January 22, 2010

SPARC honors Optical Society of America as a pioneer in scholarly publishing innovation

Excerpted from SPARC's January 14 press release:

With the launch of Optics Express in 1997, the Optical Society of America (OSA) created an open-access journal that has stood the test of time to become a both a scientific and financial success. The journal, now entering its second decade of publication, is consistently ranked among the top titles in its field. And, it has proved to be such a successful financial venture that the Society is this year rolling out three more publications that follow the same open-access business model.

For being a shining example of community-driven creativity and innovation in scholarly communications, the Optical Society of America has been named the first SPARC Innovator of 2010.


Optics Express publishes original, peer-reviewed articles in all fields of optical science and technology twice a month - within an average of 47 days after article acceptance. The quick turnaround, along with creative ways to highlight content - such as electronic cover images for every issue and Focus issues - have made Optics Express a sought-after publishing destination for authors and a top journal in the field. OSA is introducing three new journals under the Optics Express brand and publishing model over the next year: Biomedical Optic Express, Optical Material Express and Energy Express.

"Through the efforts of many people, we built something very unique that came together," said Childs. "We use Optic Express as a harbinger, a model for what I think is probably going to come to pass."


So, is Childs an open-access advocate? "I'm an open-access pragmatist. I really look at what will work," says Childs. "I'm fairly certain that the old models of publishing won't exist in 10 years." Childs says a new approach might be to reduce authors' fees and share the financial load with other stakeholders, such as universities and foundations. Indeed, the open-access model used today may be modified beyond what we can imagine, he says.

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