Jonathan Potter @ Riverpoint Campus Library

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Q. When is an Abbreviation Not an Abbreviation?

A. When it's International Braz J Urol.

I've been working on a bibliometric analysis project and part of the process of compiling the data involves deciphering scads of sometimes obscure journal abbreviations. Well, I came upon the following: International Braz J Urol. The first oddity is that "International" is not abbreviated. I'd have expected Int Braz J Urol, and I'd have guessed that to stand for the International Brazilian Journal of Urology -- which is itself a rather awkward formulation. So, upon further investigation, I discovered that, apparently, the name of the journal is in fact: International Braz J Urol. Which has got to drive the abbreviators (and who are these people?) crazy. On the other hand, maybe the abbreviators take one look at this, smile, nod, and think, "Yes, our scheme to replace sensible titles with obscure fragments of titles is beginning to spread like the swine flu."