# Slash in year field in author-year citations using “apalike” bibliography style

I use the natbib package (with the default authoryear option) and the apalike bibliography style for bibliographies.

I would like to cite the following bibtex entry:

@article{Lake2010/11,
Author = {Lake, David A.},
Journal = {International Security},
Number = {3},
Pages = {7-52},
Title = {Two Cheers for Bargaining Theory: Assessing Rationalist Explanations of the Iraq War},
Volume = {35},
Year = {2010/11}}


When I use \citep{Lake2010/11} I get the right output in my bibliography

Lake, David A. (2010/11), Two Cheers for Bargaining Theory: Assessing Rationalist Explanations of the Iraq War, International Security, 35(3), 7–52.

However, the citation callout in the text is wrong: (Lake, 1011) instead of (Lake, 2010/11)

The problem seems to be the truncation of the year. So I changed the following line

year field.or.null purify$#-1 #4 substring$

to

year field.or.null purify$#-1 #14 substring$

Now I get the following output in the text: (Lake, 201011) -- the slash (/) is missing.

Why?

• I know, that I do not need the slash in the key field. But my problem is that there is no slash in (Lake, 2010/11) in the text! – feder80 Nov 11 '14 at 13:40

Assuming you have no truly odd characters in the year field, i.e., if the field contains just digits and the occasional / ("slash") character, it suffices to change the line

year field.or.null purify$#-1 #4 substring$


in the file apalike.bst to

year field.or.null #-1 #14 substring$ Actually, you should make this change to a copy of the file apalike.bst; don't edit an original file of the TeX distribution directly. The main change is the elimination of the BibTeX built-in function purify$. (As you can probably guess, the function purify\$ purges all non-numeric characters from the field. In the present case, this turns out to be too much of a good thing.)

Save the file myapalike.bst (or whatever you may have called the file) either in the directory where your main tex file is located or in a directory that's searched by BibTeX. If you select the second method, be sure to update the filename database of your TeX distribution appropriately.

Here's the result of a full MWE. (Note that you should encase "Iraq War" in an extra pair of curly braces, to prevent BibTeX from lowercasing the letters "I" and "W".)

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{filecontents}
\begin{filecontents*}{\jobname.bib}
@article{Lake201011,
Author = {Lake, David A.},
Journal = {International Security},
Number = {3},
Pages = {7-52},
Title = {Two Cheers for Bargaining Theory: Assessing Rationalist Explanations of the {Iraq War}},
Volume = {35},
Year = {2010/11},
}
\end{filecontents*}
\usepackage{natbib}
\bibliographystyle{myapalike}
\begin{document}
\citep{Lake201011}
\bibliography{\jobname}
\end{document}

• @feder80 - That's correct. It's usually a good thing to purge non-numeric characters from the year field; however, in your case this turns out to be undesirable. – Mico Nov 11 '14 at 14:25