I am using APA and need to cite an article from a conference that has a capitalized abbreviation in its name:

Proceedings of the 1992 ACM/IEEE Conference on Supercomputing


I can't find information on how to handle abbreviations in the reference entry. My BibLaTeX code is this:

    author = {Schütze, H},
    year = {1992},
    pages = {787 - 796},
    title = {Dimensions of Meaning},
    booktitle = {Proceedings of the 1992 {ACM/IEEE} Conference on Supercomputing},
    editor = {Robert Werner},
    location = {Los Alamitos, CA, USA},
    publisher = {IEEE Computer Society Press}

On suspicion, I manually kept the abbreviations capitalized, producing this output

Screenshot of LaTeX showing the generated citation output

But per default ACM/IEEE is not capitalized by BibLaTeX.

What is correct?

1 Answer 1


First of all, do not trust Bibtex/Biblatex on capitalization issues. Every Bibtex/Biblatex style file I've looked at handles capitalization using quite simple rules - either it's "Title Case" (capitalizing every "major" word) or "Sentence case" (capitalizing first letter). There's no extensive hidden database used to tell if a given word is a name, proper noun, abbreviation, chemical element, etc. That is, Bibtex/Biblatex would happily output "On gustafson–barsis's law", for example.

Now, APA generally recommends abbreviations to be capitalized (there are some exceptions like 'laser' where an acronym has become overly familiar), which presumably also applies in the reference list. The clearest statement to this effect I've found is from this library guide:

Capitalize proper nouns, initials, and acronyms in a title.

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