Journal title abbreviations

I’m wondering if anybody has a preference on how we deal with journal
title abbreviations.

Many journals/institutes have a full primary title, but are commonly
referred to by their abbreviation. An example is the American
Institute of Physics, or AIP. But there are a few cases where the
abbreviation is the primary title. E.g. JAAPA, or the Journal of the
American Academy of Physician Assistants.

CSL offers the cs:title element, and since CSL 1.0.1, also
cs:title-short (
Currently I almost only use cs:title, starting with the primary title,
followed by the (un)abbreviated version in parentheses, e.g.:

American Institute of Physics (AIP) and JAAPA (Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants)

This is handy because only shows and
searches the contents of the cs:title field, but obviously we’re
clumping two metadata fields together. Somewhat cleaner would be:

American Institute of Physics AIP and JAAPA (Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants) JAAPA

but this would require some changes to the Zotero Style Repository to
keep styles findable. Does anybody have an opinion on the desired path


I have a strong opinion on this, but I realize the limitations imposed by the search done on the Zotero page, and will adpat to whatever decision is made.

I think the <title> field should not include any acronym or abbreviation, except in rare cases. The acronym should be instead stored in the <title-short> field. In my opinion, when the user looks for a style, they should only see the title. The acronym in parenthesis is noise. Or maybe to be more subtle: the display of the title and the acronym can be displayed both, but in a way that is optimized for readability etc… A good (?) analogy is maybe filename and extension: yes, a three-letter extension is a way to tell what the file type is, but it is better to display an icon that represents the file type.

In short, the title and the acronym are 2 separate pieces of information.

For Papers, I have a script to include the styles in the application package, and part of the processing is to change the titles that include an acronym in parentheses. Instead, the search in Papers is written so that it also searches for acronyms based on the title. It’s smart enough to skip some words as well, like ‘the’ or ‘of’. It works well. If I could make use of the title-short field, it would be even better, I suppose :slight_smile:



I agree with Charles. Structured data is better than not.

Dan, could you change the Zotero Style Repository page to match the
search string against the contents of cs:title-short as well? Once
that’s done I’ll move over the parenthesized abbreviations.


I can do this as soon as it’s changed in the styles (or at least one or
two to test).

cs:title-short is implemented currently in


Sorry, I was grepping for “short-title” instead of “title-short”.

The styles page now searches against title-short in addition to the name
and title.


I moved most of the abbreviations from the cs:title field to