The evolution of atmospheric, hydrologic, and oceanic sciences toward increasingly model-based studies and comparisons, many times carried out or administered by institutions and organizations, is reflected in the publications of the American Meteorological Society (AMS). Model, institutional, and program acronyms are ubiquitous, and the longtime AMS style practice of expanding all acronyms can lead to unwieldy paragraphs, long captions, and cluttered tables that delay the editing process and sometimes cause author/reader dissatisfaction. To address this concern, AMS will now maintain acronym reference lists at our website and will no longer require expansion of many scientific, model, institutional, and experiment/program acronyms in our journal articles.
We have posted a document to the Publications portion of our website under the “Author Resources” section (http://www.ametsoc.org/PubsAcronymList) that contains four sections of acronyms that will no longer need to be expanded in our publications. The first is a list of standard scientific and technical acronyms and abbreviations and a list of common computing terms. The second is a list of acronyms and expansions for the most common centers and institutions involved in meteorological, climatic, and oceanographic research. The third section contains acronyms and expansions for various common field and modeling programs, studies, and experiments, as well as for satellites and instruments. The fourth section contains common computer model acronyms and expansions, many related to climate change studies. The spelling and formatting of each acronym and expansion were verified through checking official websites and reference publications and, if necessary, reaching out to model developers, database and program managers, and institutional representatives. These lists are not meant to be comprehensive, but rather to cover those terms that we see most often and that are most familiar to our readers. The lists are “living documents,” and we welcome community feedback (firstname.lastname@example.org) on list composition and any necessary corrections and updates. Of course, authors may still include expansions in their papers, and copy and technical editors will ensure that the spelling and formatting of these expansions and their acronyms are consistent with the lists.
We anticipate that these new reference lists will enhance the readability of our publications and will benefit our authors by saving time (through accelerated copyediting and technical editing and reduced production time) and money (through condensed text and reduced page charges). As always, the goal of AMS with its journals is to serve the scientific community as best we can, and this new approach to our journal style is taken with that goal in mind.