Abbreviations and acronyms may be used on first reference only if widely recognized.
Otherwise, spell out the complete name or phrase on first reference and follow with the abbreviation in parentheses if and only if the abbreviation will be referenced subsequently.
- The collaboration includes Brown University and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).
In general, abbreviations and acronyms with only two capitalized letters use periods; for those with three or more capitalized letters, omit the periods between the letters.
When an acronym serves as a proper name and exceeds four letters, capitalize only the first letter.
When an abbreviation follows an indefinite article, choose between “a” or “an” as determined by the way the abbreviation would be read aloud.
- an HMO
- a UFO
(See: “academic degrees”)
(See: “state names”)