While writing the Bibliography, I want the last author of the article to appear preceded by an "&".

This is the bibtex file

  author = {Chambers, A. F. and Groom, A. C. \& MacDonald, I. C.},
  title = {Dissemination and growth of cancer cells in metastatic sites.},
  journal = {Nature Rev. Cancer},
  year = {2002},
  volume = {2},
  pages = {563-572},     

This is .tex file


The article that's giving me headaches \cite{Chambers2002}\\


The output I get, regarding the bibliography entry mentioned, was:

  1. A.F. Chambers and I.C. Groom, A. C. & MacDonald. Article name....

Notice that, in the bibtex file, the last author is MacDonald, I. C. and the previous one is Groom, A.C.. That's not what I get on the output.

Why don't I get the authors' names right?

Thank you!

PS. I used TeXnicCenter to compile this .tex

  • 3
    The and in the author field is a keyword and cannot be replaced by \&; it's a matter for the bibliography style to add an "and" or a \& at processing time.
    – egreg
    Jun 23 '13 at 12:23
  • Judging from your other questions, I recommend that you read some introduction to bibtex. google.com/search?q=bibtex+introduction
    – Alex
    Jun 23 '13 at 12:30

To explain why you get the author names wrong, which was your original question, you have to know that the word and in the author field is a keyword used by bibtex to know how many authors do you have and the name of each one.

The general syntax to specify a list of several authors is to put and between each other, as in:

author = { X and Y and Z and W }

So, if the word and appears $N$ times, the reference has $N+1$ authors.

In addition, each author should be written in the form surname, name with a comma inbetween. So, if we call $Xs$ the surname of author $X$ and $Xn$ its name, and analogously for the others, the right syntax to specify the full list of authors is:

author = { Xs, Xn and Ys, Yn and Zs, Zn and Ws, Wn }

When bibtex is writting this entry in the final typeset bibliography (the .bbl file), following the rules in the bst style, it can switch the order of the name and the surname, replace each and with a comma, except the last one which would be written and, or &, or even et, y, if the bibliography style supports different languages, etc.

So, in your case you wrote:

author = {Chambers, A. F. and Groom, A. C. \& MacDonald, I. C.},

Which has a single and, so for bibtex there are two authors X and Y. The first one is X="Chambers, A. F.", which has one comma and then it is parsed as Xs="Chambers", Xn="A. F.". But the second one is Y="Groom, A. C. \& MacDonald, I. C.", which has two commas. In this case bibtex assumes that the last comma is the one which separates the surname from the name, and thus that the name of this second author is "I. C." and its surname is "Groom, A. C. \& MacDonald". This explains your result:

  1. A.F. Chambers and I.C. Groom, A. C. & MacDonald. Article name....
  • Well structured, clear reply. Thank you @JLDiaz
    – Josh
    Jun 23 '13 at 13:31

You're mixing the data format in .bib files and the typeset form in .bbl. The conversion is handled by .bst style files. if there isn't yet a style that uses & for the last and, you can probaby make your own, though editing .bst files is not for the faint of heart. You can create your own style in a simpler way by using custom-bib.

  • Didn't know a .bbl file! I'm quite new at this. I'll find out more about it. Thank you, @lhf
    – Josh
    Jun 23 '13 at 12:29

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