New Editor-in-Chief Ron Driggers begins his tenure and outlines his philosophy on the future of Applied Optics.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

Happy New Year from the new editor of Applied Optics! I hope your holidays were fantastic and that this year is a new and exciting experience for all of you. I know that it will be a first for me in many ways. One way is that I am honored to lead Applied Optics and to serve the great number of scientists and engineers who interact with Applied Optics, including editors, authors, subscribers, readers, and the optics community overall.

I come to you as the past editor of Optical Engineering. It was a pleasure to work with the publication staff and the senior and associate editors at Optical Engineering. Together, we improved the quality of the journal and raised its impact factor. My experience as editor of Optical Engineering and as a former topical editor of Applied Optics has helped prepare me for this new role.

In early December I met the publications staff of Applied Optics in Washington, D.C. It is clear to me that the next three years will be productive and we will be making a difference together. They are fun people who are also serious professionals. They run the journal with the latest technologies and the goal of providing the best journal service to our constituency. Their ideas and enthusiasm are contagious. I want to thank them for a warm welcome to the team.

Joseph Mait is the outgoing editor-in-chief. He has not only retained the high quality Applied Optics is known for, but he has grown the journal in certain areas such as the new Engineering and Lab Notes effort. Joe is one of the hardest working and brightest people I have ever met. It is an honor to follow him and the other distinguished editors who have made Applied Optics such a highly cited journal (a journal with a citation half-life of nine years). Thank you to Joe, for his service and leadership.

I have a few philosophies for leading a journal. As long as I can remember, the requirement for manuscript acceptance of any journal has been that the work is both significant and original. Journals state this as a requirement for acceptance. It seems over the past decade or two that many authors have adopted a position that if their paper is original and if it is correct, then they have the right to paper acceptance. This is an incorrect assumption if you take the significance requirement seriously, and I do. Is the paper interesting? Is the paper relevant to today’s problems? Is the paper a major breakthrough? If a paper is not likely to be downloaded, read, and cited, then it should not be accepted. This is the direction that I will provide to the Applied Optics editors to ensure the journal provides authors with an outlet for their significant work (it makes their journal paper worthwhile) and it provides journal constituents with a high-quality collection of papers to read.

Finally, I am thankful for the community of editors, authors, reviewers, and readers that supports Applied Optics. As editor-in-chief I welcome your comments, suggestions, questions, and other feedback because there are always opportunities for improvement. You can contact me at aomss@osa.org. With your continued support, Applied Optics will have another successful year.

Ron DriggersEditor-in-Chief, Applied Optics

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