I am working on a proposal for an academic grant. In the text, there are quite a few organization names (normally abbreviations), but unlike typical academic writing, they are not quotes of texts these organizations have published. It is rather sentences like

In working on <whatever>, we will seek close cooperation with the relevant W3C working groups.

We have a strict page length for the main part of the text, and we want to provide a link to the website of each organization, so we don't want to have solutions like simply writing out the name in brackets, or adding a footnote, which take up lots of space. Our preference is for them to go somewhere in the appendix.

Should we mix the names of the organizations into the list of abbreviations, or into the bibliography, or should we make a separate list, and if separate, what is it called? Is there a convention for this kind of references? Or a ruleset? We are using Chicago style citations, but I couldn't find any advice on this kind of reference. My search results were drowned in advice how to cite documents published by an organization, or how to cite a website.

  • The funding organization may have rules for this. Have you checked their website for a formatting guide?
    – user30522
    Jul 2, 2018 at 21:39
  • See also: Acronyms in Technical Writing (Full disclosure: One of the answers to that question is my own.)
    – user
    Jul 2, 2018 at 22:09
  • @MichaelKjörling thank you, that's related. In my case, I am really focused on names + websites of organizations, not other kinds of abbreviations like the ones you address in your answer. Still, linking the two questions was a good idea, most readers will probably want to know about both.
    – Rumi P.
    Jul 5, 2018 at 18:14

1 Answer 1


There is advice on this page: List of abbreviations in the dissertation that accords with my experience of writing formal documents and which gives you a solution that is partially in line with your requirements.

It allows that you can include a table of abbreviations at the start of the documents, yet still specifies that abbreviations should be written out in full when first used.

You, of course, can step away from this standard, but this is the conventional approach and I would suggest that your document would suffer if you do not adhere.

Good luck with your grant proposal.

  • That's a good read, but we want to treat organization names as separate from technical abbreviations. Or are you arguing that we should mix them up with the others? If yes, how do we deal with their websites?
    – Rumi P.
    Jul 5, 2018 at 18:16
  • @Rumi - I see no need to distinguish between WMD and the WWF (in terms of them both being acronyms). If it is necessary to supply websites then they can be appended to the list items in the table of abbreviations. After all, this is where you will have the space to do so.
    – robertcday
    Jul 5, 2018 at 18:37

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