I moved to Washington, DC, from Memphis in 1995, and now consider myself a native. It’s interesting to me that it usually takes a decade or two before people around here commit to actually being from here. Until then, they are usually just visiting or they are “from” somewhere else. One of my favorite quotes about DC came from John F. Kennedy: “Washington is a city of Southern efficiency and Northern charm.” When I hear his quote (from many around here), I chuckle, “that just about sums it up.” Kennedy had another good quote: “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” SPIE’s journals are not going to miss the future, and now is an exciting time for change in all of SPIE’s journals, including Optical Engineering. These changes are what I want to talk about in this editorial.
SPIE is implementing a new open access program in 2013. Starting in January, all new papers published in SPIE journals for which authors pay voluntary page charges will be open access at publication. As you know, paying modest page charges contributes to the sustainment of the journals. The voluntary pages charges will be $100 per published two-column page. The timing of open access will be immediate upon online publication. This occurs after articles are copyedited and typeset and the license has been received. A Creative Commons noncommercial attribution license (see http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/) will be used when authors pay publication charges so that the authors retain copyright. Articles will continue to be copyedited to ensure clarity, quality, and accuracy. Typesetting will continue to optimize presentation. SPIE will continue to publish papers for authors who cannot pay the voluntary page charges, but these papers will not be open access. In addition to the open access benefit, I also encourage you to pay page charges because Optical Engineering cannot exist without this support.
We are excited about this new approach to publishing SPIE journals and think it will serve authors and readers alike with improved access. The SPIE staff spent a great deal of time and effort analyzing ways to accomplish open access for SPIE journals, and I believe that this approach is by far the best path forward. It is a bold approach with a huge step toward open access, while balancing the costs associated with review and production. SPIE continues to seek the best way to support the Optical Engineering community and optimize the tools needed for outstanding science, technology, and engineering. I would like to thank the SPIE staff for developing this great program.
There is another good quote about Washington, DC. Although I could not find a reference, I am pretty sure it was from Woodrow Wilson, whose namesake bridge I drive across every day. It goes something like this: “Washington is the city where people are doing poorly what they ought not be doing at all.” At SPIE and Optical Engineering, we are doing the right things well and improving all the time.