Advanced Photonics

Xiao-Cong (Larry) Yuan, Shenzhen University, China
Anatoly Zayats, King's College London, United Kingdom

Co-published by SPIE and Chinese Laser Press, Advanced Photonics is a highly selective, open access, international journal publishing innovative research in all areas of optics and photonics, including fundamental and applied research.

On the cover: The figure is based on research presented in the article " Adaptive-sampling near-Doppler-limited terahertz dual-comb spectroscopy with a free-running single-cavity fiber laser" by Jie Chen et al., from Vol. 2, Issue 3.

Submission Guidelines

Please read these guidelines fully and carefully before submitting.

All manuscripts should be submitted through the Advanced Photonics ScholarOne online system ( You will need to create an account before you submit, unless you already have a ScholarOne account for other CLP journals, including Chinese Optics Letters and High Power Laser Science and Engineering.

When completing the online submission form, please follow these guidelines:

1. Submission Method:

Note that if you are uploading an EndNote manuscript via the system, sections of the submission form will be populated automatically.

2. Manuscript Information:

  • The Title & Abstract should match your uploaded manuscript. You may use the “Special Characters” function to insert a special character.
  • Enter three to six keywords for the submission. Select one subject from the existing list.
  • The Cover Letter can be entered directly into the system or uploaded as a separate file in .docx or .pdf format.

3. Authors:

  • All the authors’ names, institutions, and email addresses should be added. Only one author can be selected as the corresponding author.
  • Use the function “ Find using Author’s email address” when adding a co-author. If no co-author is found, please click “ create a new co-author” to add the information for this author yourself.

4. Please view the PDF and HTML proof before submitting.

5. Please note that all items marked with an asterisk (*) in the submission form are required.

Before Submitting

Publication Policies

The following requirements will permit you to determine if you can submit a paper to Advanced Photonics.

Significance: Contributions should be substantial and significant in content. We may decline to publish papers that report only incremental progress. Although a paper may be correct and appropriate for Advanced Photonics, if it does not demonstrate, in the estimation of the reviewers and editors, sufficient new and important information to warrant publication, or provide a comprehensive review of the current state of the art, it will be declined. Manuscripts that are commercial in nature will not be considered.

Originality: Papers should describe the original work of the authors that has not been previously published in a refereed journal and is not currently under consideration for publication in another refereed journal. Advanced Photonics does not allow or sanction duplicate or concurrent submissions of a paper to more than one peer-reviewed journal. Papers should not report work that the author has already published in another refereed journal. Any copying of text, figures, data, or results of other authors without giving credit is defined as plagiarism and is a breach of professional ethics. Such papers will be rejected and other penalties may be assessed. 

Guidelines for Ethical Publishing

The purpose of these guidelines is to present ethical guidelines for authors, editors, and reviewers to abide by when submitting to or editing/reviewing for Advanced Photonics.

Authors are expected to read the Guidelines for Ethical Publishing prior to submission.


Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the concept, design, execution or interpretation of the research study. All those who have made significant contributions should be offered the opportunity to be listed as authors. Other individuals who have contributed to the study should be acknowledged, but not identified as authors. The sources of financial support for the project should be disclosed.

All collaborators share some degree of responsibility for any paper they coauthor. Some coauthors have responsibility for the entire paper as an accurate, verifiable, report of the research. These include, for example, coauthors who are accountable for the integrity of the critical data reported in the paper, carry out the analysis, write the manuscript, present major findings at conferences, or provide scientific leadership for junior colleagues.

Coauthors who make specific, limited, contributions to a paper are responsible for them, but may have only limited responsibility for other results. While not all coauthors may be familiar with all aspects of the research presented in their paper, all collaborations should have in place an appropriate process for reviewing and ensuring the accuracy and validity of the reported results, and all coauthors should be aware of this process.

Every coauthor should have the opportunity to review the manuscript before its submission. All coauthors have an obligation to provide prompt retractions or correction of errors in published works. Any individual unwilling or unable to accept appropriate responsibility for a paper should not be a coauthor.

