Data Format
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Abbreviations Control File (Abbrev.cvt)

The Abbreviations Control File defines all the abbreviations used in the Publication Details Field in Item Records and Book Records. It is primarily used for expanding such abbreviations into the full details displayed in the indexes, but also has a number of secondary uses:

The basic records in the file consist of between 2 and 8 fields:

  1. Abbreviation

    This contains the abbreviation, padded with spaces to a fixed width of 8 characters. Currently there are three types of abbreviation:
  2. Book or Magazine Title, or Publisher Name

    This contains the book or magazine title, or publisher name, with leading articles and punctuation removed as for item and book titles. There are also special characteristics of the three types of entry:
  3. Author(s) or Editor(s) of the book. These are in normal text format (e.g. "Roger Elwood"), with multiple authors being separated by " & ". If the book is edited then the names are preceded by "ed. ". This field is left empty for magazines and publishers or if the author(s)/editor(s) are not known.

  4. Book type, using the standard item types such as "co", "oc", "an" and "oa". This field is left empty for magazines and publishers.

  5. Name of publisher for the book, in the same format(s) as for publisher names in field 2. This field is left empty for magazines and publishers or if the publisher is not known.

  6. Date the book was first published. This field is left empty for magazines and publishers or if the publication date is not known.

  7. Additional title information, as for item and book titles.

  8. Alternative name used for magazines in listings, particularly for cases where the title in field 2 has been changed to adjust the order in which the magazines are listed in an index. Note that field should not include any additional title information specified in the previous field (cf. 20S).

Alternate Title Records are used in older files where a magazine's name changes from date to date but the abbreviation stays the same. The format is the same as for an ordinary magazine record except that the abbreviation is followed by a single space and a @ character. There may be as many copies of these records for the same abbreviation as necessary, for example:

ASF @   ~Astounding Stories of Super-Science} (193001-193101; 193301-193303)~
ASF @ ~Astounding Stories} (193102-193211; 193310-193802)~
ASF @ ~Astounding Science-Fiction} (193803-194310)~
ASF @ ~Astounding Science Fiction} (194311-196001)~
ASF @ ~Astounding/Analog Science Fact & Fiction} (196002-196009)~
ASF @ ~Analog Science Fact^--Fiction} (196010-196111)~
ASF @ ~Analog Science Fact^--Science Fiction} (196112-196503)~
ASF @ ~Analog Science Fiction^--Science Fact} (196504-19810817)~
ASF @ ~Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact} (19810914-199110)~
ASF @ ~Analog Science Fiction & Fact} (199111-199212)~
ASF @ ~Analog Science Fiction and Fact} (199301-2099)~

In addition to the above there are a number of special records, mainly for informational purposes:


  CYB ~Cyber-Psychos AOD} [use CybPs]~
15DCA   ~Fifteen Story Detective (Canada)}~~~~~~15 Story Detective (Canada)~
AmrPulp ~American Pulp>~ed. Ed Gorman, Bill Pronzini & Martin H. Greenberg~an~Carroll & Graf~1997~
BLM     ~Black Mask} (1927-1950)~
BLM#2   ~Black Mask} (1974)~
BMD     ~New York: Bradford M. Day~
SSM ~Short Stories} (1890-191409; 191507-195902)~

Publisher Names

Increasingly, publishers are multi-national and have identically named imprints in different countries which, from time to time, publish different items and hence need unique abbreviations in ABBREV.CVT to identify them. In general, the following principles should be adopted:


MAC ~Macmillan]~
MACCA ~Macmillan Canada]~
MACUS ~Macmillan US]~
TOR ~Tor] New York~
TorUK ~Tor UK]~

Note that publisher names in this file should not contain the location prefix/suffix that may be specified in the publisher field on the book record although they may contain notes on the publisher location after the terminating "]" as in the TOR example above.

Supplementary Files

In addition to ABBREV.CVT there are three, optional, supplementary files that are used by various programs associated with abbreviations: