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Code and data for handling journal abbreviations in BibTeX
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BibTeX Journal Abbreviations

Some journals can be a real pain in the ass.

Example: Journals disagree about the proper formatting for the name of a journal name in a reference. Some want the “long” format: Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Others want the “short” format: Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A.. Others want other things, I don’t know, don’t ask me.

For these kinds of reasons its nice to maintain a single BibTeX file with string variables for journals. These labels can be turned into either short or long journal names automatically by BibTeX.

I’ve collected here some “standard abbreviations” for journal names I found on the Internet as well as my own list of abbreviations. They appear in two files, journal-abbreviations-long.bib and journal-abbreviations-short.bib.


If you have a Ruby installation, you might want to check out the Rakefile in this project as well as the code in the lib dir. It’s should be straightforward to add additional sources of journal abbreviations and modify their processing as you need it.

Try running

$ rake long

to get parsed, uniq’d, long journal abbreviations in a BibTeX format. Substitute short for long to generate short abbreviations.

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