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How Do I Find Journals?

Decipher Journal Title Abbreviations

  • Indexes and online databases often provide citations that present the journal title in abbreviated form, for example: J. Am. Psychoanal. Assoc.
  • Sometimes it's possible to find the full title of a journal simply by Googling the abbreviated title. For example, if you search for: J. Am. Psychoanal. Assoc. in Google, the first result is a listing for the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association.
  • It's also sometimes possible to find the full title of a journal by searching its abbreviated title directly in the library catalogue using the in Journal Title search option. For example, if you search for: j soc biol struct in Journal Title, you will get our listing for the Journal of Social and Biological Structures. However this will only work sometimes, if the abbreviation is included in the journal description.
  • Below are several guides currently available on the Internet to help convert abbreviations to full text. Click the How To Use link to read step-by-step instructions for each.
  • Once you have figured out what the journal title abbreviation stands for, go to the library catalogue and do a Journal Title search of the full title.

General Sources

Visit Site

How to use:

  1. Click the "visit site" link above.

  2. This website is a directory of online journal abbreviation conversion resources. It contains the following categories:

    image of directory categories
  3. Each of these categories contain links to external websites. Be aware: Some links are broken.

    sample of history link

Visit Site

How to Use:

  1. Click the "visit site" link above.

  2. There are two search methods: Current abbreviations are separated from the earlier (retrospective) abbreviations.

  3. In Current Abbreviations, the list is divided alphabetically. Click the letter that begins your abbreviation. For example, to find Am J Phys Anthropol, click "A".

    sample of current index

  4. Find your abbreviation.

    sample of abbreviation listing

  5. To search the older, retrospective abbreviations, scroll down the main page until you see the following image and repeat the steps above.

    sample of retrospective index

Visit Site

How to Use:

  1. Click the "visit site" link above.

  2. Unlike the other journal abbreviation listings, JAbbr functions by comparing the abbreviation entered in the search engine to all possible journal abbreviations, then returning a list of possible matches. The user must deduce which is the journal they are seeking.

    For example, the results of a search for Am J Phys include:
    American journal of physical anthropology
    American journal of physics
    American journal of physiologic imaging
    American journal of physiology
  3. Enter the abbreviation into the search engine and click Search.
    sample search screen
  4. From the results listing, find the journal that best matches your search. Remember, most important words in a title will be represented in an abbreviation.
    sample listing

Visit Site

How to Use:

  1. Click the "visit site" link above.

  2. This resource lists the full names of journals in alphabetical order, followed by their abbreviations. Most abbreviations, retain the first letter of the first major word in the title, for example: Journal of African Studies = J Afr Stud

  3. From the main page, choose the letter that your journal title abbreviation begins with.

    journal letter abbreviation list

  4. In your Internet browser menu, click Edit and choose Find (On this Page)...
    • In the resulting window or input box, type your journal title abbreviation.
    • Depending on your browser, you may have to click Find Next.
    • The abbreviation you're looking for will be highlighted, and above it will be the corresponding full journal title.

      sample listing

Subject Specific Sources

Visit Site

How to Use:

  1. Click the "visit site" link above.

  2. The TOCS-IN journal abbreviation list is presented alphabetically in a text (.txt) file:

    abbreviation list

  3. Scroll down the list to see if the abbreviation you are looking for is included.

Visit Site

How to Use:

  1. Click MEDLINE Journal Title Abbreviations link in the listing to the left.
  2. You will see a list of all journal titles used by MEDLINE with their abbreviations.
  3. This resource presents the full title and abbreviation in reverse - you look up the full name, and find the abbreviation. Most abbreviations, however, retain the first letter or the first major word in the title. 
    For example: The Journal of experimental zoology = J Exp Zool
  4. In your Internet browser menu, click Edit and choose Find (On this Page)...
    • In the resulting window or input box, type your journal title abbreviation.
    • Depending on your browser, you may have to click Find Next.sample abbreviation search
    • NOTE: As you click Find Next there may be many matches, as this search will find your search terms within larger words. For example, the search for J Exp Zool found
      • The Journal of experimental zoology ( J Exp Zool )
      • The Journal of experimental zoology. Supplement (J Exp Zool Suppl)
      • Journal of experimental zoology. Part A: Comparative experimental biology (J Exp Zoolog A Comp Exp Biol)
      • Journal of experimental zoology. Part B: Molecular and developmental evolution (J Exp Zoolog B Mol Dev Evol)
      • Make sure you choose the closest match.
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