Journal abbreviations

Journal abbreviation styles

Some referencing styles require journal titles to be abbreviated according to a standardised list of title abbreviations. For example, the Vancouver style of referencing requires journal titles to be abbreviated according to the style used in Index Medicus.

These abbreviations are contained in the Medical Journals term list supplied with your EndNote software, and located in C:\Program Files\EndNoteX5\Term Lists.

This page will show you how to:

  • import the Medical Journals term list into your EndNote library; and
  • modify the chosen output style to use the abbreviated journal title when formatting your bibliography.

We will use the Vancouver style and Medical Terms List as an example.

If you will be importing the list into an EndNote library which already contains references, you will need to first delete the existing terms in the journals term list of your library. To do this:

  • Open your EndNote library.
  • Click on Tools on the menu bar and choose Open Term Lists and then choose Journals Terms List.
  • Click anywhere in the window where the journal titles are displayed.
  • Press Ctrl+A to select all terms.
  • Click on the Delete Term button to delete all terms.
  • Close the Term Lists dialogue box.

To import the Medical Journals term list supplied with your EndNote software:

  • Open your EndNote library.
  • From the Tools menu, click Define Term Lists…
  • Highlight Journals, then click Import List. (Fig 1)



Fig 1. Importing Journal Term lists

  • Select Medical from the Term Lists folder (located in C:\Program Files\EndNote X5\Terms Lists).
  • Click Open.



Fig 2. Finding the Medical abbreviations in the Terms List

  • You will get the following message: "xxxx terms inserted into the Journals term list".
  • Click OK.
  • Close the Term Lists window.

How to make the style use abbreviations

We need to modify EndNote to show these title abbreviations with your selected style. To do this, follow these steps:

  • From the Edit menu, select Output Styles, and Edit "Vancouver" (or your selected style).



Fig 3. Editing the Vancouver style

  • When the Vancouver style window appears, click on Journal Names in the column on the left (Fig 4).
  • Click on the Abbreviation 2 radio button.
  • Close the window
  • You will be asked to save your modified style. Give it a name, such as Vancouver copy.



Fig 4. Vancouver style window

  • Return to your main EndNote screen and Select Another Style.
  • Choose Vancouver Copy, where your style changes have been made. It will now appear in your list of favourite styles.