I am using the following line in my document:


However, biblatex ignores maxcitenames, and prints out every name, every time.

Is there are way to make biblatex stop ignoring maxcitenames?

  • 2
    maxcitenames only affects the citations in the doc. body, if you want to affect the bibliography use maxbibnames instead. Or just use maxnames=2 and it will set both options to 2.
    – ach
    May 15, 2013 at 16:24
  • 1
    I know that. However, I found that if I set citestyle=apa, then maxcitenames does nothing. My solution was to use citestyle=authoryear.
    – daviewales
    May 15, 2013 at 22:51
  • 2
    Related: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/69028/…
    – lockstep
    May 16, 2013 at 8:23
  • 1
    It doesn't mention the problem with apa styles, however.
    – daviewales
    May 16, 2013 at 9:30

3 Answers 3


The default in biblatex is to use the uniquelist option. APA style also uses this. This option dynamically changes the maxnames/minnames settings in order to make citations unique. This is required by APA. APA style also applies APA rules regarding citation list truncation after the first cite within a paragraph. You are probably noticing the effects of these settings. APA style with maxnames=2 is essentially not APA style – these settings are partly hard-coded into the style as a result ...

  • The sad thing is that I didn't actually want APA style, I wanted Harvard style, and I was following instructions from somewhere which said you could use APA and modify it to get Harvard. As you can see, I found it easier to modify the authoryear style.
    – daviewales
    May 16, 2013 at 6:56
  • 4
    Yes, it's always better to modify the default styles. Specialist styles like APA have some very tricky requirements which have to be coded into the style and are therefore not easy or impossible to change with standards biblatex package options. In fact I have added some such options to the package for some simple cases but after all, it's an APA style so adding options to make it non-APA compliant becomes suspect after a while ...
    – PLK
    May 16, 2013 at 9:13

The solution I found was to replace citestyle=apa with citestyle=authoryear. This fixes the problem.

  • 2
    I have the same problem with citestyle=authoryear Jul 21, 2022 at 17:58
  • For some reason, citestyle=authoryear, bibstyle=apa still lets APA affect citation style. Removing the bibstyle fixes the citation problems.
    – Mew
    Jun 24, 2023 at 14:03

For me the only working solution, after citestyle=authoryear and style=authoryear did not work, was, to remove that parameter completely.

So, now my biblatex call is just:

\usepackage[minnames=5, maxnames=10, backend=biber,sorting=ydnt]{biblatex}

and it works correctly for me.

  • Thanks, this also worked for me: \usepackage[backend=bibtex, style=numeric-comp, minnames=5, maxnames=10]{biblatex} Jan 25, 2022 at 7:16

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