The Use of Abbreviations in English-Medium Astrophysics Research Paper Titles: A Problematic Issue

David I. Méndez, M. Ángeles Alcaraz


In this study, we carry out a qualitative and quantitative analysis of abbreviations in 300 randomly collected research paper titles published in the most prestigious European and US-based Astrophysics journals written in English. Our main results show that the process of shortening words and groups of words is one of the most characteristic and recurrent features in Astrophysics research paper titling construction. In spite of the convenience of abbreviations as a mechanism for word-formation, some of them may pose certain difficulties of understanding and/or misinterpretation because of their specificity, ambiguity, or overlapping. To overcome these difficulties, we propose a series of options which with no doubt would lead to a better interaction among the different branches of Astrophysics in particular and of science in general and would definitely improve how research is currently performed and communicated.

Keywords: Abbreviations; Astrophysics; English; Research Papers

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