What's real and what isn't? This seems to us a useful framework for a year-end look at Optics Express. From viewpoints that are either too close or too distant, perceptions of reality can be distorted, and sometimes a reality check is needed. Let's say that the inside view of Optics Express is the one the Editorial Board and the OSA staff have, and the outside view is the one readers, authors and reviewers have. From both sides achievements and shortfalls are evident.
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