I have a question about citing multiple authors, but only printing the full author list for one of the papers. I have a situation where I want to cite two papers in the same set of parenthesis, but I only want to expand the set of authors in one of the papers. I am using the Natbib and Bibtex packages. The set up is as follows:

paper1: 4 authors; paper2: 3 authors (the standard in my field is to expand 3 author papers on the first citation)

\citep*[see][for review]{paper1,paper2}

The problem I am having is that this command expands both author lists into the long citation. I know I could use the option [longnamefirst] in my natbib package declaration, but I only want to expand 3 author papers on the first citation, not all papers.

Any suggestions? Thanks in advance for your help!


2 Answers 2


I don't think you can do it with natbib out of the box. You probably need to build your own citation command, e.g.,

   (\citealt*{#1}; \citealt{#2})

called with


That's not really a good solution, though since you cannot, e.g., exchange the order of the papers (you would need an own command with reversed order).

Have you looked at apacite.sty? It determines by itself when you cite a paper for the first time and when it has to expand. However, it is adapted to the requirements by the APA, the american psychological association but maybe they are similar enough to your field to be useful?

If nothing helps (and before spending two weeks tweaking this problem), I usually insert the papers into the bibliography with


and spell out the reference in the text "by hand"...

  • +1 for the creative application of \nocite.
    – lockstep
    Commented Oct 2, 2011 at 17:30

You can get use of the functions \citealp* and \citealp in natbib and manually assign the parentheses. This can be used with any number of citations.

For example if you want the full author list for paper2 and paper3 but not for other papers, then you may use:

 (\citealp(paper1); \citealp*(paper2, paper3); \citealp(paper4))

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