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I try to write [Lavecchia et al., 2007] in a footnote like this in latex :

$\left[$Lavecchia et al., 2007$\right]$}

But I get an error :

Missing \right inserted

And I get only

[Lavecchia et al., 2007

as a result

any idea please?

thank you

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    A \left must always be followed by a \right , and followed means it has to be within the same pair of $ ... $, in the same environment, on the same line, etc. etc. But yes this is an abuse of math mode, it's also an abuse of \left and \right, you should be very careful about overusing these, they are certainly not necessary here. See tex.stackexchange.com/questions/173717/… and tex.stackexchange.com/questions/12773/or-left-parentheses – Au101 Oct 5 '16 at 19:12
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    Entering math mode is not a sensible way to make citations! – Bernard Oct 5 '16 at 19:53
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\left and \right should only be used in the context of mathematics -- this is textual. Just say [Lavecchia et al., 2007] (or better yet use a reference management system like BibLaTeX -- several compatible GUI options exist as well).

The error is happening because when \left is used in the first entrance into math mode, there's no corresponding \right (and similarly with the second entrance).

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