I am writing a doctoral thesis and I am using APAcite to set the references in APA (American Psychological Association) format. Mostly this has worked perfectly fine, but I would like to suppress the author initials from the compiled version (in-text, not in the end references section). This happens because there are multiple authors with the same name e.g.,

Smith and Jones (1992) or Wells and Smith (1901)

are typeset in-text as:

I. Smith and Jones (1992) or Wells and D. Smith (1901).

Although it may be correct to have the initial in-text in APA format, in reality I am using BPS (British Psychological Society) format, which uses an adapted APA format (and you guessed it, they don't like the initial in text). Thus in-text should look like the first example above (without initial) but looks like the second (with).

To clarify: Any ideas on how to suppress the initial in-text in apacite?


ps. I understand that I could do it with a different bibtex style, but my question pertains to apacite.

  • You could give biblatex-apa a try. I am not familiar with it, but biblatex is far more flexible than BibTeX styles. – Sorry, just read your PS...
    – domwass
    May 24, 2011 at 16:58
  • Yup. I wanna stick with apacite. I will contact the package maintainer if I get no clues here. May 24, 2011 at 17:05

1 Answer 1


Make a copy of apacite.bst (perhaps name it bpacite.bst). If you are using TeXLive it is located in /usr/local/texlive/<year>/texmf-dist/bibtex/bst/apacite/apacite.bst where <year> is the current year of your TeX Live distribution. The easiest way to find the exact file on any system is to type kpsewhich apacite.bst in a terminal window. Save the new copy in your local texmf/bibtex/bst folder.

In the new file, comment out (or delete) lines 753-775.

I won't quote the whole code here, but the relevant function in the .bst file begins:

FUNCTION {check.add.initials.aut}
{  %
% Comment out all of the code between the opening brace (above)
% and the final closing brace (below)

So after you have commented out the code, you should have what is effectively a function that does nothing. (You can't delete the function itself without messing with more parts of the code.)

FUNCTION {check.add.initials.aut}

This removes the extra check for whether initials are needed; since the default citation is not to have them, they will not appear in any citation.

Here's a test document assuming the modified .bst file:

    Author = {Kim, J B and Sag, I A},
    Journal = {Natural Language \& Linguistic Theory},
    Pages = {339-412},
    Title = {Negation Without Head-Movement},
    Volume = {20},
    Year = {2002}}

    Author = {S Kim},
    Journal = {Natural Language \& Linguistic Theory},
    Pages = {67-107},
    Title = {Chain Composition and Uniformity},
    Volume = {19},
    Year = {2001}}

    Author = {Y-J Kim and Richard Larson},
    Journal = {Linguistic Inquiry},
    Pages = {681-688},
    Title = {Scope Interpretation and the Syntax of Psych-Verbs},
    Volume = {20},
    Year = {1989}}

output of code


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