Let’s Start Again

01 January 2020
By Gwen Weerts

We're excited to unveil the first issue of Photonics Focus, the new SPIE magazine, which is free for all SPIE Members and replaces SPIE Professional. Why do we need a new magazine? Quite a few reasons, and we have you, our readers, to thank for the idea.

In fall 2018, we gathered your feedback about SPIE Professional and learned what you liked, what you didn't, and what type of content would compel you to read the magazine.

You said you wanted more rich visuals. You said that the quarterly publication frequency was too infrequent. You asked for more high-level, accessible stories about photonics technology-because if you want in-depth technical detail, you're going to read a journal article. Some of you want to receive new issue alerts by email so you can read it online, and others want the magazine in print because you get too much email.

When we asked you what types of articles you most want to read in a magazine about optics and photonics, these were your top responses:

1. Feature articles on technology
2. Optics and photonics industry updates
3. Histories about how a field evolved, or a key figure in history
4. Professional development information, including soft skills articles and job postings
5. Updates on SPIE mission, goals, and achievements.

Taking all of these ideas into account, we considered a reboot of SPIE Professional to better meet your needs, but ultimately decided that the SPIE Professional scope and title were no longer aligned with what SPIE Members and advertisers want from a magazine. We decided to start anew, and Photonics Focus is the result. The new sections—Sources, Bandwidth, Field of View, Luminaries, and SPIE Community News—are intended to deliver the content you asked for in a fresh, visually driven layout. The features about photonics-enabled technology and applications will be the sort of immersive stories that you want to read on a plane or on your morning commute.

In addition to an increased frequency-from four issues per year to six-you also now have control over how you receive your subscription. You can receive it in print, via email, or both, and that preference can be changed by logging into your SPIE account on spie.org. And, the articles will all be freely available at spie.org/photonicsfocus.

I'll check in with you at the end of the year to ask if we're better meeting your needs and where we still need to improve. If you want to get in touch before then, you can reach me at photonicsfocus@spie.org.

Gwen Weerts

The first issue of Photonics Focus celebrates the 60th anniversary of the invention of the laser. We look back at the contributions of a laser luminary, marvel at today's laser research, and look forward to the laser capabilities of the near future.

Thanks for reading,

Gwen Weerts, Managing Editor Photonics Focus

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