Collaborations are expected to have a process to archive and verify the research record; to facilitate internal communication and allow all authors to be fully aware of the entire work; and respond to questions concerning the joint work and enable other responsible scientists to share the data. All members of a collaboration should be familiar with, and understand, the process.

For guidance on preventing and resolving authorship problems, see “ How to handle authorship disputes: a guide for new researchers” (a resource from the Committee on Publication Ethics).

Plagiarism Screening

SPIE defines plagiarism as the reuse of someone else's prior ideas, processes, results, or words without explicit attribution of the original author and source. Unauthorized use of another researcher’s unpublished data or findings without permission is considered to be a form of plagiarism even if the source is attributed. SPIE considers plagiarism in any form, at any level, to be unacceptable and a serious breach of professional conduct.

CrossCheck logoSPIE and CLP use the Crossref Similarity Check plagiarism screening service to detect instances of overlapping and similar text in submitted manuscripts. Crossref Similarity Check Leaving site is a multipublisher initiative to screen published and submitted content for originality.

Use of Human Subjects and Animals

All authors are expected to observe internationally accepted principles and practices related to the ethical conduct of research involving the use of human subjects or animals. A brief statement must be included in the manuscript identifying the institutional oversight or licensing body that approved the studies. For studies involving human subjects, a statement must also be included confirming that informed consent was either obtained from all subjects or this requirement was waived by the oversight body.

Authors must obtain written permission from the subject (or parent/guardian, if the subject is a minor child) to publish a photograph with an identifiable human face. Such photographs should be used only when scientifically relevant.

Preparing a Manuscript


Manuscripts should be submitted in English, and the presentation should be as succinct as comprehension will permit. Manuscripts are reviewed and refereed. Those accepted for publication are edited for conformance to the journal's style.

How to Write a Good Scientific Paper by Chris Mack is a useful guide on writing for a peer-reviewed journal. Click here to download the full PDF of this free ebook.

Cover Letter

Authors are required to include a separate cover letter with their submission explaining the significance and novelty of the work, the problem that is being addressed, and why the manuscript belongs in this journal. This cover letter sample (.docx) can be used as a template.

English Language Editing

If you are not a native English speaker, we recommend that your manuscript be professionally edited prior to submission.  Advanced Photonics authors will receive a 15% discount off the language editing services provided by Editage, a recommended independent editorial service. More detailed information can be found at

Editage Banner

Manuscript Types

Original Paper: A full-length manuscript presenting original work intended as a regular contribution to the journal.

Letter: A short technical communication of significant interest intended for publication in the Letters section of the journal. The manuscript length should not exceed five published journal pages. This corresponds to approximately 5000 words; however, the inclusion of figures will necessitate a reduction in the word count. 

Review Paper: An article reviewing a particular topic or field. Review articles summarize progress made in a particular research or development area during a specified period and summarize the current state of the art. Review papers are invited papers written by a highly regarded expert in the field. Authors may also propose a review article by emailing an inquiry to the Co-Editors-in-Chief or to the staff at or

News and Commentary: A description of news or opinions on a topic of general interest to the readers of Advanced Photonics. Potential authors are encouraged to contact the Co-Editors-in-Chief with proposals.

Manuscript Templates

To make your initial submission process as easy as possible, as well as to make it easier for the editors and referees to review your manuscript, for the initial submission we only require a single document containing the manuscript and figures, along with any supporting multimedia files. The document may be in MS Word, LaTeX, or PDF. The figures and their captions should be placed within the manuscript, near the first mention each figure in the text. Upon acceptance, authors will be asked to submit individual figure files and a properly formatted manuscript for use in production.

Microsoft Word: A Microsoft Word template (.docx) is available to assist you with formatting. Use MathType for equations. Or, if using MS Word 2007 or later, the native equation editor can be used, but the document must be saved as .docx. Backsaving to .doc format will convert all equations to low-resolution graphics, which cannot be used for typesetting. Please note that all accepted papers are professionally typeset; the template is intended only as a guideline for author convenience, and it is not necessary to rigidly adhere to the format.

