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Medical Imaging and Radiologic Sciences Resources: AMA

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Shannon Johnson
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AMA Style

Formatting an Abbreviated Journal Title

Styles such as ACS and AMA require an abbreviated journal title in the reference list.  This can be tricky to do if the journal did not publish the abbreviation on the article itself.  But there is an easy way to construct one.  Both styles use the same formatting, and they stay standard every time that word is used in a title.  Once you know how a particular word is abbreviated, you can use it over and over. 


To look up how a word is abbreviated, here is a simple hack:

  1. Try CAS Source Index (CASSI) Search Tool first. LInk below.If the journal is not listed, move on to step 2.
  2. Go to and click on the journals link to get into the catalog (direct link is right below)
  3. Search for the journal -if you find the exact one great, if not just look for the word you need to know in any title. search box for pubmed journal catalog with education entered and highlighted.  journal of medical education is circled
  4. Once on the journal record look for the NLM Title Abbreviation, usually the third line down Journal of medical education title record with the NLM Title Abbreviation line circled in red showing J med Educ
  5. This will show you how that title is abbreviated.  If it is not the exact journal you need, just use the words that do match and construct the abbreviation one word at a time.