21 February 2018 Year in Review
Author Affiliations +
Optical Engineering, 57(2), 020101 (2018). doi:10.1117/1.OE.57.2.020101
Michael T. Eismann summarizes journal progress and top downloads and citations for 2017.
Eismann: Year in Review

OE_57_2_020101_f001.pngOver the three years that I have now served as Editor-in-Chief of Optical Engineering, I have been learning a few things about the world of scientific publishing. One aspect is very clear: it has been changing. Many researchers now routinely publish their work on archival sites on the Internet, often as an alternative to traditional journals; there continues to be a strong demand for open access; search engines seem to drive everything; and the chase for impact factor by journals and authors remains in full force. SPIE and Optical Engineering have been adapting to these trends with, for example, significant attention to the SPIE Digital Library, leveraging the latest information technology, and a hybrid open access model that caters to author choice. At the same time, many steps we have been taking to maintain and enhance the quality of the journal resemble old-school principles: recruit authors who present interesting work at SPIE conferences, publish special sections in areas of high interest, invite SPIE conference program committee members to serve as guest editors, emphasize high acceptance standards by the editorial board, and minimize decision times to support timely publication for authors.

In reviewing our publication statistics for 2017, this approach seems to be working. Submitted papers, published papers, paper downloads, and impact factor are all on the rise. Specifically, Optical Engineering received 1734 submissions and published 716 papers in 2017, representing a 6% increase in publications over 2016 with an acceptance rate just below 40%. Roughly 14% of the publications were open access and almost 19% were part of special sections. Average manuscript decision times remained below 40 days, and the two-year impact factor increased to above 1.0 for the first time this century. I expect these positive trends to continue, especially as we have been bringing on some great new editorial board members, and I believe that there is still some room for improvement.

It has become a habit of mine at the end of each year to review the top downloaded and cited papers to get a sense of what our readers find interesting and impactful. Last year’s top two downloaded papers by a wide margin were published as part of our special section on active electro-optical sensing: a review paper providing a historical perspective1 and a laser radar design optimization for autonomous navigation.2 Another top paper on flash lidar3 was also part of this special section. Four additional top-downloaded papers were review papers on laser feedback interferometry,4 head-mounted displays for air transportation,5 terahertz photoconductive antenna technology,6 and conformal displays.7 The final three in the top-ten download list included special section papers on white light interferometric microscopy8 and anisoplanatic imaging through turbulence,9 along with a regular paper on laser-induced damage of camera sensors.10 All of these papers are available with open access, which is a likely factor in the high number of downloads.

Although it is difficult to draw much insight from citation statistics this soon after 2017 has concluded, it is still interesting to see what paper topics were most cited. According to the Web of Science, three were in the laser damage special section, describing laser damage tests for femtosecond laser coatings,11 laser-induced damage by picosecond pulses on petawatt-class laser coatings,12 and laser-based removal of space debris.13 The active electro-optical sensing special section included top-cited papers on hyperentanglement14 and deep turbulence wavefront sensing,15 while papers on anisoplanatic imaging through turbulence9 (the only top-ten downloaded and cited) and atmospheric turbulence mitigation algorithms16 from the long-range imaging special section were part of the list. The remainder included a paper on extended wavelength infrared photodetectors17 from the infrared detectors special section, along with regular papers on binary holograms for depth visualization18 and channel capacity of optical data links.19 Six of these ten papers are available with open access.

As time passes, there are likely to be other papers amongst the 2017 Optical Engineering issues that ultimately exhibit high reader demand or become more heavily cited due to the lasting significance of the work. These top-ten lists, however, provide an excellent set of papers from which to understand some of the emerging developments in the optical engineering field. If you have not had an opportunity to read these papers, I encourage you to add the papers below to your reading list.


