Acronym Guidance


ARM has developed these brief guidelines to encourage meaningful, simple, and brief names—and thus acronyms—for ARM field campaigns (AFCs). Well-thought-out names can assist your field campaign in being found online by potential data users. This guidance is meant to help eliminate jargon, potential legal issues, technical problems, and poor online search results.


  • Acronym should be 8 letters/numerals or less
  • Acronym cannot include special characters (i.e. spaces, dashes, subscript, and superscript)
    • These can cause problems with ARM database systems and website search results. Be mindful that the acronym will be used for hashtags in social media (CACTI becomes #ARMCACTI). Spaces or special characters such as dash, hyphen, stroke, ampersand, etc., will truncate the acronym online
  • Acronym will be used in all caps
  • Acronym must be unique
  • Acronym cannot be trademarked
  • Sub-campaigns must begin with parent campaign acronym (i.e. Two-Column Aerosol Project (TCAP): Aerial Campaign is TCAPAIR)

Helpful Tips

  • KISS (Keep it super simple). Don’t force it. It can be as simple as Nauru99, short for Nauru Island in 1999, or Midlatitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment (MC3E).
  • Descriptive. Make your acronym descriptive of the campaign. Don’t twist the name of the campaign into knots to achieve a desired acronym. It can a blended term or made up word, e.g., The Storm Peak Lab Cloud Property Validation Experiment (STORMVEX).
  • Unique. Make your acronym unique. Google your potential creation and consider the returned results. Will you be competing with other uses of the same acronym? If so, this will hurt search results for your campaign. Also make sure your acronym hasn’t been used for a previous atmospheric science campaign. Search the ARM campaign database to make sure it hasn’t been used within ARM. However, for repeat deployments, it’s okay to add a Roman numeral, such as in ACMEV.
  • Short (name). Consider the length of the spelled-out name; keep it short and to the point. Will it fit on one line as a title? A good example is CACTI—Cloud, Aerosol, and Complex Terrain Interactions.
  • Tasteful. Use good taste. Watch for the connotations of your choice. Avoid political, religious, or specific cultural references. Again, check Google returns and see what your campaign potentially could be associated with.
  • All caps. Use only first letters (initials) for simplicity, meaningfulness, and mnemonic strength. Avoid a mix of upper and lower case. Picking letters out of words to achieve a desired acronym opens the campaign up for potential naming errors in publications and news articles.
  • Consistent. Always spell and use the acronym the same way, whether in official documents, the ARM website, the campaign website (if it has one), online media (such as Twitter or Facebook), or press releases.


  • Avoid nested acronyms. These can be clumsy, confusing, and require extra care when writing about them in publications and journal articles. When spelled out correctly, nested acronyms can also be too long to be spelled out for a web page or report title.
  • Help maintain ARM’s metadata standards as much as possible. Consistent acronyms support increased searchability within the ARM database and websites.
  • Provide a brief pronunciation guide if needed—the acronym with pronunciation symbols added, or a single-sentence “sounds like,” or an “as in” statement.
  • Forward your acronym to ARM Communications, which will evaluate it for sensitivities, copyright infringements, ARM metadata standards, and search engine optimization (SEO) upon campaign approval. If you are unsure of your acronym as you submit your campaign proposal, please give ARM Communications a placeholder that can be finalized after the campaign is approved.