# Natbib error with Journal of Complex Networks (OUP)

I'm submitting a paper to the Journal of Complex Networks (An Oxford University Press journal). They provide their LaTeX class files at this page.

I'm getting the following error:

ERROR: Package natbib Error: Bibliography not compatible with author-year citations.

Problem - I seem to be following the steps that they provide. Based on their instructions in the sample .tex file, I am compiling:

\documentclass{comnet}

\begin{document}

\cite{Ahn1983}

\bibliographystyle{comnet}
\bibliography{sample}
%
% once the .bbl file has been generated then place the text in your article.

\end{document}


(sample.bib is provided in the link I gave above) The .bbl file is just

\begin{thebibliography}{00}

\bibitem{Ahn1983} Alexander, J.~C. {\&} Auchmuty, G. (1983) Iterative methods for linear complementarity problems with upperbounds and lowerbounds. {\em Mathematical Programming}, \textbf{26}, 265.

\end{thebibliography}

Following the instructions I copy and paste this in and recompile

\documentclass{comnet}
\begin{document}

\cite{Ahn1983}

\begin{thebibliography}{00}

\bibitem{Ahn1983}
Alexander, J.~C. {\&} Auchmuty, G. (1983)  Iterative methods for linear
complementarity problems with upperbounds and lowerbounds. {\em Mathematical
Programming}, \textbf{26}, 265.

\end{thebibliography}

\end{document}


which compiles, but gives the error:

ERROR: Package natbib Error: Bibliography not compatible with author-year citations.

Any thoughts on why this error exists, and more to the point, whether it's fixable?

The document class file comnet.cls contains the following instructions, starting at line 1306:

\usepackage[sort&compress]{natbib}
\bibpunct{[}{]}{,}{a}{,}{;}


The a in the fourth argument of \bibpunct instructs natbib to generate authoryear-style citation call-outs. However, the bibliography style file comnet.bst is not compatible with authoryear-style citation call-outs.

(Aside: My hunch is that that the letter a in the \bibpunct instruction was chosen by mistake. For sure, the "instructions for authors" clearly state that numeric-style citation call-outs should be used.)

If you need to use the comnet bibliography style and are OK with numeric-style citation call-outs, I suggest you provide the following instruction in your document's preamble:

\bibpunct{[}{]}{,}{n}{,}{;}