I would like my references to look like

Foo et al. 2008, Nature, 100, 200 • Bar & Baz et al. 2010, Science, 300, 400 • Einstein, 1905, New Scientist, 5, 6

where "•" is perhaps some configurable delimiter character, rather than like:

Foo et al. 2008, Nature, 100, 200

Bar & Baz et al. 2010, Science, 300, 400

Einstein, 1905, New Scientist, 5, 6

One (the crucial?) difference between my question and a similar previous question is that I use natbib and author-year citations. Here's a minimal example, that uses Stefan's answer, but has a couple of problems:




    Author = {{Author}, A.},
    Journal = {Science},
    Month = dec,
    Pages = {493-+},
    Title = {{Title A}},
    Volume = 490,
    Year = 1922,

    Author = {{Buthor}, B.},
    Journal = {Nature},
    Month = nov,
    Pages = {748-+},
    Title = {{Title B}},
    Volume = 136,
    Year = 1962,


Citations: \cite{Author,Buthor}



The problems are: (1) The citations in the text are question marks (I get errors like Package natbib Warning: Citation `Author' on page 1 undefined on input line 37.) and (2) I'm redefining the list environment to put a bullet every time, which feels wrong semantically, and results in Package paralist Warning: Incorrect label; no or multiple counters.

The third (and I think separate) problem is to do with my BiBTeX style file, mn.bst. If I use that rather than, e.g. plain, not only are the citations questions marks, but the references are screwed up and look like

• Author(1922)]Author Author A., 1922, Science, 490, 493 • Buthor(1962)]Buthor Buthor B., 1962, Nature, 136, 748

Note the citations and references look fine if I comment out the material between \usepackage{paralist} and \usepackage{filecontents}.

Guidance on any or all of these problems would be very welcome, and guidance that postpones my inevitable migration to biblatex especially so! :-)

  • 2
    I was looking to do this a couple of years ago and solicited both natbib and biblatex solutions on comp.text.tex. No one volunteered a natbib solution, but there is a very simple biblatex solution. The question then is how particular is the mn.bst style that it couldn't quickly be replicated using biblatex. Alternatively (assuming that you only want this for a short list of refs. you could do it semi-manually using \bibentry commands from natbib).
    – Alan Munn
    Feb 24, 2011 at 1:56

2 Answers 2


Removing the \renewcommand{\bibitem}[1]{\item} seems to work.

EDIT: try this....



Citations: \cite{Author,Buthor}

  • That fixes the missing citations and the garbled references with mn.bst, but the delimiter (\textbullet in this case) disappears.
    – mike
    Feb 24, 2011 at 17:41
  • @Mike Right. The natbib \bibitem command is quite complicated, so exchanging it with something like just \item as in the original suggestion simply doesn't work.
    – Alan Munn
    Feb 24, 2011 at 17:52
  • 1
    @Mike, see edit.
    – Lev Bishop
    Feb 24, 2011 at 18:25

I think I must have used this question as the template for my work... but this package: https://github.com/keflavich/tex_compact_bib implements exactly the above, while also limiting the bibliography to 3 authors before going to 'et al'.

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