For school I have to write a paper and use the IEEEtran bibliography style:

% argument is your BibTeX string definitions and bibliography database(s)

Now I want to include the natbib package so I can cite my papers in the following way:

Cook et. al. [1]

The entry for that cite in my bib file is as follows:

  author = {Cook, D.J. and Augusto, J.C. and Jakkula, V.R.},
  title = {Ambient intelligence: Technologies, applications, and opportunities},
  journal = {Pervasive and Mobile Computing},
  year = {2009},
  volume = {5},
  pages = {277--298},
  number = {4}

Now if I include the natbib package it complains: "natbib bibliography not compatible with author-year citations" So I load it with option numbers but then my authors are not shown in the latex file.

So how can I cite in the explained way? Without changing anything of the bibliographystyle option. Thanks!

EDIT: I included the template we start with from school:



    \title{Butler Robot Localization Using Dash7 Technology}








    % make the title area

    % references section

% argument is your BibTeX string definitions and bibliography database(s)


  • Welcome to TeX.SE! Your proposed citation style, viz., Cook et al. [1], would appear to be an unusual hybrid of author-year and numeric citation styles. Are you sure you don't want to see the citation appear as Cook et al. (2009), say? Please post a complete MWE (minimum working example), as your code snippets do not seem to permit a deep analysis of what's going on. E.g., I have a feeling that you're loading a document class that either already loads the natbib package or already sets up a numeric citation style.
    – Mico
    Commented Mar 16, 2013 at 14:09
  • Added extra snipped as you asked :)
    – DanFritz
    Commented Mar 16, 2013 at 14:27
  • Thanks for providing the extra code. The IEEEtran document class indeed expects a numeric citation style, and the cite package that's loaded by default provides some useful features when dealing with numeric citations. Unless you can convince your school to let you use an entirely different document class, I'm afraid there's probably no point in you trying to introduce an authoryear-style citation method for your document(s).
    – Mico
    Commented Mar 16, 2013 at 14:39
  • @Mico I asked if its possible, another option would be to type it myself but thats against the idea of using LaTex. Is there any macro/custom command that I could use to achieve my goal?
    – DanFritz
    Commented Mar 16, 2013 at 15:16
  • Short of doctoring some of the setup provided by the IEEEtran.cls document class file and the ieeetran.bst bibliography style file, I'm afraid you're not going to get authoryear-style citations in your document. :-( Incidentally, since you're using the compsoc document option, the cite package should be loaded with the nocompress option, i.e., as \usepackage[nocompress]{cite}. See p. 7 of the user guide to the IEEEtran document class, which notes that "One complication in compsoc mode is that the Computer Society does not compress, but does sort, adjacent citation numbers."
    – Mico
    Commented Mar 16, 2013 at 15:34

2 Answers 2


You can get the following output:

Cook et. al. [1]

First you include the natbib package as follows:


Then download the IEEEtranN bibliography style (a simple google) and then put it in the same location as your latex file. Now change the following lines as follows:


You can now use citet and other natbib varians, the numbering will stay in the order it first appeared (and not the order of your bib file) and the reference layout is the same as with the IEEEtran bibliography style.

  • 2
    I am getting this error message: ** Natbib version - not for normal IEEE work.
    – khatchad
    Commented Apr 29, 2015 at 2:30
  • the problem with this solution is that it overrides the original cite command, which leads to citations of the form [1,2,3] instead of [1], [2], [3], which is required for IEEE Computer Society. Any further thoughts?
    – kostrykin
    Commented Jul 18, 2021 at 22:43

Add following line after document class in your main tex file


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .