Cochrane Style Manual
Formatting of abbreviations

This table provides some guidance on how to format and punctuate abbreviations.

Guidance Correct Incorrect

Use upper-case letters to explain the abbreviation or acronym only if required by the abbreviated term.

World Health Organization (WHO)

angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE)

world health organization (WHO)

Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE)

No full stops between letters of abbreviation or acronym, or at end of abbreviation or acronym unless at end of a sentence

The Medical Research Council (MRC) funded the research.

The MRC. funded the research.

The M.R.C. funded the research.

Form plurals by adding ‘s’; no apostrophe (‘s) needed unless used to indicate possession.

The Managing Editors (MEs) met early in the morning.

The Cochrane Review Group's (CRG's) decision was helpful.

The Managing Editors (ME's) met early in the morning.

The CRG's were asked to provide information.

Bold may occasionally be used to indicate letters used to form an acronym or abbreviation.

CRASH trial (corticosteroid randomisation after significant head injury)
Avoid abbreviating terms that could be unclear to the general readership. the level of glycosylated haemoglobin the level of Hb A1