images or videos may be available and should also be credited to the journal as appropriate/indicated.