Abstract

Editor-in-Chief P. Scott Carney closes a year of celebration and recognizes the staff who have produced the Journal for 100 years.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

December marked the end of a yearlong celebration of the 100-year anniversary of The Optical Society (OSA) and 100 years of publication of the Journal of the Optical Society of America (JOSA) and JOSA A and JOSA B. We celebrated the Centennial at OSA Publishing with a special website [1]. Throughout the year we have added highly cited articles, editorials and announcements of historical significance, tributes to the editors who have worked on the Journals over the years, and specially invited perspective papers and article collections from our major areas of coverage. I would like to thank all of our authors and especially Bahaa Saleh, who has compiled our Centennial collections.

In the last 100 years, one of the most profound changes with OSA’s journals has been the transition from a few staff focused on myriad activities at the Society, one of which was to help get articles published, to a permanent professional and dedicated publishing staff centralized at OSA headquarters to handle all aspects of journal publishing, including sales, marketing, editorial, production, and technology. They have overseen the transition from a manual, print, and mail-based journal publishing process with hand-drawn figures to the online era, where OSA’s digital journal platform is considered to be a leader in the field. They continue to provide the backbone that stands us up and the impetus to keep innovating. I consider myself fortunate to be able to work with such outstanding professionals.

Prior to the move to permanent editorial staff, it remained up to each editor-in-chief to set up and maintain an office to handle manuscripts and reviews. I find it simply dizzying to imagine such an undertaking today. Joe Goodman, penultimate editor of JOSA, described the process in a 2007 interview [2]: “We received the manuscripts; the manuscripts were mailed to our editorial office—which, for me, was at home. We logged them in. We kept track of where they went for review and how long they had been out for review. We then accumulated the reviewer’s comments and made decisions, communicated with the authors, asked for revisions, and everything. Everything was mailed back and forth, and it was a fairly time-consuming process—both for me as editor, but also in terms of the time it took to get a final action on a paper.” Running an editorial office from home requires both patience and a great deal of direct support from one’s spouse. Hon Mai Goodman played a key role in keeping JOSA on track and manuscripts moving through the office. Joe also became the first JOSA editor to track manuscripts with the aid of a computer, a state-of-the-art Tandy TRS-80.

Bob Terhune, last editor of JOSA, and founding editor of both JOSA A and B, also ran an office to handle all manuscripts and reviews. He had substantial support from his employer, the Ford Motor Company. He needed it. At one point, Bob ran Optics Letters, JOSA A, and JOSA B simultaneously. To manage all of this, he created, from scratch, writing in machine language, a PC office system to track manuscripts and maintain a searchable database of reviewers.

After the JOSA A and B split, JOSA A passed to Harry Barrett, who again ran the whole operation from an office in Tucson and also relied heavily on his talented and dedicated spouse. The work of Cathy Barrett and Jane Lockwood remains legendary in the optics community today. Authors, reviewers, and topical editors of the time knew they could count on Cathy and Jane to diligently track manuscripts and communicate with all parties. They introduced the routine use of e-mail to organize the topical editors and moved to a new software platform called Editor’s Office, written by Brad Rhodes [3].

Harry had on his editorial team, as he recalled to me, “…an incredibly energetic young editor originally from Egypt. You may know him, Bahaa Saleh.” Indeed, we would soon all know Bahaa, his work, and his passion for the field. Bahaa followed Harry as JOSA A editor-in-chief and ushered in the current organization of the Journal. As Bahaa put it, he did not yet have a spouse to help run the Journal. The database of reviewers and the handling of manuscripts all transferred to Jan Fleming and Mary Ann Searby at OSA headquarters in Washington, D.C. According to Bahaa [2], “And that was quite a relief, because then the editor could really focus on issues of decision-making, and feature issues, which became very important at that time, and selection of the associate editors, and all of the functions that are of an intellectual nature. So my experience was much easier, relatively.”

So we come to the modern age and my own experience five editors-in-chief later. Today, OSA publishing is maintained by an amazing staff of professionals permanently headquartered in the Washington, D.C., office. An extensive team runs a modern, efficient system to provide an outlet and to promote the best work in optics today.

