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I need to cite a paper whose author apparently wishes to be known as "A.James Hancock" (I changed the actual name). How do I get the abbrv style to produce that? I keep getting A.Hancock.

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Welcome to TeX.SX! Please, add also the entry in the .bib file. –  egreg Apr 30 '12 at 17:00
    
This works, but the sorting :-) -- author="{\mbox{A.James Hancock}}", However I recommend biblatex with the style numeric. –  Marco Daniel Apr 30 '12 at 17:22
    
I went for the mbox solution, together with a noopsort I added. Thanks all!! –  Felix Goldberg Apr 30 '12 at 17:34
    
There's no need for \mbox skullduggery. Since you're looking to reproduce the full middle name even though you're using the abbrv bibliography style, you might as well set the author field to name = {James Hancock, Andrew} (or whatever else A should expand to). Basically, you'd be tricking BibTeX into treating "James Hancock" as the surname and "Andrew" as the first name; the "first name" will get abbreviated to A. by the abbrv style file. –  Mico Apr 30 '12 at 17:47

2 Answers 2

If you're willing to switch to biblatex, here's how to disable its firstinits option for a single entry. (Note that style=numeric,firstinits=true is the biblatex equivalent to abbrv.bst.)

\documentclass{article}

\usepackage[style=numeric,firstinits=true]{biblatex}

\usepackage{filecontents}

\begin{filecontents}{\jobname.bib}
@misc{Han12,
  execute = {\togglefalse{blx@firstinits}},
  author = {Hancock, A. James},
  year = {2012},
  title = {An unusual use case},
}
@book{Lam85,
  author = {Lamport, Leslie},
  year = {1985},
  title = {\LaTeX: A document preparation system},
}
\end{filecontents}

\addbibresource{\jobname.bib}

\nocite{*}

\begin{document}

\printbibliography

\end{document}

enter image description here

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The abbrv style abbreviates names, as its name implies, so it's indifferent what name the author wants to be used.

With

@article{key,
author={Hancock, A. James},
title={Title},
journal={Journal},
year=2000,
}

the entry in the bibliography would be

[1] A. J. Hancock. Title. Journal, 2000.

You're probably inputting A.James without a space, so the abbreviated form will be "A.", as for BibTeX there is only one (peculiar) first name.

With the plain bibliography style you would get, from the same entry,

[1] A. James Hancock. Title. Journal, 2000.

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