Optics Letters welcomes a new Editor-in-Chief, Xi-Cheng Zhang (University of Rochester).
© 2013 Optical Society of America
It is my great honor to have been given the opportunity and privilege to serve as the incoming Editor-in-Chief of Optics Letters (OL). This working assignment comes with full trust and high expectations from the optics and photonics community. It is with enthusiasm and a sense of deep humility that I assume this position.
Established in 1977, Optics Letters has been led by extraordinarily distinguished Editors-in-Chief: Robert Terhune (1977–1983), Paul Kelley (1984–1989), Peter Smith (1990–1995), Anthony Johnson (1996–2001), Anthony Campillo (2002–2007), and Alan Willner (2008–2013). Their leadership has not only maintained but increased OL’s excellence. Optics Letters provides rapid dissemination of new results in all areas of optics and photonics with short, original, peer-reviewed communications. 1,755 articles (a new record) were published in 2012, with an average time to publish of 74 days. The concise articles often describe research-in-progress, thus reflecting the leading edge in the “science of light.” With a 2012 Impact Factor of 3.385, Optics Letters is ranked sixth in Impact Factor and third in total citations among the 80 journals in the JCR Optics Category.
When asked to consider candidacy as the 7th Editor-in-Chief of Optics Letters, I consulted colleagues and active researchers, including the Editors-in-Chief of several leading journals: Grover Swartzlander (Journal of the Optical Society of America B), Alan Willner (Optics Letters), Andy Weiner (Optics Express), and Govind Agrawal (Advances in Optics and Photonics). They offered overwhelming encouragement, insightful suggestions, and strong recommendations. While there is robust competition to receive and publish the best papers among the various journals, it is through collaboration and cooperation that we will enhance our strength and open more opportunities.
OL is truly an international journal, with 86% of total submissions and 78% of total published articles coming from outside of the USA. My relationships with a number of major international photonics and optics organizations provide direct links to significant resources that can help the journal. Maintaining these connections will provide important insight and opportunities to understand the overall challenges and promising technologies.
Despite the exciting opportunities, OL does face a number of challenges in:  attracting and publishing original results in optics and photonics in the Letter format,  increasing strategic ideas and action to improve the Impact Factor,  maintaining a short time to publication without compromising quality,  strengthening the editorial screening process with 4-page limitation, and  sustaining excellent communication with full trust among Deputy and Topical Editors.
With strategic planning and intensive networking, we will continue and build on the success of Optics Letters. The dedicated staff revealed immediate solidarity in their warm and professional welcome. The team members that I have worked with through the transition so far have impressed me with their skill and dedication. It will be my pleasure to join them in continuing the OL tradition of excellence.
I also look forward to working with the crucial authors, readers, deputy and topical editors, and other editorial staff members in the coming year. I welcome any suggestions and comments, and would be delighted to receive productive input.
The Institute of Optics, University of Rochester