1. V. Molebny et al., “Laser radar: historical prospective—from the east to the west,” Opt. Eng. 56(3), 031220 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1117/1.OE.56.3.031220 Google Scholar

2. G. M. Williams, “Optimization of eyesafe avalanche photodiode lidar for automobile safety and autonomous navigation systems,” Opt. Eng. 56(3), 031224 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1117/1.OE.56.3.031224 Google Scholar

3. P. F. McManamon et al., “Comparison of flash lidar detector options,” Opt. Eng. 56(3), 031223 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1117/1.OE.56.3.031223 Google Scholar

4. J. Li, H. Niu and Y. Niu, “Laser feedback interferometry and applications: a review,” Opt. Eng. 56(5), 050901 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1117/1.OE.56.5.050901 Google Scholar

5. J. J. Arthur et al., “Review of head-worn displays for the next generation air transportation system,” Opt. Eng. 56(5), 051405 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1117/1.OE.56.5.051405 Google Scholar

6. N. M. Burford and M. O. El-Shenawee, “Review of terahertz photoconductive antenna technology,” Opt. Eng. 56(1), 010901 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1117/1.OE.56.1.010901 Google Scholar

7. N. Peinecke et al., “Review of conformal displays: more than a highway in the sky,” Opt. Eng. 56(5), 051406 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1117/1.OE.56.5.051406 Google Scholar

8. C. Larimer et al., “Design of a dynamic biofilm imaging cell for white-light interferometric microscopy,” Opt. Eng. 56(11), 111708 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1117/1.OE.56.11.111708 Google Scholar

9. R. C. Hardie et al., “Simulation of anisoplanatic imaging through optical turbulence using numerical wave propagation with new validation analysis,” Opt. Eng. 56(7), 071502 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1117/1.OE.56.7.071502 Google Scholar

10. B. Schwarz et al., “Laser-induced damage threshold of camera sensors and micro-optoelectromechanical systems,” Opt. Eng. 56(3), 034108 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1117/1.OE.56.3.034108 Google Scholar

11. J. Bellum et al., “Analysis of laser damage tests on coatings designed for broad bandwidth high reflection of femtosecond pulses,” Opt. Eng. 56(1), 011012 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1117/1.OE.56.1.011012 Google Scholar

12. R. A. Negres et al., “Laser-induced damage of intrinsic and extrinsic defects by picosecond pulses on multilayer dielectric coatings for petawatt-class lasers,” Opt. Eng. 56(1), 011008 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1117/1.OE.56.1.011008 Google Scholar

13. S. Scharring, J. Wilken and H.-A. Eckel, “Laser-based removal of irregularly shaped space debris,” Opt. Eng. 56(1) 011007 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1117/1.OE.56.1.011007 Google Scholar

14. J. F. Smith, “Using hyperentanglement to enhance resolution, signal-to-noise ratio, and measurement time,” Opt. Eng. 56(3), 031210 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1117/1.OE.56.3.031210 Google Scholar

15. M. F. Spencer et al., “Deep-turbulence wavefront sensing using digital-holographic detection in the off-axis image plane recording geometry,” Opt. Eng. 56(3), 031213 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1117/1.OE.56.3.031213 Google Scholar

16. S. T. Kozacik et al., “Comparison of turbulence mitigation algorithms,” Opt. Eng. 56(7), 071507 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1117/1.OE.56.7.071507 Google Scholar

17. D. Chauhan et al., “Extended wavelength infrared photodetectors,” Opt. Eng. 56(9), 091605 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1117/1.OE.56.9.091605 Google Scholar

18. T. Leportier and M.-C. Park, “Generation of binary holograms for deep scenes captured with a camera and a depth sensor,” Opt. Eng. 56(1), 013107 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1117/1.OE.56.1.013107 Google Scholar

19. H. Wang, X. Wang and M. Cao, “Ergodic channel capacity of spatial correlated multiple-input multiple-output free space optical links using multipulse pulse-position modulation,” Opt. Eng. 56(2), 026103 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1117/1.OE.56.2.026103 Google Scholar

© 2018 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE)
Michael T. Eismann, "Year in Review," Optical Engineering 57(2), 020101 (21 February 2018). https://doi.org/10.1117/1.OE.57.2.020101

Optical engineering

Laser induced damage


Active remote sensing

Electro optics

Infrared detectors


Back to Top