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:
- It defines the order in which
magazines are listed for indexes that do not have an index
- It is used for distinguishing
between different magazines with the same name that were published in different
- It is used for distinguishing
the different titles for a magazine that uses a single
abbreviation but whose name changes from date to date.
- It is used for flagging up "obsolete"
abbreviations where multiple abbreviations have been inadvertently used for
the same book/magazine.
The basic records in the file consist
of between 2 and 8 fields:
This contains the abbreviation, padded with spaces to a fixed width of 8 characters.
Currently there are three types of abbreviation:
- Old-style magazine/publisher
abbreviations. These are always 3 characters in width (padded with spaces
if necessary) and should contain upper case alphabetic characters, numbers
or punctuation characters.
- New-style magazine/publisher
abbreviations. These are always 5 characters in width (padded with spaces
if necessary) and should typically contain mixed case alphabetic characters,
numbers or punctuation characters.
- Book abbreviations. These
are always 7 characters in width and should typically contain mixed case
alphabetic characters, numbers or punctuation characters.
- Book or Magazine Title, or Publisher
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
- Books are identified by a
trailing ">" character at the end of the title. This should
be the last character in the field.
- Magazines are identified by
a trailing "}" character at the end of the title. Note that
in this case the title determines the order in which magazines are displayed
in indexes that do not have an index
definition file and hence any leading numbers should be translated
to the appropriate words. The sort order is determined by the full contents
of the field so additional data can be added after the "}" character
to ensure identically-named magazines are sorted in the desired order.
As a special case of this a date or date range(s) may be specified (in
brackets; up to three ranges separated by semi-colons) to indicate the
dates during which this particular magazine was published. Note that online
magazines are identified by adding " (online)" to the magazine
name if, and only if, there was also a print magazine with the same name.
- Publishers are identifed by
a trailing "]" character at the end of the publisher name. As
with magazines a date range may be added after the "]". See
below for a further discussion on identifying
- There are also a small number
of placeholders (identified by the absences of ">", "}"
or "]") typically used to reserve abbreviations used as file
names for oddments.
- 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.
- Book type, using the standard
item types such as "co", "oc",
"an" and "oa". This field is left empty for magazines
- 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.
- Date the book was first published.
This field is left empty for magazines and publishers or if the publication
date is not known.
- Additional title information,
as for item and book titles.
- 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,
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:
- Records that start with a "!"
character are comment records for reference only.
- Records that start with three
spaces identify the abbreviations used for the different categories of file
in the US data and are for reference only.
- Records that start with two spaces
identify obsolete abbreviations. The spaces are followed by the contents of
the old record, which is itself followed by " [use xxxxx]" where
"xxxxx" is the preferred abbreviation to be used.
- Records that start with a single
space identify two-character abbreviations used for publishers under circumstances
which are currently unclear.
AOD} [use CybPs]~
15DCA ~Fifteen Story Detective (Canada)}~~~~~~15 Story Detective
AmrPulp ~American Pulp>~ed. Ed Gorman, Bill Pronzini & Martin H. Greenberg~an~Carroll
BLM ~Black Mask} (1927-1950)~
BLM#2 ~Black Mask} (1974)~
BMD ~New York: Bradford M. Day~
SSM ~Short Stories} (1890-191409; 191507-195902)~
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:
- The abbreviation for the main/original
publisher (if in doubt this is the one based in the country where the imprint
name was first used) should have an associated 3-character abbreviation.
- Versions of that imprint in other
countries should then be created as five-character abbreviations by appending
"UK", "US", "CA", "AU" or similar
to the core abbreviation
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.
In addition to ABBREV.CVT there are
three, optional, supplementary files that are used by various programs associated
- ABBREV.NEW: this has an identical
format to ABBREV.CVT and is currently used (in the UK) to contain unsynchronised
records. The contents are merged into ABBREV.CVT before use.
- ABBREV.XXX: this has an identical
format to ABBREV.CVT except that all records are prefixed with an @ character.
These records are used for converting variant names to a common abbreviation
(e.g. converting Amazing Science Fiction Stories Combined with Fantastic
to AMZ), particularly when identifying cover scan file names.
- ABBR.IDX: this contains a list
of magazine abbreviations followed by the preferred old publication details
format for that magazine (i.e. # = issue numbers; v = volume and issue numbers;
* = no preference) and is used for converting between new format publication
details and old format publication details.