Publication title abbreviation per ISO-4 standard
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Publication title abbreviation per ISO-4 standard.

This is a library for finding abbreviations of journal titles and searching LTWA (List of Title Word Abbreviations). Try it live, also check there for caveats and an overview of ISO-4 rules.

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.

Both functions accept an optional languages parameter, an Array of ISO-639-2 (B) language codes. If given, only LTWA patterns that apply to at least one of these languages are used. If not given, all patterns are used. A recommended option for English titles is ['eng', 'mul', 'lat', 'und'] (for English, multilanguage, Latin, and undefined languages – in case some LTWA bugs are relevant to you).

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.


The library is arranged in ECMAScript 6 modules, which are not well supported yet, so some simple repackaging is needed using rollup.js (which can be installed via sudo npm install --global rollup).

Two files must also be loaded:

  • the LTWA in CSV format; the library comes with a slightly modified version fixing some obvious bugs in it.
  • 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. Since articles are actually handled a bit differently by the standard, they are hard-coded in the library.

In browsers

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

<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';

In Node.js

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

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';