Get expert advice to help you get published!

You are here

Handling abbreviations of journal names in references

Editage Insights | Nov 27, 2013 | 104,909 views
Tips for abbreviating journal names in references

Among the many ways in which journals differ in the way they expect authors to format references is the way names of journals are given: whether spelt out in full or abbreviated (Current Science versus Curr. Sci., for example). The abbreviations may also be different - journal being shortened to simply J or to Jnl - but, fortunately, are practically standardized now. This post offers some tips on dealing with the abbreviations.

Look up references in a recent issue of the target journal. In most cases, authors of papers published in your target journal will have already cited the journal title that you need to abbreviate. Examine a few published papers on the same topic published in the target journal to see if the journal title in question is listed and use the same abbreviation.

Look up the websites of abstracting and indexing services. Because abstracting and indexing services cover thousands of journals and typically abbreviate their names, websites of Chemical Abstracts (publishers of CASSI, or the Chemical Abstracts Service Source Index)1 and BIOSIS (BIOSIS Serial Sources) are likely to include the journal title you are looking for.

Another comprehensive source is ‘All That JAS', or Journal Abbreviation Sources2, which points visitors to Internet resources, organized by disciplines (from Agriculture and Anthropology to Religion and Veterinary Medicine) that provide full titles of journals and abbreviations of those titles.

Abbreviate the title from the standard abbreviations of its constituent words. If you wish to abbreviate Malaysian Journal of Oncology, for example, and cannot find the title, you can build up the abbreviation using Malay. for Malaysian, J. for journal, and Oncol.for Oncology because this is how these words are abbreviated according to ISSN. Standard abbreviations for common words are available at the ISSN website:

Do not abbreviate single-word titles. Names of journals that run to only one word -Nature and Science, to cite two famous examples - are not abbreviated.

Match the target journal's style for abbreviations. Journals differ in whether they end the abbreviated words with a dot, whether they print the abbreviated titles in italics, and whether they capitalize every significant word in the title. Examine the style used by your target journal and follow that.





Like this article? Republish it!
Knowledge should be open to all. We encourage our viewers to republish articles, online or in print. Our Creative Commons license allows you to do so for free. We only ask you to follow a few simple guidelines:
  • Attribution: Remember to attribute our authors. They spend a lot of time and effort in creating this content for you.
  • Editage Insights: Include an attribution to Editage Insights as the original source.
  • Consider a teaser: Yes, that’s what we call it…a teaser. You could include a few lines of this post and say “Read the whole article on Editage Insights”. Don’t forget to add the link to the article.
  • Re-using images: Re-publishing some of the images from our articles may need prior permission from or credit to the original image source.
  • Quick and easy embed code: The simplest way to share this article on your webpage would be to embed the code below.


Please copy the above code and embed it onto your website to republish.
Join a community of 179000+ researchers
Editage Insights offers a wealth of free resources on academic research and publishing. Sign up and get complete access to a vibrant global community of researchers. Gain expertise & share your own with authors and others involved in scholarly publishing.
By clicking 'Join Now', you agree to our Terms & Privacy Policy.
Having trouble registering/logging in? Contact us
Q & A

Have your own question?

Related Categories