I am using bibtex with the 'amsalpha' style. I am citing a paper with many authors, and bibtex currently labels this entry as [ABC+04]. But I'd really prefer having all the authors there, as in [ABCDE04]. What is the most efficient way of doing this? I'd hope there's some sort of 'max authors' parameter I can just increase. I am open to using a different bibtex style if necessary. As a last resort, is there a way to simply tell bibtex what label I want for this particular entry (other than changing the .bbl file manually)?

1 Answer 1


My first answer assumes you want to continue with amsalpha. If so, download the amscls.tds.zip from CTAN, extract it and look for the amsalpha.bst file. Copy a version into the top directory of your document to compile and rename the bst, for example into amsalpha-a.bst.

Code line's #1039 entry "numnames" defines how many capitals are print as label in the text, the next code line #1040 "namesleft" how many capitals are the maximum in the bibliography. Increase these integers -- obviously towards the same integer, and save these two changes. Of course, do not forget to invoke \bibliographystyle{amsalpha-a} instead of the system-wide accessible \bibliographystyle{amsalpha}.

My second answer to this -- if you don't mind to change for a numerical style of bibliography -- is to change for package like achemso. This package provides an option "maxauthors" an easier (and cleaner) way to define the maximum number of authors for one bibliographic reference print.

  • I did this, but now I get something like [ABCDE+04], which is strange since ABCDE are all of the authors. What does the plus mean? (and how can I get rid of it?) Sep 29, 2015 at 16:37
  • OK, I modified line #1060 as well and now everything works. Sep 29, 2015 at 16:49

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