OPN’s Year in Optics

The submission period for OPN’s Optics in 2023 special issue has ended. Submissions for the Optics in 2024 issue will be received beginning in January 2024.

Each year, the December issue of Optics & Photonics News—the monthly magazine of Optica (formerly OSA)—highlights the most exciting optics research to emerge in the preceding 12 months.

The process

Summaries are judged by a team of 5-6 Optica members in September of each year, and final selections are made by the guest editor of the special issue. Authors will be informed of whether their work has been accepted by early October. Over the following weeks, the editorial team at Optics & Photonics News will work closely with the authors of accepted papers to prepare their articles for final publication.

The deadline for submissions is 31 August, 23:59 U.S. Eastern Daylight Time (UTC-4).


Authors should submit summaries in Word format (TeX and PDF submissions are not accepted). The Word document should include all authors, affiliations and corresponding-author information.

Submissions are judged on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Summaries should be no more than 500 words in length, including title, figure captions and references. Longer summaries may be disqualified.

  • A two-sentence abstract, to be used in some online postings (and not included in the 500-word length limit) should be included at the end of the summary document.

  • Summaries may not contain more than five references. One of the references should cite the paper that is the subject of the summary.

  • Summaries should include only one high-resolution figure or image (jpeg, eps or tiff). Authors are encouraged to avoid complex, multi-part figures and instead to rely on simple, compelling visuals that help illuminate the main point of the summary.

  • Additional multimedia files (videos or animations) are encouraged but not required. Other supporting material, such as cover letters or supplemental data, will not be reviewed and should not be included in the submission.

  • To appear in the Year in Optics issue for the current calendar year, the accomplishments described must have been published in a peer-reviewed journal sometime after July of the previous calendar year. The paper should be included in the reference list of the summary.

  • Highlighted research should be described in a clear, concise manner that is readily accessible to the at-large optics community.

  • The author or authors should describe the topical area as a whole and then discuss the importance of their work in that context.

  • Summaries should represent the best work in a given optics subfield. Thus, we discourage multiple submissions from the same individual or group.

  • Since we try to recognize all subfields, we may not accept multiple submissions from one research group in a single, concentrated area of focus. OPN strives to ensure that engineering, basic science and technology are all well represented.

Cover art

We welcome cover art submissions from contributors whose summaries are selected for publication. We are looking for high-impact images that highlight an aspect of optics. All images should be high resolution (at least 2,500 x 3,300 pixels at 72 dpi or 8.5" x 11" at 300 dpi. Note: Please do not submit cover candidates until after a publication decision has been made on your submission.

More information

If you have additional questions about the Year in Optics special issue, please contact the Optics & Photonics News editorial team at opn-year-in-optics@optica.org.