The landscape of technical publications has seen significant changes in the last few years. Specifically, in the photonics area, there has been a surge of new open access (OA) journals from main publishers. This is a consequence of “Plan S”, an initiative that started in Europe to make scholarly publications funded primarily from government sources free to readers through journals or repositories. Within IEEE, most professional societies have recently launched OA journals to provide researchers and practitioners the ability to comply with their funding agency requirements. At the IEEE Photonics Society, the IEEE Photonics Journal has offered OA publishing on an online platform since 2012, covering a broad scope across the field of Photonics with rapid time-to-publication.

The journal portfolio of the IEEE Photonics Society is extensive. It includes Photonics Technology Letters, Journal of Quantum Electronics, and Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, that are solely sponsored by the Society. In addition, our Society along with other Society Co-sponsors, like The Optical Society, IEEE Communications Society, IEEE Electron Devices Society, steer journals, such as: Journal of Lightwave Technologies, Journal of Optical Communications and Networking, Journal of Photovoltaics, and Transactions of Quantum Engineering. Furthermore, IEEE Access has a dedicated section on Photonics.

In combination, these journals provide authors with numerous opportunities to publish and reach a broad multidisciplinary audience. Some are still part of the subscription bundle IEEE offers to private and public organizations. Nevertheless, these journals have mechanisms in place to publish OA. An alternative mechanism to publish OA in IEEE Journals, with a significantly reduced cost to authors, is being tested at IEEE. It consists of agreements, mainly with universities, that bundle OA and subscription models. Authors must check within their organizations on whether they can receive a waiver to costs when submitting a manuscript to any of our journals. There may be other rewards to authors depending on the journal they are submitting. For example, IEEE Photonics Society members receive an additional 15% discount when publishing in the IEEE Photonics Journal and other respective IEEE journals.

There is yet unique characteristics of our journals. All manuscripts that are received are considered first for their fit to the scope of the journal and if a good fit, then every manuscript is sent for review. Following a strict review process, outlined in the IEEE Products and Services manual, the editor handling a manuscript makes a decision provided there are at least two reviews that support either publication or not. This process ensures that every author receives a fair evaluation of her/his work.

At a time when there is an impact factor obsession, it is important for authors to consider the fair and strict review metric of scholarly publishing of IEEE journals when selecting the most appropriate journal to submit one’s work. At the IEEE Photonics Society, journal editors strive to give authors the best experience in terms of the quality of review and expedient publication.

The Society is currently implementing customized and effective promotions that will give the author’s work more visibility as well. Email campaign features and social media promotions, that highlight “Popular Articles,” “Early Access Articles,” and “Our Journals in The News,” are sent to our broad community, members and subscribers. The Publications Council is also developing new marketing tactics, including “Editor Picks,” “Spotlights on TechnicalTopics,” and more. Through these promotions, we will effectively bring awareness to the innovative research found inside the Society’s Journals, which will be of interest to the photonics and optics community-at-large, as well as related technical disciplines.

Stay well and safe!


Warm Regards,
Carmen S. Menon