For example, Mary Carter (not her real name) published a book under her married name, Mary Carter van der Merwe. She subsequently got divorced, and resumed her maiden name professionally. In the text I would like to cite her book as Carter (2003), even though in the bibliography it will be listed under Carter van der Merwe, M. Is there an automated way to do this? I know that I could do it simply by typing Carter and then using the year-only form of the citation.


  • 2
    Is biblatex an option? Then you can use the short forms for this kind of task. – cfr Jun 8 '14 at 2:12
  • 1
    If biblatex is an option, then this question is a duplicate of Peerage titles in the author field in BibTeX. I don't think this is easy to do in natbib. – Alan Munn Jun 8 '14 at 2:18
  • Thank, @cfr and Alan. I am on a project with a short deadline, so hand-coding looks like the way to go, but I will look into switching to biblatex. I use APA style, which means a forced switch to biber. However, I use Latexian which supports bibtex out of the box, but not biber... so, like most things TeX, there is some assembly required. – Nat Kuhn Jun 8 '14 at 11:58
  • Shall we just close this question as a duplicate then? – Alan Munn Jun 8 '14 at 15:43

I do not agree with the supposed "consensus" you mention in your own answer, i.e., that your objective can't be achieved using the tools provided by the natbib package.

Assuming that the entry in question has the citation key "mary2003", you could issue the command

\defcitealias{mary2003}{Carter (2003)}

up front in your document and use the command \citetalias{mary2003} to generate the callout Carter (2003). (The command \citet{mary2003}, according to your description, would generate the callout Carter van der Merwe (2003), right?)

As the user guide of the natbib package mentions, \citetalias functions very much like \citet: it can take multiple keys in the argument, it may contain notes, and if you use hyperref the callouts will be made into hyperlinks to the entries in the bibliography.

  • Thank you! This is a helpful feature of natbib that I had not known about. Since my citations are program-generated, it will not help me at this point, but I will keep it in mind! – Nat Kuhn Jun 14 '14 at 18:43

Thanks @cfr and @Alan Munn.

The consensus seems to be that this cannot be done in any straightforward way in natbib, and that switching to the more up-to-date and powerful biblatex is the way to go.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.