Commonly known as OSA, the society exemplifies the self-governing, mutual-assistance professional associations that fostered development of science and technology through the 20th century to the present. Founded in 1916 by 30 optical scientists and instrument makers based in Rochester, New York, OSA soon began publication of its first journal of research results and established an annual meeting.
By 2006, OSA reported nearly 14,000 individuals members. During the year, the society published 33,000 pages of research in its journals and hosted 22,000 attendees at conferences and meetings.
The mission of the Optical Society of America is to promote the generation, application and archiving of knowledge in optics and photonics and to disseminate this knowledge worldwide. The purposes of the Society are scientific, technical and educational.
Founded by Perley G. Nutting in 1916, OSA brings together optics and photonics scientists, engineers, educators, technicians and business leaders. OSA is dedicated to providing its members and the scientific community with educational resources that support technical and professional development. OSA publications, events and services help to advance the science of light by addressing the ongoing need for shared knowledge and innovation. The Society's commitment to excellence and long-term learning is the driving force behind all its initiatives.
Scientific publishing, also known as scholarly or academic publishing, is a core activity of the Optical Society of America. Guided by this structured discipline, optics and photonics scientists and engineers submit their research results to OSA for peer review and publication in one of the society's journals. A majority of articles published in OSA journals are written by authors residing outside the United States.
OSA's Member Guide states that "Manuscripts are evaluated on the basis of scientific content, novelty, presentation, and appropriateness. Submissions must be previously unpublished and not be under consideration for publication elsewhere." Submission and review are conducted through an Internet-based system. Authors are asked to select keywords for their papers from the Optics Classification and Indexing System (OCIS) to aid readers in the search process.
Access to OSA journals. All primary journals are published in online format and four in printed format (AO, JOSA A, JOSA B, OL). Many university and research libraries with optics and photonics interests maintain institutional subscriptions for their constituents. Readers should contact their organization's library to determine what journal holdings are available and how they may be accessed. Individual subscriptions are available through membership in the society.
Access to individual journal articles. Optics InfoBase is the OSA online portal to past and current articles published in primary journals, co-published journals, and many conference digests. Optics InfoBase is structured as a search engine which uses the criteria of author, title keyword, abstract keyword, journal selection, and date range. Abstracts are freely viewable; full text is offered under various fee arrangements.
Open access journal. The full text of all articles in Optics Express is freely available.
Optics & Photonics News (OPN), 1989-present (ISSN 1047-6938, online ISSN 1541-3721). Distributed to all OSA members. Broad selection of research and industry trends on all topics, OSA news, book reviews, employment and commercial advertising. Articles solicited under guidance of an editorial advisory committee.
Scientific conferences provide a forum for researchers to present their results in person and to learn about the work of colleagues. OSA sponsors small and large meetings consisting of a technical program and an industrial exhibition appropriate to the subject matter and number of attendees. Large conferences often include professional education courses and workshops addressing the state of emerging technology and industry.
OSA conferences are announced with a Call for Papers, the solicitation of scientists to submit papers related to the meeting topics. Submitted papers are reviewed by the program committee; accepted papers are then scheduled for oral presentation or group poster presentation. Invited papers by recognized experts and submitted papers are organized into highly specific symposia topics.
The collected presentations are distributed to meeting attendees in the form of a technical digest on CD-ROM. Afterward, OSA makes conference papers available through Optics InfoBase.
Contemporary OSA meetings include:
Beyond publishing and conferences, OSA nurtures the professional community of optics and photonics scientists and engineers through the structures of technical groups, local sections, student chapters, corporate associate membership, and career networking. Members' voluntary involvement in the programs of the society create the energy of the community. Unique professional accomplishments are recognized by presentation of OSA awards and honors.
Membership is open to any professional or student working or interested in optics or a related field. To facilitate focused communication within the broad field of optics, new members select technical groups matching their individual interests.
OSA technical groups categorized by division are:
|Technical Division||Technical Groups|
|Optical Design and Instrumentation|| Optical Fabrication and Testing|
Optical System Design
Optical Systems for Earth, Air, and Space
|Optical Sciences|| Applied Spectroscopy and Environmental Sensing|
Short Wavelength and High Field Physics
Photonic Metamaterials: From Random to Periodic
|Optics in Biology and Medicine|| Biomedical Optical Spectroscopy|
Diffuse Imaging and Optics
Microscopy and OCT
Therapeutic Laser Applications
|Optics in Information Science|| Holography and Diffractive Optics|
Imaging Sensing in Pattern Recognition
Optics for Multimedia and Immersive Environments
Optics in Digital Systems
Physical Systems for Information Processing
|Photonics|| Fiber Optics Technology|
Optoelectronic Devices and Nanostructures
|Quantum Electronics|| Laser Science and Engineering|
Ultrafast Optical Phenomena
|Vision and Color|| Applications of Visual Science|
OSA local sections and student chapters are encouraged and supported by the umbrella organization but operate independently. Their activities may include guest speakers, educational outreach, and content from other scientific societies. In January 2007, 32 local sections were affiliated with OSA (23 in the U.S. and 9 non-U.S.); over 100 student chapters were affiliated with OSA (63 from non-U.S. universities and 40 within the U.S.).
The OSA Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to supporting programs that:
Since its establishment in 2002, the Foundation has provided support to more than 70 programs. Funded activities include: student travel grants, special resources for university students studying optics, and classroom and extracurricular youth science education programs.
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