I am trying to write a paper and at the bibliography I have several titles which contain multiple authors. I want a comma to appear between them, but even if in the bib file I write the authors with comma between them, in the pdf the comma does not appear. I am trying to do this using natbib. A friend sent me a paper which uses natbib and when I compiled it the comma appeared, but the same code does not work in my paper.

This is my paper:







And this is the entry from my bibliography.bib file:

author={David P Williamson, David B Shmoys},
year = {2010},
title = {The Design of Approximation Algorithms},
publisher = {Cambridge University Press},

The way described in Ingmar's answer is the preferred one, but you don't get a separating comma between authors when you have only two of them.

I would follow that way, but if you really want a comma to separate them, you have to enclose the comma in braces, so that BibTeX considers it as normal text, i.e.

author={David P Williamson{,} David B Shmoys},
year = {2010},
title = {The Design of Approximation Algorithms},
publisher = {Cambridge University Press},


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  • Thank you! It worked. I really wanted to know how to place a comma between the authors – Jessy09 Dec 9 '13 at 16:05
  • 1
    @Jessy09 -- Bear in mind that while this solution may be instructive and useful for this particular case, it cannot be recommended (as karlkoeller knows) in general: hard-coding a , into your author fields will make it impossible to use this .bib file for other projects that require a different approach to separating multiple authors or editors. You'd need to go through an delete all the {,} at the very least in order to get BibTeX to work. In the long-term, Ingmar's solution is better. The .bib file is just a database, and the corresponding .bst should determine the output. – jon Dec 9 '13 at 16:25
  • Thank you. I will remember that; I accepted karlkoeller's answer because it was the answer I needed for my question, but I think that in the end I will stick with Ingmar's solution – Jessy09 Dec 9 '13 at 17:03

Authors are cited Lastname, First. Use "and" with multiple authors, like so:

author={Williamson, David P and Shmoys, David B},
year = {2010},
title = {The Design of Approximation Algorithms},
publisher = {Cambridge University Press},
  • 1
    But if I still want a comma to appear instead of the word and? – Jessy09 Dec 9 '13 at 15:57
  • Have you tried it? This just concerns the input format of your .bib file, not the actual output. Just choose an appropriate style. – Ingmar Dec 9 '13 at 16:00
  • Yes, I tried it. I will keep in mind how to write the authors, but I was just curious about how to separate them using a comma – Jessy09 Dec 9 '13 at 16:07

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