Applied Optics has had a long and distinguished history of content related to optics and photonics in the life sciences. Many seminal papers in tissue optics, biomedical spectroscopy, biomedical optical imaging, and biological microscopy have appeared in these pages. Many topical editors with specific expertise in biomedical optics have served the journal with distinction, and the Division of Biomedical Optics was launched as the fourth independent Division of the journal in 2006. Due to the outstanding quality of biomedical content throughout all of its journals and continued rapid growth anticipated in this area, this fall the OSA is launching a new peer-reviewed journal devoted specifically to biomedical optics and photonics. Biomedical Optics Express will become OSA’s principal outlet for serving the biomedical optics community with rapid, open-access publication of content related to optics, photonics, and imaging in the life sciences. The new journal will offer many features of particular interest to biomedical authors, including free color figures, movies, animations, and live reference links. Authors will also be able to take advantage of interactive science publishing (ISP) capability for online visualization of large datasets, and automated submission of published articles to PubMed Central to assist in compliance with federal open-access requirements. Although authors will initially not be charged for publishing in Biomedical Optics Express (no author fees in the first year of publication and reduced fees in the second), the open-access publishing model requires that authors and their funding sponsors eventually offset the bulk of publication costs through author fees.

In order to support consolidation of biomedical content in the new journal, Applied Optics will close its Division of Biomedical Optics by the end of 2010 and encourage all authors to consider submitting their work to Biomedical Optics Express. The Division will officially close for submissions on August 31, 2010 and will attempt to publish all remaining manuscripts under review by the end of the year. Despite the closure of the Division, however, there may remain circumstances under which some authors may prefer to submit and publish selected manuscripts with biomedical content to Applied Optics. Such submissions will remain welcome, and should be submitted to the most appropriate of the other Divisions, whether Optical Technology, Information Processing, or Lasers, Photonics, and Environmental Optics.

We thank the biomedical optics community for its longstanding support of Applied Optics, and join in welcoming Biomedical Optics Express to OSA’s portfolio of journals.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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