I've recently discovered the Journal Abbreviations tool in JabRef. (https://help.jabref.org/en/JournalAbbreviations)

I've tried to create my own personal journal abbreviation list as described in the online help. The file for the list is a .txt-File which is found in the same directory as my .bib-file that I want to use the journal abbreviation list on. However, it does not seem to work. When I choose an article with the journal title "American journal of physiology. Heart and circulatory physiology" out of the list of my .bib-file and click on tools->Abbreviate journal names (ISO), jabref tells me that no journal titles could be abbreviated, even though I added the exact journal title and the corresponding abbreviation to my personal journal abbreviation list. (see screenshot) Jabref window

Did I miss a step to integrate my customized abbreviations into the jabref database?

Thanks for your help!

  • That is a very peculiar problem. I never had such problems. My only guess would be that the abbreviation file and the entry in the bib-file do not contain the exactly identical title (e.g., an extra space, capitalization difference) and JabRef therefore does not find the corresponding abbreviation. You have the manage-tool, which is activated by standard for journal names. Use this to store and insert journal names to avoid any wrong spelling, and use copies of its entries to build the abbreviation list to avoid such problems. Nov 1, 2016 at 14:52
  • Another thing I just saw: The ISO abbreviations must contain full stops after each proper abbreviation, and this is what JabRef expects you to enter in the abbreviation file. If you want the same abbreviations without full stops, chose the MEDLINE version in the abbreviation menu. I am not sure, but this might also be part of your problem. Nov 1, 2016 at 14:56

1 Answer 1


The cause of the problem was a spelling mistake in the journal list, so that the named journal title was not identical with the journal title in the bib-file. The abbreviations in the personal journal list do not need to contain full stops like the ISO-abbreviations - the MEDLINE version worked.

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