News | July 9, 2007

Optics Express, Optics Letters Top-Rated Journals in 2006

Washington — The Optical Society of America (OSA) recently announced that based on "impact factor," or the number of citations compared to the number of papers published, its journals Optics Express and Optics Letters are the most heavily cited journals in optics. According to the 2006 Journal Citation Report®, the Thomson Scientific rankings for journal citations, these two publications received the highest impact factor rankings of all optics journals. Optics Express was the first ranked journal, followed by Optics Letters. Thomson Scientific, a business of The Thomson Corporation, announces these rankings annually, and they serve as an industry standard in gauging the notability of research published in peer-reviewed journals.

OSA publishes four other journals that ranked in the top 15 overall. These include the Journal of Lightwave Technology (6), Journal of the Optical Society of America A (11) and B (11) and Applied Optics (13). With the exception of the Journal of the Optical Society of America B, each of the journal rankings increased in stature compared to the 2005 report. The rankings in the optics category evaluate a total of 55 journals.

"OSA journals set the standard of excellence in the field of optics and photonics, and the ISI rankings verify their impact year after year," said Joseph H. Eberly, president, OSA. "From Optics Express, our pioneering open-access journal launched just a few years ago, to Optics Letters, the established resource in the field, OSA continuously produces unparalleled peer-reviewed content that helps to forward research and development in the field. We are proud to produce such high-quality publications."

The Journal Citation Report provides quantitative tools for ranking, evaluating, categorizing and comparing journals. Created by ISI®, the impact factor is one of these tools; it is a measure of the frequency with which the "average article" in a journal has been cited in a particular year or period. The annual Journal Citation Report impact factor is a ratio between citations and recent citable items published. Thus, the impact factor of a journal is calculated by dividing the number of current year citations to the source items published in that journal during the previous two years.

These impact factor rankings have become an increasingly important tool for librarians and educators in the last several years as a way to differentiate between many journals on the same subject. The rankings are often used to select which journals to include in library collections and to assist in academic evaluation of researchers.

About OSA
Uniting more than 70,000 professionals from 134 countries, the Optical Society of America (OSA) brings together the global optics community through its programs and initiatives. Since 1916 OSA has worked to advance the common interests of the field, providing educational resources to the scientists, engineers and business leaders who work in the field by promoting the science of light and the advanced technologies made possible by optics and photonics. OSA publications, events, technical groups and programs foster optics knowledge and scientific collaboration among all those with an interest in optics and photonics.

About The Thomson Corporation
The Thomson Corporation is a global leader in providing essential electronic workflow solutions to business and professional customers. With operational headquarters in Stamford, Conn., Thomson provides value-added information, software tools and applications to professionals in the fields of law, tax, accounting, financial services, scientific research and healthcare.

Thomson Scientific is a business of The Thomson Corporation. Its information solutions assist professionals at every stage of research and development — from discovery to analysis to product development and distribution. Thomson Scientific information solutions can be found at

SOURCE: Optical Society of America