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I'm having a hard time with a writing issue. I'm trying to write a paper on time-frequency transforms. These typically have a well-known abbreviation/acronym, and also a reference for their origin, e.g.:

  • Constant-Q Transform (CQT), (Brown 1991)
  • sliCQ Transform (sliCQT), (Holighaus et. al 2013)
  • Nonstationary Gabor Transform (NSGT), (Balazs et. al 2011)

I can't figure out the best way to include both the reference and acronym in a paragraph, especially when I need to mention more than one in the same sentence. For example:

The Nonstationary Gabor Transform (NSGT) (Balazs et. al 2011) can be used to implement the Constant-Q Transform (CQT) (Brown 1991).

Balazs et. al 2011's Nonstationary Gabor Transform (NSGT) can be used to implement Brown 1991's Constant-Q Transform (CQT)

2 Answers 2

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I write, as given by APA style:

The Nonstationary Gabor Transform (NSGT; Balazs et. al 2011) can be used to implement the Constant-Q Transform (CQT; Brown 1991).

From APA style:

Narrative format: Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale for DSM-5 (CAPS-5; Weathers et al., 2018)

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    In LaTeX, this is typically achieved through the citealt command: ... Constant-Q Transform (CQT; \citealt{brown91}).
    – Paul Price
    Commented Sep 15, 2021 at 1:58
  • In Zotero, you use the prefix in the advanced itation inserter Commented Sep 15, 2021 at 21:26
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I think that these sentences are most readable by leaving the abbreviations and their parentheses out entirely:

The Nonstationary Gabor Transform (Balazs et. al 2011) can be used to implement the Constant-Q Transform (Brown 1991).

You could consider adding a single phrase to the introduction where you introduce all transforms and their abbreviation, and afterwards refer to them only by their full name (usually most readable) or abbreviation (if this is preferred for a good reason)

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    This definitely sounds good, but my worry in this case is that in the wider related literature, the abbreviation is oftentimes even more well-known than the full name. Like I would be harming the paper by omitting the "CQT" abbreviation of the Constant-Q transform.
    – Sevag
    Commented Sep 14, 2021 at 20:10
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    @Sevag: That is why I proposed to mention it in a line in the introduction.
    – Louic
    Commented Sep 15, 2021 at 6:28

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