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Author Information for Optical Engineering

Optical Engineering (OE) is a print and online journal that publishes peer-reviewed papers reporting on research and development in optical science and engineering and the practical applications of known optical science, engineering, and technology. Contributions addressing issues ranging from fundamental understanding to emerging technologies and applications are within the scope of the journal.

The journal publishes full-length research papers, letters, tutorials, and reviews. In addition to contributed research articles, OE often publishes special sections in key areas of technology. Special sections are assembled by guest editors. See the editorial schedule for a list of forthcoming special section topics and dates.


Submit a manuscript

Authors should read and follow the instructions on how to prepare and format a manuscript prior to submission. Authors should also read the journal policies prior to submission to ensure their manuscript meets the journal requirements. The journal policies also provide information about submitting a proceedings manuscript to the journal.

Optical Engineering uses an online submission system. Please do not submit your manuscript via e-mail.

All authors are required to include a cover letter with their submission explaining the significance and novelty of the work, the problem that is being addressed, and why the manuscript belongs in OE. This cover letter sample (.doc) can be used as a template.

OE typically allows only one round of major revision. Authors should carefully address all reviewer comments when submitting a revised manuscript. Also note that resubmission of a rejected manuscript is normally not allowed until three months after the decision date.


Manuscript Types

Letter: A short technical communication of significant interest intended for rapid publication in the OE Letters section of the journal. The manuscript length may not exceed three printed journal pages. This corresponds to approximately 3000 words (excluding title, abstract, and author information); figures will further reduce the maximum word content. A page length template can help determine final typeset page length. A page length estimator is available.

Regular Paper: A full-length manuscript presenting original work intended as a regular contribution to the journal.

Special Section Paper: A full-length manuscript presenting original work intended for submission to a special topical section organized by a guest editor.

Review Paper: An article reviewing a particular topic or field. Review papers are typically invited papers written by a highly regarded expert in the field. Review articles summarize progress made in a particular research or development area during a specified period and summarize the current state of the art.

Tutorial: A tutorial is an introductory and systematic description of a technology or a research topic. Tutorials should be accessible to general readers of OE and may include homework problems.


Why publish in this journal?

Optical Engineering is the flagship journal of SPIE, published since 1962. OE aims to publish highly relevant and high-impact papers. OE is published online as part of the SPIE Digital Library, accessible by researchers at many of the world's leading universities, laboratories, and corporations as well as thousands of individual subscribers.

Author benefits:

  • Online-first publication of articles
  • Professional copyediting and typesetting
  • Free online color figures
  • Multimedia integration 
  • 5 free downloads from the SPIE Digital Library for authors
  • Open access publication at a low cost through payment of voluntary page charges
  • Abstracting and indexing in leading scientific databases, including Science Citation Index/Web of Science, Current Contents, Inspec, Scopus, Ei Compendex, and Chemical Abstracts.
  • Eligibility for the Rudolf Kingslake Medal and Prize, awarded annually to the most noteworthy original paper published in OE.

Page Charges

Payment of page charges for OE is voluntary, at $100 per typeset page. Page charge support helps SPIE as a not-for-profit society to offset the costs involved in the publication of research results, including copyediting, typesetting, and xml conversion. SPIE journal page charges are kept low in recognition of the fact that many authors have limited funding available to cover publication expenses. Authors who pay the voluntary page charges in full receive the benefit of open access for their paper. Open access papers are also published under a Creative Commons CC-BY license. Read more about our open access program.

An author's decision on whether to pay page charges has no impact on the review process or the timing of publication of the article. Articles for which publication fees are not paid in full are published under subscription access control with the standard SPIE transfer of copyright agreement. Read more about the rights and restrictions of these publication licenses.

Pay page charges online


CrossCheck logoSPIE uses the CrossCheck plagiarism screening service to detect instances of overlapping and similar text in submitted manuscripts. CrossCheck is a multipublisher initiative to screen published and submitted content for originality.

Introduction to OE from the Editor-in-Chief

OE Intro Video


Author Tools

Submit a Manuscript to OE 
Prepare a Manuscript
Calls for Papers
Journal Policies
Open Access
Related Links

Reviewer Information
Mailing Schedule and Claims
Editorial Board
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