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I am using apalike with natbib in the article documentclass. However, I need to make some changes to the citation style:

1) is there a way to change apalike so that it shows authors' full first names and not just their initials?

2) can I change the separator from comma to space between author and year - currently e.g. (Botti, 2009), I need (Botti 2009)

I searched for other citation styles but none seems to match what I`m looking for. I am thankful for any input! I am not exactly new to Latex, but still not very experienced in making too many changes in standard settings.

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1) is there a way to change apalike so that it shows authors' full first names and not just their initials?

Short answer: Yes.

Long answer:

  • Find the file apalike.bst in your TeX distribution, and make a copy of the file. Name the copy, say, apalikefull.bst. (Do not edit an original file in the TeX directory tree.)

  • Open apalikefull.bst in a text editor; the editor you use for your tex files will do fine.

  • In apalikefull.bst, locate the function format.names. (In my copy of the file, the function starts on line 206.)

  • In this function, locate the following line:

        { s nameptr "{vv~}{ll}{, jj}{, f.}" format.name$ 't :=   % last name first
    

    Change it to

        { s nameptr "{vv~}{ll}{, jj}{, ff}" format.name$ 't :=   % last name first
    

    Can you spot the difference? In the original form, the substring is f.; in the modified form, it is ff.

  • Save the file apalikefull.bst either in the directory where your main tex file is located or in a directory that's searched by BibTeX. If you choose the latter option, be sure to update the filename database of your TeX distribution.

  • Start using the new bibliography style by issuing the directive \bibliographystyle{apalikefull} instead of \bibliographystyle{apalike}. Rerun LaTeX, BibTeX, and LaTeX twice more to fully propagate all changes.

2) can I change the separator from comma to space between author and year - currently e.g. (Botti, 2009), I need (Botti 2009)

Short answer: Yes.

Long answer: Issue the instruction

\setcitestyle{aysep={}}

after loading natbib.

  • Can the f. of apalike be considered a bug? APA themselves do suggest to include middle initials: bibme.org/apa – Tom de Geus Nov 12 '18 at 7:35
  • @TomdeGeus - I believe the answer to your question is "no". Do observe that the issue you raise, viz., needing to show middle initials, is quite separate from the issue treated in my answer, which was showing the full given names and not just the initials. Suppose the argument of the author field of a given entry is "Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart" [!]. The answer above changes the BibTeX output (with the apalike bib style in use) from "Mozart, W. A." to "Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus". Note that the apalike bib style does Mozart's middle initial, viz., "A.". – Mico Nov 12 '18 at 9:58

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