Automatic generation of publication abbreviated names


I would be nice to have a feature to automatically generate abbreviated publication names. Unfortunately the databases that I tend to use (Web of Science etc.) do not generate those properly, but the references in my field normally use abbreviated publication name.

I would imagine generating a file with abbreviation rules, for most commonly used publications, and then choosing to apply this to my papers. I.e. "Physical Review Letters" would automatically generate "Phys. Rev. Lett." for an abbreviated-pub. name field. This is a feature in fact missing in Refworks and as far as I know in Endnote as well. Such "convension" files could then be shared between users, easily creating a comprehensive database.
  • For reference:
  • Note also that abbreviations are style-dependent.

    The last time I used endnote, I think it did support automatic publication abbreviations based on the user's choice of some small number (4?) of lists.
  • edited August 22, 2008
    On style-dependent abbreviations, how exactly are they so? Are you saying some styles insist on "Phys. Rev. Lett." and others on ""Phys. Rev. Let.", or simply one may require "Phys Rev Lett" over "Phys. Rev. Lett."?

    If it's the latter, then there's two options: a) some in-software rules for converting from full titles*, or b) standardized short-forms (maintained, say, by Zotero).

    * actually, it'd even be possible to allow multiple rules I suppose.
  • Unfortunately, I mean the former. Sometimes PRL is cited as "Phys. Rev. Letters," for instance.

    I work in materials science & "materials" (or "materialia" or other related words) in journal names in sometimes shortened to "Mat." and sometimes to "Mater."
  • However, a good "first guess" at auto-filling journal abbreviations would be to use ISSN's list of title word abbreviations
  • I would suggest using the list at web of knowledge
  • Is there anyway that the ISI-list linked above could be used?
  • Not at this time. Maybe not in the future--the ISI list does not appear to be a 1:1 mapping & Thomson Reuters would doubtlessly claim copyright over the specific tabulation.
  • Jabref has a tool which allows to abbreviate journals.
    A number of "Downloadable journal lists" can be found at
  • Related but not directly on topic is the ability to convert abbreviations to full text. I visit a range of sites that the translator actually copies the abbreviated title, and I have to write it out in full and on occasion move from the journal name field to the journal abbreviation field.

    A reference table like the one being discussed should include "Full Title", "ISSN" and "Abbreviated Title". When a record is created the journal name and abbreviation fields should be cross-checked with this list, and empty or inappropriately allocated fields populated.

    Personally I think the ISSN list should be the standard, although unfortunately this list is not comprehensive - I have looked for a range of journals on this list with allocated ISSN numbers and they do not appear. This would mean the list would need to be updated by users or changes submitted to a curator.

    Hopefully should be moving towards a more stable home soon. At that point, zotero ought to integrate this.
  • Journals metadata does not have abbreviations though, so cross referencing abbreviations with full title and back will not be able to be done.
  • edited May 26, 2009
    What do you mean by "journal metadata do not have abbreviations"?
  • If you follow your link to the data incubator site and look at the data stored for journals; the journals standard abbreviation is not recorded.
  • Sorry, you a right. I must of randomly chosen journals that did not have the abbreviation.
  • This is an open data effort, based on open conversion code. So if you see problems or have suggestions, it'd be good to bring them up at the dataincubator group.
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