Help with Journal Abbreviations

One of the things that is most frustrating as a researcher is coming across a journal abbreviation that I don’t know. Although many older works of scholarship used fairly easy-to-decode abbreviations (at least easy for the Google age), more recent works tend to use APh (L’année philologique) abbreviations. Which is great, if you happen to know all of the abbreviations out there.

Although the APh does have a pdf list of abbreviations available to everyone — subscribers and non-subscribers — it is a bit unwieldy. The searchable tool in the subscription-only version is easier, but not everyone has access to the full APh. Luckily, there are other options, at least for undergraduate research. (Graduate and professional researchers will likely require a more comprehensive list than the site I am about to link to, and should skip a paragraph.)


The Indiana University Library system has a webpage, hyperlinked and alphabetized by APh abbreviation, of all of the journals it has in its library.

Searchable site at IU

Searchable site at IU

UNC-Greensboro, on the other hand, reproduces the full APh list with alphabetized hyperlinks:

Searchable page at UNC-Greensboro

Searchable page at UNC-Greensboro

These are pretty self-explanatory sites: let’s say you come across the abbreviation RAL. If you google that, you’ll have a difficult time finding it:

Searching for RAL...

Searching for RAL…

And while you might think that this has something to do with Latin, you’d be wrong: it’s actually the place of publication (Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei). But one click on either website will show you that:




The University of Chicago’s site is even searchable:

classics abbreviations journals aph

So, I’m not sure that I have any special tricks for these, except to bookmark the sites so that you can easily locate your citations!



Creative Commons License
Help with Journal Abbreviations by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


5 thoughts on “Help with Journal Abbreviations

  1. I’ve tried to bring together some resources for the use of abbreviations (Journal and otherwise) in Classics here:
    The Serial Guide: Classics, Ancient Near East, Medieval Latin and Byzantine from the University of Chicago Library is especially useful for journal abbreviations.
    By the way, this is a great blog–I’m recommending it to the students I work with.


    • Thanks for the extra resources (adding!) and the feedback. Classics can be a hard field to get into, so we’re trying to make it a little less forbidding!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s