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MLA Style Manual

Appendix D: Acronyms and Initialisms

A . B . C . D . E . F . G . H . I . J . K . L . M . N . O . P . Q . R . S . T . U . V . W . X . Y . Z


  • AAAS American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • AACR2 Anglo-American Cataloging Rules, 2nd ed.
  • AAHSL Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries
  • AAHSLD Association of Academic Health Sciences Library Directors (historical)
  • AAMC Association of American Medical Colleges
  • ABMS American Board of Medical Specialties
  • ACA Affordable Care Act
  • ACC American College of Cardiology
  • ACOG American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  • ACRL Association of College and Research Libraries
  • AHA American Hospital Association
  • AHEC Area Health Education Center
  • AHIMA American Health Information Management Association
  • AHIP Academy of Health Information Professionals (indicates membership)
  • AHRQ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
  • AIM Abridged Index Medicus
  • ALA American Library Association
  • ALCTS Association for Library Collections and Technical Services
  • ALISE Association for Library and Information Science Education
  • AMA American Medical Association
  • AMIA American Medical Informatics Association
  • AMPA American Medical Publishers’ Association
  • ANSI American National Standards Institute
  • ARL Association of Research Libraries
  • ASAE American Society of Association Executives
  • ASIS American Society for Information Science
  • AVLINE Audiovisuals Online


  • BIOSIS Bioscience Information Service
  • BMLA Bulletin of the Medical Library Association (now the Journal of the Medical Library Association)


  • CAS Chemical Abstracts Service
  • CCDA Committee on Cataloging, Description, and Access (ALA)
  • CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • CD-ROM compact disc, read-only memory
  • CE continuing education (MLA)
  • CHAMPUS Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services
  • CHIN Community Health Information Network
  • CHLA/ABSC Canadian Health Libraries Association/Association des bibliothèques de la santé du Canada
  • CINAHL Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (refers to the print version; initialism refers only to the database )
  • CIP cataloging in publication
  • CLENE Continuing Library Education Network and Exchange
  • CLR Council on Library Resources
  • CME continuing medical education
  • CML clinical medical librarian
  • CMS content management system
  • CNI Coalition for Networked Information
  • CNLIA Council of National Library and Information Associations
  • COLT Council on Library Technicians
  • CSE Council of Science Editors
  • CTSA Clinical and Translational Science Award


  • DHHS US Department of Health and Human Services
  • DRG Diagnostic-Related Group


  • EAHIL European Association for Health Information and Libraries
  • EBM, EBP evidence-based medicine, evidence-based practice
  • EHR electronic health record
  • EMPIRES Excerpta Medica Physicians Information Retrieval and Education Service
  • EMT emergency medical technician
  • ERIC Educational Resources Information Bureau


  • FAQ frequently asked question
  • FDA Food and Drug Administration
  • FTE full-time equivalent
  • ftp file transfer protocol


  • GPO Government Printing Office
  • GPO WINDO Government Printing Office Wide Information Network for Data Online
  • GRC Governmental Relations Committee (MLA)


  • HeSCA Health Sciences Communication Association
  • HIPAA Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996
  • HMO health maintenance organization
  • HPCC High-Performance Computing and Communications
  • HTML hypertext markup language


  • IAIMS Integrated Advanced Information Management Systems
  • IFLA International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions
  • IIA Information Industry Association
  • ILL interlibrary loan
  • ILS integrated library system
  • IMLS Institute of Museum and Library Services
  • IP Internet protocol
  • IPA International Pharmaceutical Abstracts
  • IRB institutional review board
  • ISI Institute for Scientific Information (initialism is preferred)
  • ISP Internet service provider


  • JAMA Journal of the American Medical Association
  • JCAHO Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (historical initialism, now called “Joint Commission”; see Appendix B)
  • JCR Journal Citation Reports
  • JMLA Journal of the Medical Library Association (formerly the Bulletin of the Medical Library Association)


  • LAMA Library Administration and Management Association
  • LAN local-area network
  • LATCH literature attached to the chart
  • LC Library of Congress
  • LHII local health information infrastructure
  • LITA Library and Information Technology Association
  • LMS learning management system
  • LTA library technical assistant


  • MEDLARS NLM’s Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System
  • MEDLINE NLM’s bibliographic database, Index Medicus online
  • MEDOC four-part index to health-related documents
  • MeSH Medical Subject Headings
  • MHz megahertz
  • MLA Medical Library Association
  • MLS master’s degree in library science
  • MSLIS master of science in library and information science degree


  • NASIG North American Serials Interest Group
  • NCBI National Center for Biotechnology Information (part of NLM)
  • NCI National Cancer Institute
  • NCLIS National Commission on Libraries and Information Science
  • NEJM New England Journal of Medicine
  • NIH National Institutes of Health
  • NISO National Information Standards Organization
  • NLM National Library of Medicine
  • NNLM Network of the National Library of Medicine
  • NPC National Program Committee (MLA)
  • NREN National Research and Education Network
  • NSF National Science Foundation
  • NSFNET National Science Foundation Network
  • NTIS National Technical Information Service


  • OCLC Online Computer Library Center
  • OGE Office of Government Ethics
  • OMIM Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man
  • OPAC online public access catalog


  • PC personal computer
  • PDF portable document format
  • PDQ Physicians’ Data Query
  • PDR Physician’s Desk Reference
  • PHILSOM serial control system designed at Washington University School of Medicine Library
  • PHR personal health record
  • PICO problem, intervention, comparison, outcome
  • PRO professional review organization
  • PSRO professional standards review organization


  • RAM random-access memory
  • RASD Research and Adult Services Division (ALA)
  • RFP request for proposal
  • RHIO regional health information organization
  • RLG Research Libraries Group
  • RLIN Research Libraries Information Network
  • RML Regional Medical Library
  • RN registered nurse
  • RSS really simple syndication


  • SCAMC Symposium on Computer Applications in Medical Care
  • SCI Science Citation Index
  • SD standard deviation
  • SGML standard generalized markup language
  • SLA Special Libraries Association


  • TCP transmission-control protocol (often used with IP above; e.g., TCP/IP)


  • UMLS Unified Medical Language System
  • URL uniform resource locator


  • VA Department of Veterans Affairs (formerly, Veterans Administration)
  • VALNET VA Library Network


  • WAIS wide-area information server
  • WHCLIS White House Conference on Library and Information Services
  • WHO World Health Organization


  • XML extensible markup language