Box 22Abbreviation rules for journal titles

  • Abbreviate and capitalize significant words in a journal title and omit other words, such as articles, conjunctions, and prepositions. For example: of, the, at, in, and, L'.
    • The Journal of Biocommunication   becomes   J Biocommun.
    • La Pediatria Medica e Chirurgica   becomes   Pediatr Med Chir.
    • L'Orthodontie Francaise   becomes   Orthod Fr.
    A list of the abbreviations for common English words used in journal titles is in Appendix A. Other sources for title-word abbreviations are:
  • Do not abbreviate journal titles that consist of a single word or titles written in a character-based language such as Chinese or Japanese
    • Virology.   remains   Virology.
    • Kansenshogaku Zasshi.   remains   Kansenshogaku Zasshi.
  • Do not include journal subtitles as part of the abbreviated title
    • JAMA: the Journal of the American Medical Association   becomes   JAMA.
    • Injury Prevention: Journal of the International Society for Child and Adolescent Injury Prevention   becomes   Inj Prev.
  • Omit any punctuation in a title
    • Journal of Neuro-Oncology   becomes   J Neurooncol.
    • Drug-Nutrient Interactions   becomes   Drug Nutr Interact.
    • Women's Health   becomes   Womens Health.
    • Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology, and Endodontics   becomes   Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod
  • Some bibliographies and online databases show a place of publication after a journal title, such as Clin Toxicol (Phila). This practice is used to show that two or more journal titles with the same name reside in a library collection or database; the name of the city where the journal is published distinguishes the titles. The city is usually shown in abbreviated format following the same rules used for words in journal titles, as Phila for Philadelphia in the example above. If you use a bibliography or database such as PubMed to verify your reference and a place name is included, you may keep it if you wish.

From: Chapter 1, Journals

Cover of Citing Medicine
Citing Medicine: The NLM Style Guide for Authors, Editors, and Publishers [Internet]. 2nd edition.
Patrias K, author; Wendling D, editor.
Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US); 2007-.

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