Incoming Editor-in-Chief Kurt Busch expresses his gratitude to his predecessors and outlines some of his goals for his term.

© 2019 Optical Society of America

About 25 years ago, I had my first experience of publishing in an international scientific journal. Shortly after my first paper was accepted, I received a request to review a manuscript. This experience, namely, analyzing the reviewers’ reports I received on my own paper (and revising it where appropriate) and then having to provide a (at least in my view) balanced report on someone else’s manuscript, made a lasting impression on me. I had, of course, studied many scientific articles before, but only when I started writing and reviewing myself did I realize the importance of constructive feedback from expert reviewers and the effort it takes to run a high-quality scientific journal. As a result of that initial experience, I came to firmly believe that contributing to the scientific publication process is both a privilege and a responsibility.

Over the years, I have thus served as guest editor of special issues and as a topical editor of the Journal of the Optical Society of America B (JOSA B). In the latter capacity, I had the honor of working with two outstanding Editors-in-Chief, Henry van Driel and Grover Swartzlander. Together with the excellent OSA Publishing staff and dedicated topical and deputy editors, Prof. van Driel and Prof. Swartzlander have managed to steer through challenging times, where JOSA B, with its broad outlook on fundamental aspects of light–matter interaction, had to compete with a multitude of journals with rather narrow foci. They accomplished this by introducing a modern and appealing layout, a relentless hunt for feature issues on “hot topics,” and the implementation of the novel, soon-to-appear class of invited tutorial articles.

Presently, JOSA B stands on very solid ground and all the relevant gauges are pointing in a positive direction: the number of articles (submitted and published) remains steady, the impact factor has increased slightly, and—most importantly for an archival journal such as JOSA B—the cited half-life has passed the ten-year mark.

As the incoming Editor-in-Chief of JOSA B, it is thus a distinct pleasure and privilege to express a heartfelt “Thank you very much!” to Prof. Van Driel, Prof. Swartzlander, the past and present topical and deputy editors, and the OSA staff for having done such a superb job. While I am very confident that I will enjoy the same dedication from the OSA staff and the topical and deputy editors, it is clear to me that keeping up the standards and quality JOSA B represents will be a tall order. Then again, I have had the opportunity to learn from the best.

In particular, besides maintaining the very good metrics and high quality of the published articles, I would like to continue and further develop the popular collection of feature issues, as well as ensure the success of the new tutorial articles. After all, they make maximum use of the unique advantages of an archival journal such as JOSA B and provide a valuable service to our community, which is at the heart of why this Journal exists. And since it benefits all of us, I cordially invite the entire readership of JOSA B to contribute to this endeavor!

Kurt Busch
Editor-in-Chief, JOSA B
Humboldt University of Berlin

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