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Author Information for the Journal of Biomedical Optics

The Journal of Biomedical Optics (JBO) is a print and online journal that publishes peer-reviewed papers on the use of modern optical technology for improved health care and biomedical research.

The journal publishes full-length research papers, letters, opinions, outlooks, tutorials, and reviews. In addition to contributed research articles, JBO 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.

Journal of Biomedical Optics 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 this journal. This cover letter sample (.doc) can be used as a template.

JBO 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 JBO 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.

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.

Technical Note: A concise description of a software package, instrument, chemical, or procedure that provides a solution to a specific problem and has sufficient value to many readers of JBO. The Note length may not exceed five printed journal pages.

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

Outlook: A visionary type of paper that takes a speculative look at where a technology or a research area might be heading. Of particular interest are the prospects in the next 5-15 years. Outlook papers should include a brief overview followed by predictions for the future and may occupy 5-10 printed pages in the journal. Potential authors are encouraged to contact the Editor-in-Chief before writing the manuscript.

Opinion: A description of opinions on a topic of general interest to the readers of JBO. Potential authors are encouraged to contact the Editor-in-Chief before writing the manuscript.


Why publish in this journal?

JBO is a highly ranked journal focused on the applications of emerging technologies in lasers, optoelectronic devices, fiber optics, sensors, and imaging to medical research, diagnostics, and therapy. JBO's impact factor has consistently ranked in the top 10 in the Optics category since 2001.

Author benefits:

  • Online-first publication of articles 
  • Established and competitive impact factor
  • Professional copyediting and typesetting
  • Rapid review and publication
  • Free online color figures
  • Multimedia integration 
  • 5 free downloads for authors from the SPIE Digital Library
  • Open access publication at a low cost through payment of voluntary page charges
  • NIH-funded articles are deposited into PubMed Central (PMC) at no charge, with full-text access available one year after publication. 
  • Prior to 2013, authors who paid voluntary page charges in full received delayed open access after one year. Starting in 2013, all authors who pay the voluntary page charges will receive immediate open access.
  • Abstracting and indexing in leading scientific databases, including Index Medicus/MEDLINE; Science Citation Index; Current Contents/Life Sciences; Current Contents/Engineering, Computers & Technology; Inspec; Scopus; Ei Compendex; and Chemical Abstracts

Page Charges

Payment of page charges for JBO 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 JBO from the Editor-in-Chief

JBO Intro Video


Author Tools

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

Reviewer Information
Mailing Schedule and Claims
Editorial Board
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