Dear OFS authors and presenters,
 
We hope this letter finds you well. We are writing to you to provide an update on the status of the OFS 27 conference, which was originally due to be held last week, and outline our updated plan for this conference series. The outbreak for the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to postpone this conference and we have been working to devise a new plan for OFS-27.
 
After careful consideration of world events surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak we have decided to move the conference to June 2021. Many conferences have moved on-line to enable maintaining their original schedule. However, the OFS committee has decided that an on-line platform for OFS would significantly compromise the event. As we write this, there is still no guarantee that by June 2021, the effects of the pandemic will be gone. However, we have agreed with the conference venue that all necessary steps that need to be taken during the conference to ensure the health and safety of all participants will be undertaken. Furthermore, the worldwide outlook regarding international travel and public gathering will be periodically monitored over the next year to continually assess the feasibility of holding a public event.
 
Despite this unfortunate turn of events, we are delighted to be able to report the excellent health of the OFS conference series. As part of the original conference planning, we accepted 334 regular papers, 10 invited talks, organized two workshops with an additional 8 invited speakers and organized a series of tutorials held on the Sunday and Monday morning in addition to three plenary talks.

We currently plan to maintain the current schedule for June 2021, contingent on availability of speakers with expanded post deadline sessions and limited reopening of regular paper submissions. We would be extremely grateful if you would be able to support OFS on the new dates of June 7th to 11th, 2021. To ensure the high standards of the OFS conference series are maintained we ask you, the authors, to abide by the following requirements related to your paper submissions:

  • All papers that have been accepted for publication will retain that acceptance for publication at OFS-27 to be held in June 2021.
  • Authors will be given the opportunity to submit an updated version of their manuscript that will not be subject to a new peer review. This revised version will be due by January 15th, 2021.
  • Authors are strongly discouraged from submitting their manuscripts to other journals or conferences to avoid duplicate submission. Duplicate submission of manuscripts is unethical and tarnishes the reputation of the OFS conference series.
  • If authors wish to publish their work elsewhere they are free to do so,  but they must withdraw their paper from OFS by September 15th, 2020.
  • We would ask all current speakers who plan to attend OFS-27 in 2021 to inform OFS27 conference organizers by February 28th, 2021.

All existing invitations to invited speakers, workshop speakers and tutorial speakers will be transferred to OFS-27 in June, 2021. Please inform us by February 28th, 2021 if you are unable to attend OFS on the new dates. We also plan to open submission to a special issue, to be published in Applied Optics, prior to the conference (February 2021). This special issue will accept original research including expanded versions of papers presented at the conference. We strongly encourage authors to periodically check the website for any updates or changes to these submission dates.

Whilst it is a great disappointment to have to postpone this event, as the conference organizers we are fully committed to holding an in-person meeting and hope that everyone will be able to join us in 2021.

With our best wishes,

Dr. Geoffrey Cranch
Naval Research Laboratory, Washington DC
Conference chair, Optical Fiber Sensors 2020 
 
Prof. Anbo Wang
Director of the Center for Photonics Technology, Virginia Tech.
Conference co-chair, Optical Fiber Sensors 2020