Abbreviation Menu Comments

General Use - When using an unfamiliar abbreviation for the first time, write out the full word and follow it with the abbreviation in parentheses. Then use only the abbreviation in all successive contexts (Chapter 24, 24.1.2, p. 331).

Common Abbreviations - Abbreviations must fully be explained with the exception of those that are found as words in the dictionary.

Beginning a Sentence - When beginning a sentence, always use the written form (as opposed to an abbreviated form) of a word. When writing out the written word of the abbreviation at the beginning of a sentence the first letter should be capitalized in every part of the replacing word (e.g., S-Adenosyl).

Latin Abbreviations - Latin abbreviations are acceptable for use within parenthetical notation in a paper, but in text, Latin abbreviations are typically not be used and should be written out so as not to take away from the professional manner of the writing.

Plural - When using the plural form of an abbreviation, do not use an apostrophe; only add an S (not in italics) to the end of the abbreviation M330 (Chapter 20,, p. 283).

Over-Under Use - Avoid overuse or underuse of abbreviations.

Scientific Unit of Measurement - If a scientific unit of measurement is used following a numerical value, then abbreviations and symbols can be used; otherwise the units of measurements should be written out (Chapter 24, 24.5, p. 339).

Common Journal Abbreviations - The best rule of thumb is to assume that the reader is not familiar with the abbreviation and to write the word out the first time it appears, regardless of what scientific journal recognizes it.