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Publication title abbreviation per ISO-4 standard. Try it live!

This is a library for finding abbreviations of journal titles and searching LTWA (List of Title Word Abbreviations). See here for an overview of ISO-4 rules and caveats. Or try the API instead.

International Journal of Geographical Information Science → Int. J. Geogr. Inf. Sci.
Zeitschrift für deutsches Altertum und deutsche Literatur → Z. dtsch. Altert. dtsch. Lit.
4OR-A Quarterly Journal of Operations Research → 4OR-Q. J. Oper. Res.

There is also a Python bot using this library for maintaining redirects on Wikipedia.


abbrevIso.makeAbbreviation(s) outputs the computed abbreviation for the given title s.

abbrevIso.getMatchingPatterns(s) returns all patterns matching s, sorted by start index of match. The patterns are returned as a list of objects with the following properties:

  • pattern – the actual pattern string from the LTWA, with dashes;
  • replacement – the replacement string from the LTWA;
  • languages – an array of language codes to which the pattern applies;
  • startDash, endDash – booleans telling whether the pattern has dashes;
  • line – the original full line from the LTWA.

The library is designed for mass use, so the abbrevIso object is created once, slowly generating an index, but once this is done, queries should be fast.


You need 3 files to run the library yourself:

  • the bundled library: either browserBundle.js (for browsers) or nodeBundle.js (for Node.js)
  • the LTWA in CSV format; the library comes with a slightly modified version fixing some obvious bugs in it: LTWA_20170914-modified.csv
  • a list of short words (articles, prepositions, conjuctions) that should be omitted from titles; the library comes with a list including English, French, German and Spanish ones: shortwords.txt (Since articles are actually handled a bit differently by the standard, they are hard-coded in the library.)

In browsers

The library can be run in a browser as follows (loading auxilliary files using jQuery ajax):

<script src="browserBundle.js"></script>
	let ltwaAjax = $.ajax({
		mimeType: 'text/plain; charset=utf-8',
		url: 'LTWA_20170914-modified.csv',
		dataType: 'text',
	let shortWordsAjax = $.ajax({
		mimeType: 'text/plain; charset=utf-8',
		url: 'shortwords.txt',
		dataType: 'text',
	$.when(ltwaAjax, shortWordsAjax).done( (ltwa, shortWords) => {
		abbrevIso = new AbbrevIso.AbbrevIso(ltwa[0], shortWords[0]);
		let s = 'International Journal of Geographical Information Science';

Note that the ajax may fail if loading this locally using file:// in Chrome. You can instead start a basic server that will host the current working directory at http://localhost:8000 simply by running python3 -m http.server.

In Node.js

You can run the library on any PC as follows:

  • install Node.js (from the Windows installer or from your Linux repository)
  • download (or git clone) the 3 files
  • write an example script using the library:
let fs = require('fs');
let AbbrevIso = require('./nodeBundle.js');

let ltwa = fs.readFileSync('LTWA_20170914-modified.csv', 'utf8');
let shortWords = fs.readFileSync('shortwords.txt', 'utf8');
let abbrevIso = new AbbrevIso.AbbrevIso(ltwa, shortWords);

let s = 'International Journal of Geographical Information Science';
  • run the script: node example.js
  • to use with other languages, you can use your language to write a JSON file with a list of titles to be abbreviated, fill the JSON file with abbreviations with a simple JavaScript script (like here) and read the resulting JSON file back in your language.

Compiling (bundling/repackaging)

In case you need to change the library, you will need to repackage it. This is because the library is arranged in ECMAScript 6 modules, which are not well supported yet. Fortunately it suffices to repackage it using rollup.js (which can be installed from your repository or using npm, the Node.js package manager, like: sudo npm install --global rollup).

To create the browser bundle:

rollup AbbrevIso.js -o browserBundle.js --f iife --name AbbrevIso

To create the Node.js bundle:

rollup AbbrevIso.js -o nodeBundle.js --f cjs --name AbbrevIso


Publication title abbreviation per ISO-4 standard







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