Not sure whether CSA stands for Chemical Society Association or Council for Scottish Archaeology? Acronyms and terms are commonly used in research writing, and their meanings can be difficult to find. If you are lost in an alphabet soup of acronyms, abbreviations, and terms, try these online tools to help you navigate:

General Acronyms

  • Acronyma: An internet search engine of acronyms and abbreviations spells out acronyms in seven different languages.
  • Acronym Finder: A searchable database of more than 4 million acronyms and abbreviations and their meanings. Focuses on computers, technology, telecommunications, and the military.
  • Abreviations: A directory of acronyms & abbreviations. Includes journal abbreviations.

Government Acronyms:

  • GovSpeak-A Guide to Government Acronyms & Abbreviations

Medical and Health Acronyms and Terms:

  • Dictionary of Cancer Terms – Offers over 4,000 definitions and explanations of cancer terms and offers searches by entering the first few letters of a term or letters that may be contained in the term. Site is sponsored by the  National Cancer Institute. 
  • Glossary – Offers definitions, further links, and some case examples for most genetic terms. Aimed at health professionals, but may be very helpful for families also.
  • Genetics Home Reference Glossary – An extensive list of genetic terms with definitions, compiled from other sources. Site is sponsored by the National Library of Medicine.
  • Human Genome Acronym List– List of  acronyms associated with the Human Genome project, a project which identified all the approximately 20,000-25,000 genes in human DNA and determined  the sequences of the 3 billion chemical base pairs that make up human DNA.
  • MedlinePlus Medical Dictionary – Offers a comprehensive dictionary of medical terms, including many acronyms. It is particularly good at helping when you are not sure how to spell a word.

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