Expand this Topic clickable element to expand a topic
OSA Publishing

Author Resource Center

General Policies

Revised Manuscripts
Accepted Manuscripts
Conference Papers
Comments and Replies

Revised Manuscripts

Manuscripts returned to the author for revision should be returned to OSA as quickly as possible. The decision email will include the due date for submission of the revised manuscript. Any revisions received after that date may be assigned a new received date. After revising the paper and writing a detailed reply to the reviewers with a list of changes made to the paper, the corresponding author will log onto the Prism Author queue to submit a revised manuscript and response. Many editors find a red-lined version of the manuscript to be useful when evaluating the revised paper. Authors can upload a red-lined manuscript in Prism. The editor will then make a final decision or, less often, may choose to send the manuscript back to reviewers. Editors are encouraged to accept or reject revised manuscripts without requesting further mandatory revisions.

Accepted Manuscripts

Accepted manuscripts are transmitted to OSA's production vendors for tagging and composition. Authors publishing in AOP, Applied Optics, JOCN, JOSA, Optica, Optics Letters, and Photonics Research will receive page proofs of their papers; typically, authors are prompted by e-mail to log in and access PDF proofs from a vendor website. Page proof corrections should be returned as soon as possible to avoid publication delays. Authors publishing in the Express Journals are instructed to review the final PDF of the article in Prism prior to making payment, because corrections will not be made once the article is published.

Conference Papers

OSA values the role of conferences and journals to serve the optics and photonics community with high-quality, timely, and relevant content. To foster the development of work in progress and to support the dissemination of results in an archival publication, OSA encourages manuscripts based partly or entirely on work presented at conferences to be submitted to an OSA Journal.

The following guidelines are intended to clarify OSA's policy for authors, reviewers and editors:

  1. Conference papers that are revised and submitted for journal consideration are subject to each journal's criteria for originality, novelty and quality.
  2. Results that appear in conference proceedings may form the basis for a journal submission. Such a journal submission will be assessed on its own merit for novelty without regard for prior publication in the conference proceedings. Such submissions will have been expanded, revised, and/or refined to add value to the conference proceedings; for example, by including more complete data or interpretation in comparison to the paper that appears in the conference proceedings, and may cite a more complete set of the relevant literature.
  3. Appropriate attribution to the conference proceeding should be included as a citation or an acknowledgment in the journal manuscript. This is also applicable for submissions to feature issues based on OSA conferences. The following statement is suggested for the Acknowledgments: "Portions of this work were presented at the {conference name} in {year}, {paper number or paper title}". Include multiple conferences if applicable.
  4. Authors should verify that copyright policies associated with the conference proceeding allow for publication of derivative work. Authors are responsible for obtaining any permission required to reuse text, figures, etc. Papers from OSA conferences do not require further permissions unless they contain figures, tables, code, etc. which are reprinted from other sources.
  5. Many conference proceedings are now indexed by Google Scholar, Web of Science, CrossRef, Scopus, etc. and may also receive a DOI. OSA requires authors to modify the title of the journal manuscript to avoid indexing two publications with the same title.
  6. All papers submitted will follow the normal journal processes, including assignment of editors, peer review and appeals.

Comments and Replies

Comments on articles previously published will be considered in OSA Journals. A Comment should occupy no more than three journal pages (no more than one page for Optics Letters and no more than two for Express Journals) including title, author list, tables, figures, and references. All Comment papers submitted to Optics Letters should be received no more than 6 months after the publishing of the original article.

The abstract should be brief. The Comment should be substantive and collegial in tone. Polemical Comments will be rejected. The main purpose of a Comment should be to point out and to correct significant errors or deficiencies in papers, to clarify the implications of a paper, or to take issue with the conclusions reached. Comments whose primary purpose is to discuss issues of priority or to call attention to oversights in a reference list will generally not be considered for publication.

Before a Comment is reviewed by qualified referees, it may be forwarded to the authors of the article being commented on to allow them an opportunity to provide additional feedback. After receiving this response, the editor can decide whether it is appropriate to send the Comment to review. If, after peer review, the editor decides to accept the Comment for publication, the original authors will be asked to submit a formal Reply. Replies are subject to the same length restrictions as Comments. If the Reply is accepted, both Comment and Reply will be published together in the next available issue of the journal.

Transfers: transferring manuscripts between OSA Journals

OSA journals are editorially independent. However, if an editor receives a manuscript that is out of his/her journal's scope but may be suitable for another OSA journal, he will consult with that editor and, if they are in agreement, will contact the author to offer to transfer the manuscript. If the author agrees to the transfer, the original receipt date is retained.

In the case of submissions to Optica that do not meet the journal's criteria for broad interest, the editor may recommend the author consider transferring the manuscript to another OSA journal for consideration. The author can choose whether or not to transfer the manuscript and to which journal. Further details of the Optica process can be found here.

In neither case does the transfer of manuscript files guarantee acceptance. Any reviewer comments and identities will be available to the editors of the receiving journal since they could facilitate a rapid decision. The editors at the receiving journal may decline the transfer, request further revision, or seek further review as needed.


OSA Journals maintain high standards for acceptance. In many cases, papers are deemed unsuitable for publication either before or after peer review. If as an author you receive such a decision and you believe an appeal is warranted, please contact the Journal editorial staff with the request for an appeal. The staff will then open an Appeal process for your paper in Prism. You will be directed to complete the brief online questionnaire for appeals to provide your arguments to the editor along with a thorough response to all of the referee comments. A final ruling will be made by the editor as soon as possible. The editor's ruling on the appeal, in almost all cases, will be final. Under exceptional circumstances, an appeal may also be made to the Editor-in-Chief of the journal.

Select as filters

    Select Topics Cancel
    © Copyright 2020 | The Optical Society. All Rights Reserved