Submission Guidelines

Optica Open is a free, open, moderated preprint server for unpublished research in the areas of optics and photonics. Authors can quickly disseminate their preprint to a wide audience and gain community feedback on a timestamped draft version of their research. A preprint is an unpublished version of an article; final versions of published articles should not be submitted to Optica Open. Accepted manuscripts can be added to an existing preprint as a new version of the work if copyright allows.

Submission Requirements

The following criteria are required in order to post your preprint in Optica Open:

  • Written in English
  • Contains unpublished scholarly, scientific, or technical content within the scope of optics and photonics
  • Free of libelous, offensive or plagiarized content
  • Obtained permission to use trademarked, copyrighted, or previously published material, and includes proper attribution

Industry white papers can be submitted to Optica Open. A white paper is an authoritative and in-depth report from a company or non-profit organization that highlights the features of a solution, product, or service that it intends to offer. We encourage members from industry to submit their white papers to Optica Open and expand the discoverability of their content.

All submissions will be screened prior to acceptance, and those that do not meet Optica Open’s criteria will be declined. Stand-alone research artifacts such as datasets or code will also be declined.

The submitting author is responsible for ensuring that all co-authors approve of submitting the preprint to Optica Open. All co-authors will receive a confirmation of the submission to Optica Open.

How to Submit a Preprint

Follow these steps to submit a preprint to Optica Open:

  1. Log in to the Optica Open submission site using your Optica credentials, or create an account if you don't have one already. Creating an account is easy; all we need is your name and email.
  2. Once you log in, you will start your new submission by entering the title and abstract for your preprint. You will select the appropriate subject category from the dropdown menu. Select the category that best describes the topic of your preprint. Add keyword(s) that best represent the main idea of your research. Make sure that your title and abstract accurately reflect your preprint so that readers can find it easily.
  3. If your preprint is related to an Optica Publishing Group journal submission, select the appropriate journal and provide the manuscript number.
  4. On the next screen, you can upload your preprint in PDF format by dragging and dropping or by browsing for the file. Please embed your figures and tables in your PDF document file. Supplementary material may be hosted in an appropriate repository and referenced in the preprint document.
  5. Once your file is uploaded, you will add co-authors by searching for their name and email address in the system. You may add an account for a co-author if they are not found in the system. All co-authors receive a submission confirmation email. Please ensure the co-author listing and details are complete and correct prior to finishing the submission. Changes cannot be made to the file once it is posted.
  6. Next, include any funding information that is relevant for your submission. Please ensure that the funders you add in the submission site match the funders that are listed in your preprint.
  7. You will be asked to confirm that you have read and agree to the Terms of Submission for Optica Open. Select your license to determine how the content can be reused by others. Choose the Optica Publishing Group non-exclusive license if you are unsure which license is appropriate. You will also need to acknowledge the Ethical Guidelines and Conflicts of Interest policy for Optica Publishing Group.
  8. Once everything is ready, click the Submit button in the bottom right corner of the page.
  9. You will receive a confirmation email once the submission is received and a second email after a moderator has determined whether it can be posted to Optica Open. You (and your co-authors) can expect to receive the second email within one business day of submission. Your submission will be kept private until posted publicly by the moderator.

Upon completion of the preprint submission, you may immediately submit your preprint to an Optica Publishing Group journal or return at any time to begin a journal submission. Moreover, authors who submit to an Optica Publishing Group journal will benefit from the opportunity to post their manuscript (including the accepted manuscript) as a preprint in Optica Open.

For questions about submitting to Optica Open, please contact

Optica Open Screening Process

All submissions to Optica Open are screened prior to acceptance. Screening is carried out by qualified experts in the topics covered. Submissions are not peer reviewed, which means that content is not screened for technical merit, completeness, or novelty. Additionally, submissions do not undergo copyediting or typesetting.

All submissions to Optica Open are checked for plagiarism with iThenticate and checked for offensive or other inappropriate content (i.e., content that is disrespectful, abusive, or derogatory). Any content found to be plagiarized or offensive will be declined, as will nonscientific content or content that is not technical in nature (e.g., news, advertisements, and calls for papers). Content that does not fall within scope of optics and photonics will be declined.

Decisions may be appealed by sending an email clearly explaining the reason for appeal to All correspondence must include the preprint title for reference.


During the submission process, you will select a license for your preprint. The license determines whether and how the content can be reused by others. Regardless of the license chosen, authors retain copyright to their work. The submitting author must choose one of the following licenses:

  • Optica Publishing Group Non-Exclusive License gives Optica Publishing Group the rights to distribute the preprint and allows users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full text of the work, or use it for any other lawful purpose, without asking prior permission from the author(s).
  • CC BY 4.0 (Attribution only) allows others to copy, reuse, adapt, and build upon your preprint, including for commercial purposes, as long as the content is attributed to you.
  • CC BY-SA 4.0 (Attribution-ShareAlike) allows others to copy, reuse, adapt, and build upon your preprint, including for commercial purposes, as long as the content is attributed to you, and the adapted work is distributed under the same license as the original.
  • CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 (Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike) allows others to copy, reuse, adapt, and build upon your preprint for non-commercial purposes, as long as the content is attributed to you, and the adapted work is distributed under the same license as the original.

Visit Creative Commons for more detailed information about the CC BY licenses described above.

If you have already submitted your preprint to a journal for peer review and publication, please ensure that posting in Optica Open is in compliance with the journal’s policies and will not interfere with consideration of your paper by the journal.

If you require a license that is not listed, select the Optica Publishing Group non-exclusive license and then indicate the desired license on the first page of the article. Doing so must not restrict Optica Publishing Group’s rights to distribute the article.

Third-Party Submitters

Third-party submitters are not permitted. Only an author can agree to the licensing and dissemination of their content on Optica Open. Accordingly, only the author of a preprint may submit the paper to Optica Open. Submissions made by third parties will be declined.

Removing Content from Optica Open

All preprints posted on Optica Open receive Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs), making them part of the citable scientific record and indexable by external services such as Crossref and Google Scholar. As such, no posted preprint may be removed from Optica Open. If you discover that there are errors in your preprint and you wish to withdraw it, the preprint will still appear in Optica Open, but it will be marked as "withdrawn" and annotated with comments explaining the reason for the withdrawal. In an extraordinary situation in which it is deemed necessary to remove access to a preprint (e.g., a fraudulent preprint, a duplicate preprint, or copyright infringement), the original metadata record will be retained, but the record will be annotated with a note explaining the reason for removal.