Editor-in-Chief Alexander Gaeta announces a new article type for Optica. Memoranda will be brief announcements of breakthroughs or innovations that deserve extremely rapid publication and dissemination.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

Starting this July, on the second anniversary of the launch of the Journal, Optica will begin offering authors and readers a fourth type of paper, Memorandum. This is in addition to Letter, Article, and Mini-Review. This new format is in the spirit of the “Letters to the Editor” that were an important part of the publishing spectrum decades ago but have largely disappeared as a format for announcing results, having morphed into the currently familiar four- or five-page short-paper format.

The key characteristics of this new paper type are impact, brevity, and extremely short time to publication. Each one will present a succinct announcement of an important new result that should be disseminated to the community quickly. This was the original intent of Letters to the Editor for journals in the distant past. As OSA’s open access journal for high-impact results, Optica’s wide availability and prestige mean it is perfectly placed to offer this to today’s optics and photonics community.

We expect to publish very few Optica memoranda. It is not every day that scientists make the type of breakthrough or innovation we intend these articles to represent. Our criteria for acceptance will be high. When we do find something worthy of the label however, we will process it as quickly as possible, aiming to publish within 4–6 weeks after initial submission—sooner where possible. To accomplish this, we will make use of Optica’s existing rapid editorial review process.

Our editorial board consists of prominent, active scientists, each expert in his or her own topic area. Two of them will review each submitted Memorandum within five business days. Only if a paper is acceptable as-is or with very minor revisions will it be accepted for publication. Note that we will not be seeking further comments from external reviewers for these papers.

Memoranda will be subject to other basic requirements. Each will be a maximum of two journal pages long, and there is a 35-word limit on abstracts. The abstract in particular should be crafted such that it can be understood by a wide audience and must make the impact of the result clear. We will not allow supplementary text, although multimedia and supporting data are welcome.

I am very pleased to be able to highlight our first Memorandum as we launch this new feature. In this issue, we are publishing an announcement of an integrated silicon photonic network on a chip from John Bowers’ group at the University of California at Santa Barbara [1], which illustrates the principles I have described well.

As one of OSA’s society-owned and published journals, Optica serves the optics and photonics community. Ultimately, I believe this development will further establish the Journal as a highly attractive outlet for the highest-impact research in optics and photonics, enabling us to serve that community better. As always, we welcome feedback from you, the community, on this or any other aspect of the Journal.

Alexander Gaeta
Editor-in-Chief Optica


1. C. Zhang, S. Zhang, J. D. Peters, and J. E. Bowers, Optica 3, 785 (2016). [CrossRef]  


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  1. C. Zhang, S. Zhang, J. D. Peters, and J. E. Bowers, Optica 3, 785 (2016).

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