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I'm new to latex, but it seems you can temporarily redefine some commands? The problem I have is that normally the citation is (SMITH, 2000). But at times, I'd like to have Smith (2000) instead. Anyway I can temporarily redefine it, then use the standard version again after that "block" of code?

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Have a look at the natbib package, it gives you two different citation commands, \citep and \citet, that do exactly what you're asking for.

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Or the biblatex package, which gives \textcite and \parencite (or compatibility commands equivalent to natbib's, if you wish). –  Will Robertson Sep 20 '10 at 7:17

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