Is it a good practice to include an abbreviation in a title of a research paper. for example : PC , IDE , RAM

  • 2
    Look around. How many authors do that?
    – Nobody
    Jan 21, 2013 at 4:05
  • 5
    if it's well known abbreviations I believe it's OK.
    – seteropere
    Jan 21, 2013 at 4:38
  • 1
    Why would you want to?
    – StrongBad
    Jan 21, 2013 at 9:00
  • 1
    Most of your examples are actually acronyms, not abbreviations. In my experience acronyms are pretty common in titles. There are plenty of acronyms where writing it out is rather unusual. AES, TCP, FPGA... Jan 21, 2013 at 11:37
  • I am seriously against using abbreviations/acronyms. Please take a look at this wiki page and tell me if I write a communication related paper of title ... ATM..., what is the ATM I am referring to?
    – Nobody
    Jan 22, 2013 at 4:59

4 Answers 4


It is acceptable if (Edit: and only if) the abbreviation you are using is common (in your field or in general) and there is no risk of confusion.

I have two papers whose titles contain the abbreviation (RD) which stands for (Rapid Decay). Since it is an acceptable abbreviation in our field these titles are fine.

The best way to find out is to check similar papers or titles in your field.

  • 3
    That first "if" should be "if and only if". If a abbreviation can cause confusion, don't use it in the title, even if it's common. (If all your friends jumped off a cliff....)
    – JeffE
    Jan 21, 2013 at 20:23
  • 6
    On the other hand, you should prefer abbreviations if the alternative would cause confusion. For example: if you're writing a computer science paper, don't expand the abbreviations P and NP!
    – JeffE
    Jan 21, 2013 at 20:25
  • that would be quite hilarious.
    – Suresh
    Jan 22, 2013 at 4:24
  • "if and only if" should be "only if"
    – Zingg
    Oct 2, 2022 at 15:04

There is a big difference between can and good practice. I can think of no reason why it should be considered good practice and a number of reasons why it would be bad practice. despite this, many journals will allow you to use abbreviations in titles, but you will need to check with the editor to see if you can.

  • Why would it be bad practice?
    – Tommi
    Sep 18, 2015 at 11:02

I would go against the checking similar papers in the field, and more with checking the submission guidelines.

For example the IEEE Trans in Evolutionary Computation will reject any paper with Acronyms in the title.

Yeah, it just happened to us recently, that is the reason I know, however it was our first time submitting to that Journal, and we had no trouble with acronyms before.

A friend even told us that the very same journal asked him to put the explanation of S.O.S. since it was an acronym as well.

So, I would recommend checking the submission guidelines.

  • 8
    Ironic that a journal with an acronym in the journal title will reject any paper with acronyms in the title.
    – gerrit
    Jan 21, 2013 at 12:33
  • If community practice conflicts with the journal's submission guidelines, the journal's submission guidelines are broken. Submit elsewhere.
    – JeffE
    Jan 21, 2013 at 20:18

Using acronyms/abbreviations in title is very bad practice. Doing it also in abstract and highlights, which are all separate documents used by indexing services, is also bad. Avoid it.

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