LaTeX: A LaTeX template (.zip) is available to assist you with formatting, or you can use the Overleaf authoring tool explained below. LaTeX submissions should include the manuscript, a locally compiled PDF, the bibliography, all referenced style files (such as .cls, .bst, .sty, etc.), and all figures and tables. Please note that all accepted papers are professionally typeset; the template is intended only as a guideline for author convenience, and it is not necessary to rigidly adhere to the format.

Overleaf    The SPIE journal template is now available in the Overleaf authoring tool. Originally developed to simplify LaTeX authorship, this free online tool has numerous benefits, including:

  • real-time collaboration between authors
  • an intuitive user interface
  • user support and LaTeX help
  • easy document sharing and security options
  • real-time preview of formatting and equations
  • inline error warnings
  • a rich-text mode that will look familiar to collaborators who are more comfortable authoring in Microsoft Word
  • quick submission to an SPIE journal by following the link "Submit to SPIE Journals" at the top of the Overleaf template.

The SPIE Journal template can be found on Overleaf, along with helpful LaTeX tutorials and a free introductory course for authors who are new to Overleaf and LaTeX. If you encounter any problems using the SPIE LaTeX template on Overleaf, please contact their support team via and they will help you resolve the issue.


Parts of a Manuscript


The title of your paper should be descriptive and concise.

  • Acronyms should be spelled out.
  • Titles should not begin with the articles A, An, or The.
  • Avoid use of the words "new" or "novel" in the title.

Authors and Affiliations

Provide full author names, including given name and family name. These names will be used in official databases and indexes. Initials are not allowed for the given name. Provide full affiliations, including institution, department, street address, city, postal code, and country. An email address should be provided for the corresponding author, and this person should be noted with a footnote.


The abstract should be a summary of the paper and not an introduction (200 words maximum). Because the abstract may be used in abstracting journals, it should be self-contained (i.e., no numerical references) and substantive in nature, presenting concisely the objectives, methodology used, results obtained, and their significance. For further guidelines, please read the brief article titled " How to Write an Abstract Open PDF," by Philip Koopman. (Courtesy of Philip Koopman, Carnegie Mellon University.) Abstracts should not make claims of novelty, as publication implies novelty.

Plain-Language Summary

You have the option to include a short summary of your research (200 words maximum) and its potential applications. This research summary may be used by the journal for promotion of significant work. Nonspecialist readers of the summary should be able to understand the language used and the significance of the research. The summary should provide an accurate description of the importance of the research without overstating the potential impact of the paper. 

Subject terms or keywords

Keywords are required. Please provide 3-6 keywords related to your paper.


Type manuscript in a single column, using a readable font size (for example, 12-point type). Please add page numbers. Note the following style points:

  • Journal style does not permit use of bold and italic font for emphasis; these styles should be reserved for formatting math. 
  • Words should be spelled using American English. 
  • Spell out all abbreviations and acronyms at first use. 
  • Metric units should be used unless to do so is not feasible or would result in a serious loss of clarity. 
  • Footnotes are not allowed for the main body of the text.


Create equations using MathType or Equation Editor 3.0. If using Word 2007 or later, the native equation editor can be used, but the document must be saved as .docx. When equations built with Microsoft's Editor are back-saved to the .doc format, they are converted to low-resolution graphics and will not be usable for composition. To use MathType or the old Equation Editor 3.0, you will need to select Object on the Text section of the Insert tab and then select MathType/Equation Editor in the drop-down menu. Variables should be written in italic font.


Biographies of authors are published with each paper. Manuscripts should include a brief professional biography not to exceed 75 words. Authors are also encouraged to add their biography and photograph to their online SPIE profile on the SPIE website at


Any figures, tables, or equations in appendices should continue the numbering sequence established in the body of the paper. Appendices may not be consist of only tables and figures; they must also include explanatory text and captions.


Conflicts of interest should be declared under a "Disclosures" header, above Acknowledgments. If the authors have no competing interests to declare, then a statement should be included declaring no conflicts of interest. For assistance generating a disclosure statement, see the form available from  the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors website:

Acknowledgments/Funding Sources

Use this section to identify people who have aided the authors in accomplishing the work presented and to acknowledge sources of funding. Include grant numbers and the full name of the funding body. Funding information will be deposited to FundRefLeaving site.


