As I am writing this editorial, the 2004 SPIE Microlithography Symposium is nearing its closing date for paper submissions. When you are reading this editorial, you must be busy getting the work done in time for the February meeting. Some of you might have even started writing the proceedings article. Over the 27-year presence of the symposium, which was called Developments in Semiconductor Microlithography in 1976, there have been repeated outcries for a home journal of this symposium. Similar outcries were heard from the attendees of Photomask Technology, Photomask Japan, Micromachining and Micro-fabrication, Integrated Optoelectronic Devices, Smart Structures and Materials, and Microelectronic Manufacturing. Here, finally, is JM3, the home journal of these symposia, though not restricted to them. A dedicated team of editors, reviewers, and staff has been functioning. Seven issues have been published. However, the realization of the dream has barely started. In order to expedite the information flow, JM3 should aim to increase its publication frequency from quarterly to bimonthly and eventually to monthly. It takes at least 90 accepted papers annually to turn into a bimonthly, and at least 180 for a monthly. Attaining this frequency is beneficial to the readers but it requires more work from the authors and our team.
It is not impossible to achieve this goal. There are more than a thousand articles published in the proceedings of the symposia listed above and the attendees have been crying out for a home journal. The number of regular submissions to JM3 in 2003 to date has already surpassed that of 2002 by 18. The percentage in the special sections is even higher. However, we still need to work hard. There is one more thing the authors can do. To better the usual practice of preparing a journal version of your proceedings article, we encourage you to prepare your proceedings article as a journal article and submit a version to JM3 at the same time. This way, the SPIE Proceedings get their materials with more rigorous writing and JM3 benefits from receiving more submissions as well as getting them sooner. It is less work for authors who intend to publish and archive their work in a journal. However, there are several concerns, as I wrote in the April editorial last year: (1) journal publication standards, (2) double counting of publications, and (3) copyright violations. Let me address these problems one by one, in light of this particular call.
Journal Publication Standards: Generally, proceedings articles are prepared as a snapshot to report one’s work and they are not reviewed by referees. If a proceedings article is submitted to a journal, there is a likelihood of not meeting the publication standards of a journal. However, if the articles are written as journal articles to start with, the publication standards have to be, by definition, that of a journal. It does not change just because the articles will also be sent to the proceedings. Of course, the journal article must be prepared and submitted in accordance with the JM3 submission guidelines, and the manuscript will be reviewed as rigorously as any other submission to JM3.
Double Counting of Publications: The authors are required to identify the proceeding counterparts in their journal article and to cease citing their proceedings work as soon as the journal article is accepted for publication. Readers of the journal article and authors citing others’ work are urged to follow the same practice. With all the new online searching features that SPIE has implemented or is planning to implement in its new Digital Library (http://spiedl.org), finding the journal/proceedings twins should be very easy. They will not be identical twins anyway. After the review process, the journal article will be further improved and fit for archiving.
Copyright Violation: For authors submitting journal-worthy articles to JM3 and the SPIE symposia listed above, this issue does not exist.
Of course, there are some authors who will still want to work on a snapshot version for the conference and then follow up later with a more rigorous version for submission to the journal. There may be some who have no intention to go beyond a snapshot. These avenues are available as usual. Happy writing!