In a single-column journal paper, I would like to sort the reference by the lastname of the first authors and also the citation style should be

 (<LastName of first author, year>)

All the references are in the same .tex file where the paper's title and authors and abstract are also located.


  LastName, J., LastName, Y., 2002, \emph{How to write a book}, Journal of MATH, 57, 1093-1111.


I cannot figure out how to do this even though I have checked

  • I have retagged your question since you evidently do not use biblatex. You also don't seem to use BibTeX, you seem to produce your bibliography manually. Before you look any further, check with the journal you want to publish if they have some sort of template or bibliography style for TeX available that you can use. If not you need to figure out whether you are going to produce your bibliography manually (thebibliography) or with BibTeX (\bibliographystyle), you shouldn't use the two together.
    – moewe
    Commented Mar 25, 2017 at 16:07
  • Manual or BibTex are all ok, as long as the references can be formated as what I said in OP. But, I have many references so I do not want to type them again in the BibTeX for each subitem one by one. Thanks! Commented Mar 25, 2017 at 20:20
  • Manually managing references
    – Johannes_B
    Commented Mar 26, 2017 at 11:01
  • 1
    If you decide for the manual way, both formatting and sorting are up to you.
    – Johannes_B
    Commented Mar 26, 2017 at 11:02

1 Answer 1


If creating the bibliography entirely by hand is ok by you, you can get your desired citation call-out style rather easily. Simply:

  • load the natbib package with the option round and use \citep{<key>} to generate the citation callouts; and

  • use the optional argument of each \bibitem directive to store just the first author's surname and the publication year (in parentheses), with no space between the surname and the (year).

A full example:

enter image description here

\usepackage[round]{natbib} % for '\citep' macro

\citep{AnItemName} % generate a 'parenthetic-style' citation call-out


% Note: No space between 'SurnameA' and '(year)'
SurnameA, J., SurnameB, Y., 2002, \emph{How to write a book}, Journal of MATH, 57, 1093--1111.


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