I'm using bibtex with the 'apalike' citation style and wondering if there is an option in the setting or a way to customize the apalike.bst to get the following output:

In the chapter: the literature reference should include the name of the author and the year of publication like this:

[Oates, 1972]

with an option to include the page number:

[Olson, 1969, S.483]

In the bibliography: the repetition of author and year of publication should be prevented as circled in the screen shot.

bibliography - circled are the references I want to hide

Instead there should be a colon behind author and year and it should look like this:

Oates, W. E. (1972): Fiscal Federalism. New York.

Olson, M. (1969): The Principle of "Fiscal Equivalence": The Division of Responsibilities among Different Levels of Government. The American Economic Review, 59(2):479–487.

Minimal working example:

tex file

\documentclass[a4paper, 12pt,  twoside, chapterprefix]{scrbook}

Diese Norm geht auf Olson zurück und besagt, dass raeumliche Grenzen bezogen auf Kosten und Nutzung von Kollektivguetern notwendig sind, damit die finanzierende Einheit auch tatsaechlich davon profitiert \cite[S.483]{Olson1969}.




bibtex file

author = {Olson, Mancur},
file = {:./Olson{\_}1969.pdf:pdf},
journal = {The American Economic Review},
keywords = {Democratic authority,Economic theory,Government,Jurisdiction,Local government,Logrolling,Pareto efficiency,Public goods,Subsidies,Taxes},
mendeley-tags = {Democratic authority,Economic theory,Government,Jurisdiction,Local government,Logrolling,Pareto efficiency,Public goods,Subsidies,Taxes},
number = {2},
pages = {479--487},
title = {{The Principle of "Fiscal Equivalence": The Division of Responsibilities among Different Levels of Government}},
url = {http://www.jstor.org/stable/1823700},
volume = {59},
year = {1969}

Thank your for your help.

  • Welcome to TeX.SE! Please help us help you and add a minimal working example (MWE), starting with \documentclass{...} and ending with \end{document} (including only relevant packages) that still illustrates your problem. Reproducing the problem and finding out what the issue is will be much easier when we see compilable code.
    – Troy
    Mar 21, 2017 at 9:17

1 Answer 1


The apalike bibliography style has been around, more or less unchanged, since 1988. Here's a quote from the preamble of the file apalike.bst:

This style should be used with the 'apalike' LaTeX [package] (apalike.sty).

You should load either the apalike package (which is rather outdated) or the natbib package (which is a lot more modern) to make the square bracket stuff go away.

If you use the natbib citation management package, you can use the \citep instruction to generate "parenthetis-style" citation call-outs.

If you need to generate citation call-outs and a formatted bibliography according to current APA guidelines, as opposed to those that were in effect in the late 1980s, you should probably switch to the apacite package and the apacite bibliography style.

  • Thanks you for this explanation. The use of the natbib package solves the repetition of the data. After reading into the natbib package and other questions I decided to use BibLatex with Biber instead. As these package offer a more up to date solution to displaying urls and controlling the bibliography output. Thanks again for your help. Mar 21, 2017 at 14:32
  • @ChristianKaiser - As the apalike bibliography style dates back to 1988 and has barely changed since then, it is definitely not set up to handle fields such as url and doi. (One could always stick URL-related information into the field called note; however, that's far less convenient than being able to use a field called url directly.) FWIW, the apacite bibliography style and associated LaTeX package are also fully set up to process url fields. If you require multilanguage support, the biblatex package is definitely the way to go these days.
    – Mico
    Mar 21, 2017 at 14:44

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