Submitted manuscripts are checked for standards compliance and moved into the queue by Shyla Lapidez and Marco Dizon. The manuscript is then on a path through the guts of the Prism system. I make editorial assignments to a team of topical editors who are tended and managed by Dan McDonold, our Editorial Director and a man who knows how to use a hyphen. The peer review process is guided by Nicole (Nikki) Williams-Jones, our Peer Review Coordinator, and Carmelita Washington, Peer Review Manager, who track just how long the process is taking and do their best to keep us moving along. Accepted papers happily move on to Scott Mullin and Alexine Hart, our Managing Editors, for copyediting, composition, and posting. Not all manuscripts are equally beautiful when they reach Scott’s and Alexine’s desks, but they are all impeccably edited when they emerge and are posted online. M. Scott Dineen, Senior Director of Publishing Production & Technology, and Christopher Videll, Director of Production & Technology, mastermind the publication and archiving of papers on OSA Publishing’s online platform and in print.

Once published, papers fall under the domain of Bob Sumner, our Marketing Manager, Daphne Greenwood, our Senior Director of Marketing & Sales, I. Sika Dunyoh, our Director of Publishing Marketing, and Meredith Rountree, Marketing Specialist, who between them make sure the world knows about the great stuff happening in optics and photonics via OSA Publishing.

Finally, there are people who do not slot neatly into the chain of events it takes to get papers published but without whom the whole operation would fall down. Rachelle K. Stover is our Editorial Development Manager. I think this means she manages me and hopes I will someday develop. Just in the part of her role visible to me, Rachelle tracks our special projects such as feature issues and tutorials. She organizes our monthly team calls and patiently puts all of the data available into a form I can at least digest and act on. Kelly Cohen served for years as the Manuscripts Director and now serves as Senior Publisher at OSA, part spiritual leader, part meeting organizer, and part ombudsman. Kelly keeps us all inspired and focused on our mission. Alison Taylor is our Executive Editor. Alison joined the OSA publishing team just about the same time I became Deputy Editor in 2014, taking on a newly created position. I am not sure how my predecessors survived without her. A Ph.D. physicist and extraordinary publishing professional, Alison brings together the high standards of OSA Publishing and the passion for optics we feel in the community. I regularly look to Alison for guidance and ideas and I am never disappointed. Managing the whole affair is Elizabeth Nolan, Deputy Executive Director and Chief Publishing Officer of OSA. We all owe so very much to Elizabeth and her leadership at OSA during years of change and growth in the scientific publishing world. Elizabeth could run anything and do it well, and I am grateful she has chosen OSA as an outlet for her talents.

I wrote earlier this year [4] about the extraordinary volunteers who serve on the editorial team at JOSA A. We are all just as indebted to the professionals who make the Journals of OSA such a valuable part of our scientific careers. As we stand at the start of our next 100 years at OSA, I am excited to be part of such a great team.

P. Scott Carney
Editor-in-Chief, JOSA A
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

REFERENCES

1. https://www.osapublishing.org/josa100/.

2. The Optical Society, Oral History Project, Past and Present JOSA Editors, Interview with Joe Goodman, Robert Terhune, and Bahaa Saleh, Conducted on September 19, 2007, P. KelleyT. Campillo, eds. http://www.osa.org/en-us/media_library/osa_history/interviews/past-president-panel-demaria,-eberly,-stoiche-(3)/.

3. H. H. Barrett (personal communication, 2015).

4. P. S. Carney, “The dedicated volunteers of JOSA A: editorial,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 33, ED3–ED6 (2016). [CrossRef]  

References

  • View by:

  1. https://www.osapublishing.org/josa100/ .
  2. The Optical Society, Oral History Project, Past and Present JOSA Editors, Interview with Joe Goodman, Robert Terhune, and Bahaa Saleh, Conducted on September 19, 2007, P. Kelley and T. Campillo, eds. http://www.osa.org/en-us/media_library/osa_history/interviews/past-president-panel-demaria,-eberly,-stoiche-(3)/ .
  3. H. H. Barrett (personal communication, 2015).
  4. P. S. Carney, “The dedicated volunteers of JOSA A: editorial,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 33, ED3–ED6 (2016).
    [Crossref]

2016 (1)

J. Opt. Soc. Am. A (1)

Other (3)

https://www.osapublishing.org/josa100/ .

The Optical Society, Oral History Project, Past and Present JOSA Editors, Interview with Joe Goodman, Robert Terhune, and Bahaa Saleh, Conducted on September 19, 2007, P. Kelley and T. Campillo, eds. http://www.osa.org/en-us/media_library/osa_history/interviews/past-president-panel-demaria,-eberly,-stoiche-(3)/ .

H. H. Barrett (personal communication, 2015).

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