The collage on the back cover of the last pss(b) issue in 2011 symbolizes the closure of the 50th anniversary year of physica status solidi. Started as a small single edition in 1961, the journal has undergone tremendous change, expansion and development into today's family of four titles and recently significant Impact Factor improvements. This issue contains special contributions by the long-term Editors Manuel Cardona (pp. 2759-2761), Alfred Seeger (pp. 2772-2774) and Karl Wolfgang Böer (pp. 2775-2785) as well as a detailed bibliometric analysis by Werner Marx and Dieter Hoffmann (pp. 2762-2771), looking back on a half-century of pss publication.