Being a science librarian, you might say I swim in journals. I help students search for journal articles on a topic, and I get requests from faculty to subscribe to new journals. A lot of my work deals with journals.

I also like words: crossword puzzles, jumbles, and bad puns. For your summer Friday fun, here are some amusing things about the names of some fine journal publications.

OMG, They’re All the Same
Science and Scientific American are similar. But some publishers have success with one journal and then name all of their other journals the same thing. Marketers will call this branding. I call it confusing. Take the newest example, the Public Library of Science. In addition to their flagship title, PLoS, there are 6 other titles that begin with ‘PLos.’ Nature Publishing Group offers 35 titles that begin with the word “nature.” The American Physical Society publishes Physical Review A, B, C, and D, and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers publishes Parts A-P of their Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Comptes Rendus, a very old and venerable journal, has had so many series that the University Libraries at the University of Washington created a diagram to keep track!

What’s the Latest Trendy Prefix?
New areas of research are often labeled by cobbling together a variety of prefixes. “Nano” and “neuro” are very hot right now. Do these titles look too prefix-y to you?
Journal of Bionanoscience
European Neuropsychopharmacology

I’m looking for the first journal to use a word beginning with “nanoneuro-” or “neuronano-.” What’s your favorite oddball journal title?

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