The purpose of a reference is to make the source easy for the reader to locate. To this end, each reference should provide as much information as is available. The basic elements of a reference include author names (including first initials), article/chapter title, journal or book title, volume number, issue number, page range, and year of publication. References are professionally copyedited on accepted manuscripts to conform to journal style, and authors do not need to spend a lot of time adapting references to the journal's reference format, so long as all of the required information is present.

References to published literature should be listed at the end of the manuscript and numbered consecutively in the order of their citation in the text. In-text citations can use superscript or bracketed reference numbers. Private communications or unpublished reports should be treated as references. Click here for sample book, journal, and Internet references. For references with three or fewer authors, list all authors. For references with four or more authors, list the first author only followed by "et al."

Artwork Preparation

General Figure Guidelines: Figures must be submitted in EPS, TIFF, PNG, or PDF format for publication. We cannot accept application files, i.e., Corel Draw, Microsoft Word, etc. Number all figures in the order that they appear in the text. All figure parts/panels must be labeled (a), (b), etc. Submit high-resolution figures. The quality of the published figure is only as good as the original file—it cannot be improved by the typesetter.

Advanced Photonics strongly discourages the use of the Lena (Lenna) image. Authors are advised to use other suitable images to illustrate and compare image processing algorithms. Authors who submit new manuscripts containing the Lena image will be asked to replace the image with a substitute image if they cannot provide a convincing scientific justification for its use.

Figure Permissions: If the figure is derived from a previously published image, the author must obtain permission from the original copyright holder, who may be the publisher and/or the author. Once permission is granted, the figure caption should include the line "Reproduced with permission, courtesy of [copyright owner]," or the publisher's required copyright statement. Many permissions can be obtained via the Copyright Clearance Center Leaving site.

Figure Requirements:

File types EPS, TIFF, PNG, PDF, or PS
Dimensions Figures will be reduced to a maximum width of 3 and 5/16 in. for single-column layout, and a maximum width of 6 and 3/4 in. for two-column layout.
Background Avoid graphs with shaded, transparent, or grid backgrounds. The background should be white.
Colored lines All line art should be distinguishable in grayscale. If colored lines are used, please add symbols or dot-dash textures to distinguish lines in all graphs.
Line weight Ensure that line weights will be 0.5 points or greater in the final published size. Light-colored lines do not show up when printed in grayscale.
Alpha channel No
Compression LZW with .tiff files
Resolution 300-600 pixels per inch (ppi). Enlarge to 150% to check for jagged or blurry lines, indicating low resolution.
Layers Flattened, no layers
Color mode RGB or CMYK
Text No smaller than 8 pt. Use a clear and readable font such as Times, Arial, or Symbol.
Captions Do not include in image file. Captions should be listed separately within the manuscript and contain descriptions of all labeled figure parts (a), (b), etc.
File size Should not exceed 2-3 MB per figure
Multipart figures All parts should be included in one file, on one page. For example, if Figure 1 contains three parts (a, b, c), then all of the labeled parts should be combined in a single file for Figure 1.


Tables should be built in Word, Excel (embedded in Word), or LaTeX. They should not contain graphics. Tables containing images must be numbered as figures. Colored fonts will not appear in the typeset version, so bold and italic should be used for emphasis instead. Explain use of bold or italic in the caption or table footnote. Do not use shading. Very large tables may be vertically oriented, or they may span multiple typeset pages. A caption must be included with the table.


Multimedia files that are integral to the understanding of the research presented in the manuscript may be submitted according to the following guidelines. 

Video Requirements:

Acceptable file formats, including MOV (.mov), MPEG (.mpg), and MP4 (.mp4), are playable using standard media players such as VLC and Windows Media Player. Standard media players should be used to check file properties and image/sound quality prior to submission.

    Because the speed of Internet connections varies, a recommended maximum size for each video file is 10-12 MB.

    If videos are included as part of an existing figure, they should be described and identified within the figure caption. The media file type and file size should be included in parentheses at the end of the caption; e.g., (MPEG, 2.5 MB). For example:

    Fig. 1 Confocal microscopic images of red blood cells in (a) an isotonic buffer (Video 1) and (b) a hypertonic buffer (Video 2) in three different viewing projections (Video 1, MPEG, 3.1 MB; Video 2, MPEG, 4.2 MB).

