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Writing Tips has been archived and won’t be updated before it is permanently deleted.

For the most up-to-date content, please consult Writing Tips Plus, which combines content from Writing Tips and The Canadian Style. And don’t forget to update your bookmarks!

To begin your search, go to the alphabetical index below and click on the first letter of the word you are searching for.

indexes: scientific names

Arabic numerals, Greek letters, capital letters with a special meaning, and modifiers prefixed to the names of chemical compounds should be disregarded for alphabetization purposes unless they constitute the only difference between entries:

  • N-Acryloneuraminic acid
  • O-Acryloneuraminic acid

When a Greek letter stands by itself as a separate entry, Romanize it, e.g. Pi, Gamma.

Abbreviations for scientific terms should generally not be used at the beginning of a main entry except (i) in a cross-reference, (ii) as part of the name of an enzyme or compound, or (iii) when more than one species is listed for a biological genus:

  • i) CO2. See Carbon Dioxide
    ii) mRNA, 16, 56
    iii) Ambystonia maculatum, 15
    A. mexicanum, 17

Generic names in biology should in any case be abbreviated after the main entry and alphabetized by epithet as a space-saving device:

  • Triticum sp.
    • T. aestivium
    • T. durum