Over the last years biophotonics has developed into a major discipline within photonics and the optical sciences. With this issue, Laser & Photonics Reviews sets a focus on “Biophotonics Techniques & Applications” informing about recent developments and topics within this field. The content is split in two sections. Section one is devoted to the biophotonics topic (pp. 605–796), whereas the second part consists of regular content of mixed topics (pp. 797–L65).
Laser & Photonics Reviews publishes biophotonic content on a regular basis, for example there has been a special issue “Light and Life: Biophotonics Special” in 2011 . In that past issue you will find highly cited articles from P. U. Jepsen et al. about terahertz spectroscopy and imaging , C. Maurer et al. about spatial light modulators in optical microscopy , P.J. Campagnola et al. about second harmonic generation microscopy , L. P. Biro et al. about photonic nanoarchitectures in butterflies and beetles  and many more. In January 2009 the journal published a special section “Biophotonics for Biology” . Our regular issues contain plenty of biophotonics content, too, as evidenced by D.A. Schmidt et al. reporting about far- and near-field microscopy , Wang et al. reviewing apodization and near field diffraction structures , R. Brunner et al. writing about biomimetic subwavelength structures , and D.D. Arslanov et al. discussing OPO based IR spectroscopy for molecular gas sensing .
Now let's have a look at the recent Thomson Reuters impact factors (IF) 2012 released in June this year. Laser & Photonics Reviews received an IF of 7.976 – thus closely scratching the 8. This increase is a very positive sign which nicely confirms our journal's position among the very best optics journals. Since its beginning Laser & Photonics Reviews has seen a nearly constant rise in impact factor values (see figure) – except for the year 2010 where it got an even better IF.
According to Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Report® the journal ranks second in the field of optics and is among the top 10 in the fields of applied and condensed matter physics. This is remarkable and puts us in an excellent position to develop this journal further towards better and more content.
Last year the journal opened up for original papers and letter articles (see Editorial in ). We now have a ratio of about 45% review articles, 35% original papers and 20% letters. Since the beginning of 2013 we see an increase in article submissions of high quality and look forward to even more manuscripts coming in. As outlined in  we apply strict selection rules to keep the journal's level of quality high. Still, the number of accepted manuscripts has increased, and as we aim for an organic growth, i.e. only a modest increase in published articles, we will have to increase our quality standards even further. While this will inevitably result in a higher rejection rate, it should not dissuade anyone to submit his or her article to Laser & Photonics Reviews. We believe that a successful journal in terms of impact and quality is of great value to its authors and hence worth the effort.
Now, stay with us, enjoy this issue and have a pleasant reading.
Guido W. Fuchs (Editor-in-Chief)