    Stand-alone videos should be accompanied by a representative still image. This image should be treated as a figure, numbered in sequence, and submitted in one of the accepted figure file formats. A caption describing the content of the video file is required, similar to a typical figure caption. For example:

    Fig. 4 Photodynamic therapy response of the targeted region (QuickTime, 5 MB).

    Supplementary Material

    Authors may submit supplementary material supporting original research articles. Please indicate whether the supplementary material is intended for publication. The total combined limit for all submission files is ~100 MB; the maximum size for individual supplementary video files is 50 MB.

    Supplementary materials may include figures, tables, text, videos, and code. Supplementary figures should be cited in the main text as Fig. S1, Fig. S2, etc. (Example: “For details about the parameters, refer to Fig. S1 in the Supplemental Materials.”) Likewise, supplementary tables should be cited in the main text as Table S1, Table S2, etc.; supplementary videos, as Video S1, Video S2, etc. If captions are required for supplementary videos, they should be listed in an appendix. Code can be easily incorporated into your journal manuscript via Code Ocean, a cloud-based computational reproducibility platform; see the code guidelines below for details. 

    References citations in the supplementary materials must be included in the full list of references in the main article; if any references are not cited in the main text, they should be listed in order at the end of the main reference list.

    All supplementary material will be assessed for appropriateness and value as supporting information to the submitted manuscript. The journal editor has final authority to decide whether the supplementary material should be published with the article. Authors are responsible for ensuring that any supplemental materials they submit are not subject to any prior copyright.

    Supplementary materials are published as-received from the authors. Most common file formats are acceptable. Questions about supplemental materials may be directed to the SPIE journal staff at


    Software and code are often essential for reproducibility and reuse in new research. Software and code can be easily incorporated into your journal manuscript via Code Ocean. Uniquely, Code Ocean allows you to upload the code, together with its dependencies and any data, so it is executable. Code Ocean supports more than 10 different programming languages. The Code Ocean platform provides open access to the published software code, which can be viewed and downloaded by everyone for free. Users can execute all published code in the cloud, without installing anything on their personal computer. Code Ocean is the recommended platform for sharing code, but other repositories, such as GitHub, Zenodo, etc., may be similarly used as a hosting platform.

    Manuscripts that include code, e.g., an algorithm implementation or analysis, hosted by an external website should mention that code and the name of the repository in the text of the paper or figure caption:

    Example 1:
    The archived version of the code can be freely accessed and executed through Code Ocean.  

    Example 2:
    The code used to generate the results and figures is available in a Github repository.

    If you intend to upload code to Code Ocean, you may do so before or after article acceptance, but prior to publication. Authors of papers that mention code/software on Code Ocean will receive instructions on how to link the code to the article in the author proofs.

    Code Ocean

    Peer Review Process


    All submissions are screened to ensure they meet basic standards of manuscript presentation and are also processed through Crossref Similarity Check. Manuscripts are then evaluated by the Co-Editors-in-Chief (Co-EiCs) and editorial board members (EBMs) to ensure they meet the journal's rigorous scientific standards and are eligible for peer review. Manuscripts that meet these criteria are single-blind reviewed by at least two referees selected by the EBM based on their expertise in the topic. The referees provide detailed comments and recommendations to help the EBM arrive at the appropriate editorial decision. Revised manuscripts are evaluated by the EBM and may be sent to the original or new referees. The Co-EiCs have the ultimate authority to accept or reject a submission.

    Authors should carefully address all reviewer comments when submitting a revised manuscript. 

    Authors may appeal to the EBM or Co-EiCs to reconsider a rejection decision if they believe that the reviewers have seriously misjudged the manuscript. All appeals will be given careful consideration. The EBM and/or Co-EiCs will determine if further consideration is merited or if the original decision should stand.

    Submissions from editors or members of the editorial board are handled by an EBM who is not connected with the manuscript to ensure that such submissions receive an objective and unbiased evaluation. Information about the review process for such submissions is redacted from the view of any editors or EBMs who are authors of the paper within the journal's online submission and review system.

