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I use the natbib package (with the default authoryear option) and the apalike bibliography style for bibliographies.

I would like to cite a forthcoming paper in such a way that "forthcoming" or "to appear" is used in place of a year of publication -- both in inline citations and in the bibliography.

If I use the following bibtex entry...

@Unpublished{ key,
   author="F. Lastname", 
   year="to appear", 
   note="Manuscript under submision" }

...then \citep{key} expands to (Lastname pear) rather than the desired (Lastname to appear). Similarly, if I use "forthcoming" in the year field, \citep{key} expands to (Lastname ming). It appears that the year field is being truncated to its last four characters.

Is there a workaround for this?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 10 down vote accepted

I should note that although this sort of citation is common, it's not very good practice: the article you are citing does have a year, namely the year of the draft you read, and should be cited with that year, and a note saying that it is to appear. See Which publication type for forthcoming papers in BibTeX? for some ideas on how best to implement this.

That being said, it's not that difficult to modify the bibliography style to allow this kind of year.

This truncation is a property of how the apalike.bst style is set up. Make a copy of apalike.bst and make the following modification to it. Save it as myapalike.bst in your local texmf folder. It should go in <path/to/local>/texmf/bibtex/bst (where the path is dependent on your OS). Then use \bibliographystyle{myapaplike} in your document.

Find the FUNCTION calc.label: it should look like the following:

FUNCTION {calc.label}
{ type$ "book" =
  type$ "inbook" =
    { type$ "proceedings" =
        'editor.key.label                       % apalike ignores organization
        'author.key.label                       % for labeling and sorting
  ", "                                                  % these three lines are
  *                                                     % for apalike, which
  year field.or.null purify$ #-1 #4 substring$          % uses all four digits
  'label :=

Change the line

year field.or.null purify$ #-1 #4 substring$          % uses all four digits

to be:

year field.or.null purify$ #-1 #64 substring$          % allow many characters
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It may not be "good practice," but FWIW it's standard practice in my field. Thanks for the help. –  Dan Velleman Dec 19 '11 at 19:54
I agree, (we're in the same field). The comment wasn't meant to be a criticism of you. –  Alan Munn Dec 19 '11 at 19:57
You might want to try the unified.bst available here which allows this sort of citation, and is being adopted by the LSA and some other linguistics journals. –  Alan Munn Dec 19 '11 at 20:03
Oh, that looks lovely. Thanks! –  Dan Velleman Dec 19 '11 at 20:06
@varun What do you mean by "escape purify$"? –  Alan Munn Mar 23 '12 at 16:12

Another possibility, although not completely satisfactory, would be to make use of the \citeauthor command and manually enter "(forthcoming)" in the body of text:

\citeauthor{key} (forthcoming)

Since one rarely cites forthcoming papers (hopefully), this solution might not be that much of a hassle.

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