After using Google for 1 hour I gave up. All I wanted is: This style for my citation :

(First AUTHOR et al. , YEAR)

Why is this so complicated ?

  • Submit your minimal working example to save time and energy. – xport Jun 23 '11 at 19:16

You have to take into account that you need to choose both the style for the citations in the document, and the layout for the section containing the bibliographical entries.

Try this sample document (let's call it test.tex):





with bibliographical database biblio.bib (saved in the same directory containing test.tex):

    author = "Michel Goossens and Frank Mittlebach and Alexander Samarin",
    title = "The Latex Companion A",
    year = "1993",
    publisher = "Addison-Wesley",
    address = "Reading, Massachusetts"


    author = "George D. Greenwade",
    title = "The {C}omprehensive {T}ex {A}rchive {N}etwork ({CTAN})",
    year = "1993",
    journal = "TUGBoat",
    volume = "14",
    number = "3",
    pages = "342--351",
           url=" www.ctan.org"

    author = "Donald E. Knuth",
    title = "Tex and Metafont, New Directions in Typesetting",
    year = "1979",
    publisher = "American Mathematical Society and Digital Press",
    address = "Stanford"

    author = "Leslie Lamport",
    title = "Latex: A Document Preparation System",
    year = "1994",
    edition = "Second",
    publisher = "Addison-Wesley",
    address = "Reading, Massachusetts"

    author = "Oren Patashnik",
    title = "{B}ib{T}e{X}ing.  Documentation for General {B}ib{T}e{X} users",
    year = "1988",
    howpublished = "Electronic document accompanying BibTeX

    author = "Sebastian Rahtz",
    title = "A Survey of {T}ex and graphics",
    year = "1989",
    institution = "Department of Electronics and Computer Science",
    address = "University of Southampton, UK",
    number = "CSTR 89-7"

compile in the following way:

(pdf)latex test
bibtex test
(pdf)latex test
(pdf)latex test

Refer to the documentation of the natbib package for further information.

Another option would be to use the biblatex package; in this case, the file test.tex would have the following aspect (using bibtex as back.end):





the compilation process would be the same as before. Newer versions of biblatex use biber as default backend, so if backend=bibtex is not specified, the compilation sequence becomes

(pdf)latex test
biber test
(pdf)latex test
  • Hope the edit was OK, please revert/improve if not. – Torbjørn T. Dec 6 '13 at 19:33

You should try to use biblatex. It allows you to choose from many different styles. I think for you it would be authoryear with the parencite command, which put the citation between parenthesis.

  • I can only support this. Biblatex is newer and easier to use and gives you a lot of more possibilities "out of the box". – Chris Dec 6 '13 at 19:38

Here is an example that works for me. If you want more citations just add more \bibitem


This "spaghetti code of the 21st century" \cite{MT08} is reminiscent of software development in the 1970s

\bibitem{MT08} “Surveying the digital future,” UCLA Internet report,http://www.digitalcenter.org/pdf/InternetReportYearThree.pdf.

We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

  • 1
    For this to be a useful example you should make it in to a compilable file with a documentclass etc. With a standard document class it will not produce citations of the wished for form, and much of the typography of the bibliography will be suboptimal. – Andrew Swann Dec 2 '13 at 10:19
  • 1
    This will still create numerical citations (e.g. [1]), not (author, year), as the OP wants. As such, it doesn't really answer the question. – Torbjørn T. Dec 6 '13 at 19:26

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