    Revised Manuscripts

    When submitting a revised manuscript, authors must include a “response letter” that addresses the reviewers’ comments on a point-by-point basis. The following guidelines are provided to assist you in writing an appropriate response letter.

    First, you should be aware that the response letter will be read by the assistant editors, topical editors, and sometimes the original reviewers, if the paper requires re-review. It will be easier for the editors and reviewers to evaluate your revised manuscript if you provide a well-written and detailed response letter that thoroughly addresses the reviewers’ comments. The response letter connects the revised paper with the reviewers’ comments and the original paper. When an editor or reviewer reads the response letter, they should be able to easily determine what comments were raised by the reviewers, how the authors addressed these comments, and where the revisions are located in the manuscript corresponding to each comment.

    Here are some additional tips: 

    1. Answer the reviewers’ comments item by item, in the order presented by the reviewers. Avoid mixing all the questions together and answering them in your own order. Although this may seem more logical to you, it will make it more difficult for the editors to determine whether you have adequately addressed the reviewers’ comments.
    2. Take the reviewers’ comments seriously and answer them all completely. Avoid simply answering “Ok” or “Yes” to the questions. At the very least, you should indicate where you made changes in the manuscript corresponding to each reviewer comment.
    3. Read your response letter several times to ensure you have addressed all the reviewers’ comments and have not made any typos or grammatical mistakes.

     For your reference, a template response letter is available here.

    After Acceptance

    Open Access

    Open Access

    Advanced Photonics articles are published with immediate open access under a Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 Attribution license ( CC BYOpen PDF). The article publication charge (APC) is waived through 2020.   Read more about our open access program.

    Upon acceptance, authors are given instructions for completing and returning the CC BY license form. 

    Under the CC BY license, ownership of copyright in the article (if applicable) and all other proprietary rights, including patent rights, remain with the author(s). In addition to any rights under copyright, the author(s) retain the rights (a) to reproduce, distribute, and publicly display the article in any form or medium; (b) to prepare derivative works from the article; and (c) to authorize others to make any use of the article, provided that proper full attribution is given to the original SPIE publication.

    Author Proofs

    Accepted papers are immediately sent into production, where they are professionally copyedited and typeset in XML. It usually takes 10-12 days after acceptance to generate the first proof. The corresponding author will be notified by email when the proof is ready to review. Changes should be kept to a minimum. Additions or subtractions of large portions of text may require re-review.

    Promote Your Research

    • Share your article on social media. This tip sheet for SPIE journal authors PDF can help get you started.
    • Update your online CV and website to include a complete citation to the article.
    • Inform your institution that it has been published so that it may be added to any lists of publications they maintain and disseminate.

    SPIE invites you to register for Kudos.

    Kudos tools are designed to help increase your readership and citations. This service is completely free to use. You can also view metrics associated with your publications' performance on Kudos. According to a study by Kudos, use of the Kudos toolkit by researchers to share their published articles correlates to 23% higher downloads. To register to see your metrics, and to try out the Kudos tools, go to


    How to Cite

    Advanced Photonics uses six-digit citation identifiers (CIDs) in place of traditional page numbering. This allows an issue to build online one article at a time, while retaining the ability to segment tables of contents by article type or subject area. An example of the correct citation format for an Advanced Photonics article is:

    A. Smith and B. Jones, "Paper title," Adv. Photon. 1(2), 023407 (2019).

    In this fictitious example, the article by Smith and Jones was published in Advanced Photonics in Issue 2 of Volume 1, as the seventh article published in the section of the table of contents to which it was assigned (in this case, category number 34, which could represent either a topical section or an article type category within the table of contents).

    In the full-text PDF file, the CID appears on each page. Appended at the end of the CID is a hyphen followed by a consecutive page number. For the sample article above, the pages would carry this page numbering: 023407-1, 023407-2, 023407-3, etc. The hyphen and additional digits should not be used when citing or searching for an article.

    Article Sharing

    For details about publication licenses and the associated rights to share published articles, see the policies on article sharing.

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