I need to cite the following way:

The first 3 Letters of the author + the year.


Kemper 2009 --> [Kem09]

But I don't have any clue how to do that!


This is the standard with biblatex’s style alphabetic, as long as you have one author. With multiple authors, this style takes the first letter of every author – up to three, as a default. If there are more than three authors, it takes the first three letters of the first name, then a + and the year, e.g.

Kemper 2009 > [Kem09]

Goossens, Mittelbach and Samarin 1994 > [GSM94]

Kemper et al. 2011 > [Kem+11]


As Audrey stated in the comments, you can change the name of the authors that are used for the alphabetic label with the option maxalphanames. With maxalphanames=1, the above examples would look like this:

Kemper 2009 > [Kem09]

Goossens, Mittelbach and Samarin 1994 > [Goo+94]

Kemper et al. 2011 > [Kem+11]

If you want to get rid of the +, you can redefine the \labelalphaothers command: \renewcommand*{\labelalphaothers}{}

  • i know, but every entry should have this format, not the aplha format – el.paso Sep 27 '11 at 15:26
  • 3
    @el.paso You can use the options style=alphabetic,maxalphanames=1. If the first three letters of the first author's last name and last two digits of the year don't specify a unique entry, a suffix is added. For example: Kem09a, Kem09b. – Audrey Sep 27 '11 at 17:02
  • @Audrey, thanks for this, I didn’t know that (since I am not using the alphabetic styles). I edited my answer correspondingly. – domwass Sep 28 '11 at 6:23
  • @domwass No problem. I think that option is relatively new. I actually didn't know about \labelalphaothers myself, but now I do. – Audrey Sep 28 '11 at 14:41
  • @Audrey, actually, I didn’t know about \labelalphaothers myself, until I looked it up for this answer (c; So I learned two things … – domwass Sep 28 '11 at 15:07

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