Abbreviation or Acronym

Abbreviation, acronym, or emoticon used in the text of a document, possibly including an expansion of the acronym.


Usage. Although an abbreviation is typically a few capitalized letters (“NIH”, “WHO”, “UN”, or “GAO”), emoticons (“;-)”) can also be tagged as abbreviations (“smile-wink”).

Linking: The linking attributes (with the standard XLink attributes) may be used to provide a live link to an expansion, definition, or additional explanation.

Conversion Note: Abbreviations, while common in STM books, have been rarely tagged in the STM journal world, and will not be present in many journal tag sets. Thus, converted material cannot rely on acronyms and abbreviations being recognized unless processing has been added to recognize them. This element used to be quite rare in the journal world, but is on the increase for accessibility uses.

Accessibility: Sometimes a <abbrev> needs to be pronounced in a way that is not reflected in its content or its tagging. The @alt attribute can be used to record the pronunciation for screen readers and other accessibility devices. For example, the abbreviation “WHO” might be better pronounced as “World Health Organization” or as “W.H.O.” than as “who”. The @alt attribute can also be used to provide the textual interpretation of a symbol such as an emoticon (for “;-)” use “alt="smile-wink"”).


alt Alternative Text
content-type Type of Content
id Document Internal Identifier
specific-use Specific Use
xlink:actuate Actuating the Link
xlink:href Href (Linking Mechanism)
xlink:role Role of the Link
xlink:show Showing the Link
xlink:title Title of the Link
xlink:type Type of Link
xmlns:xlink XLink Namespace Declaration
xml:base Base
xml:lang Language

Related Elements

The <def> may be used within an <abbrev> to contain, for example, the expansion of the acronym, for example, with “NIH” as the acronym and “National Institutes of Health” as the expansion.

Content Model

<!ELEMENT  abbrev       (#PCDATA %abbrev-elements;)*                 >

Expanded Content Model

(#PCDATA | email | ext-link | uri | inline-supplementary-material | related-article | related-object | hr | bold | fixed-case | italic | monospace | overline | overline-start | overline-end | roman | sans-serif | sc | strike | underline | underline-start | underline-end | ruby | alternatives | inline-graphic | private-char | chem-struct | inline-formula | tex-math | mml:math | abbrev | milestone-end | milestone-start | named-content | styled-content | fn | target | xref | sub | sup | x | def)*


Any combination of:

This element may be contained in:

<abbrev>, <abbrev-journal-title>, <addr-line>, <aff>, <alt-title>, <anonymous>, <article-title>, <attrib>, <award-id>, <bold>, <chapter-title>, <chem-struct>, <code>, <collab>, <comment>, <compound-kwd-part>, <conf-acronym>, <conf-loc>, <conf-name>, <conf-num>, <conf-sponsor>, <conf-theme>, <copyright-statement>, <corresp>, <def-head>, <degrees>, <disp-formula>, <edition>, <element-citation>, <email>, <etal>, <ext-link>, <fax>, <fixed-case>, <funding-source>, <funding-statement>, <given-names>, <gov>, <history>, <inline-formula>, <inline-supplementary-material>, <institution>, <issue>, <issue-part>, <issue-sponsor>, <issue-title>, <italic>, <journal-subtitle>, <journal-title>, <kwd>, <label>, <license-p>, <meta-name>, <meta-value>, <mixed-citation>, <monospace>, <named-content>, <on-behalf-of>, <overline>, <p>, <part-title>, <patent>, <phone>, <prefix>, <preformat>, <product>, <publisher-loc>, <publisher-name>, <rb>, <related-article>, <related-object>, <role>, <roman>, <sans-serif>, <sc>, <self-uri>, <series>, <series-text>, <series-title>, <sig>, <sig-block>, <source>, <speaker>, <std-organization>, <strike>, <string-conf>, <string-date>, <string-name>, <styled-content>, <sub>, <subject>, <subtitle>, <suffix>, <sup>, <supplement>, <surname>, <target>, <td>, <term>, <term-head>, <th>, <title>, <trans-source>, <trans-subtitle>, <trans-title>, <underline>, <unstructured-kwd-group>, <uri>, <verse-line>, <volume>, <volume-id>, <volume-series>, <xref>

Example 1

An abbreviation shown with and without alternate text for pronunciation:

<article-title>The disabilities of the arm, shoulder and hand
(<abbrev>DASH</abbrev>) outcome questionnaire: longitudinal
construct validity and measuring self-rated health change after
<copyright-statement>&copy;2003 Gummesson et al; licensee BioMed Central
<license license-type="open-access">
<license-p>This is an Open Access article: verbatim copying ...</license-p>
<p><bold>Background:</bold> The disabilities of the arm, shoulder
and hand (<abbrev alt="D.A.S.H.">DASH</abbrev>) questionnaire is a
self-administered region-specific outcome instrument developed as
a measure of self-rated upper-extremity disability and symptoms. The
<abbrev  alt="D.A.S.H.">DASH</abbrev> consists mainly of a 30-item
disability/symptom scale, scored 0 (no disability) to 100. The main
purpose of this study was to assess the <italic>longitudinal
construct validity</italic> of the <abbrev alt="D.A.S.H.">DASH</abbrev>
among patients undergoing surgery.</p>

Example 2

An emoticon:

<p>And I can say without fear of contradiction
<abbrev alt="Wink smile">;)</abbrev> that this
political process is without flaw.</p>