I am using biblatex with the citation style alphabetic and I have troubles with formatting a special author set-up:

If there is no author sometimes one writes N.N. (= non nominatur in Latin). I have this in my bibliography for several entries as authors (Author = {N.N.}), but formatting gives me not the necessary output.

A full example for a bibliography entry should look like:

[NN16] N.N.: Document title, 2016

But the result I get after compiling looks like:

[N.N16] N.N.: Document title, 2016

I think this is not surprising regarding the normal rules on how biblatex abbreviates authors names and surnames. But so far I failed with finding a good modification to achieve the desired format.

Does anyone have a good idea on how to solve this? Thanks for your input on this!

Here is a MWE, please note it does not contain further formatting of the citation as noted before, but is just using alphabetic:

  Title                    = {Document title},
  Author                   = {N.N.},
  Year                     = {2016},

\usepackage[backend=bibtex, bibstyle=alphabetic, citestyle=alphabetic,
firstinits=true, isbn=false, doi=false, maxnames=4, minnames=3,
maxalphanames=3, url=false, maxbibnames=99]{biblatex}




  • Have you tried this post ? tex.stackexchange.com/questions/12806/… Oct 7, 2016 at 22:03
  • Hey Thomas, thank you for the Link, actually together with some others I also used this post to configure the bibliography. The formatting for all other authors is right, so I am thinking more of an additional formatting if author = N.N. do [NNyear] but I couldn't find the section for formatting the citation jet nor did I know, if this is the best way to proceed.
    – Jäger
    Oct 7, 2016 at 22:29
  • Can you provide a complete MWE because I get [NN16] like you want. Oct 9, 2016 at 10:47

1 Answer 1


With Biber I get NN16 in your example.

I'm not quite sure it is the best idea to write author = {N.N.}, if you have no author (at least use author = {{N. N.}}, or author = {{N.\,N.}},).

You can use the label field as a drop-in replacement for the letters generated from the label names

  title  = {Document title},
  author = {{N.\,N.}},
  label  = {NN},
  year   = {2016},

Alternatively, just add shortauthor = {NN}, for the expected output. That is because shortauthor is given preference over author when constructing the labels.

  title       = {Document title},
  author      = {{N.\,N.}},
  shortauthor = {NN},
  year        = {2016},
  • Thanks moewe, the solution with the label works good for my cause. I didn't of more labels, than the one provided by Jabref.
    – Jäger
    Oct 10, 2016 at 22:06

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .