# Biblatex-apa, adherence to standard apa formatting of date (full date vs. year only)

I use Zotero for my manage my bibliography. Zotero lets me export my library in both BibLateX and BibTeX formats. There is not much difference between them, however, I did notice that it exports the year for a given reference differently.

If I have specified the exact date for a reference, e.g., 1991-09-01, exporting in "biblatex" format includes the full date, whereas, in BibTeX format, it includes the year and month separately, and excludes the day (see below):

BIBLATEX
@article{mysampleref_1991,
[...]
date = {1991-09-01},
langid = {english}
}

BIBTEX
@article{mysampleref_1991,
[...]
month = sep,
year = {1991},
pages = {339--354}
}


Now, as such, that is not a problem. However, according to APA, a standard journal article in the Bibliography should only show the year (not the full date, with month and day) after the author.

I use biblatex-apa in my preamble as follows:

\usepackage[style=apa, sortcites=true]{biblatex}
\DeclareLanguageMapping{british}{british-apa}


If I import my bib file with the biblatex formatted bib file, which has the full date, the reference in my bibliography will also show the full date (see screenshot below). I am surprised by this behaviour as I would have thought that biblatex-apa would automatically suppress the full date and only show the year, but it does not. I have to additionally specify in the package options labeldate=year to make sure only the year appears. Surely, biblatex-apa would adhere to standard APA by default?

As requested here a basic MWE:

\documentclass[12pt, a4paper]{memoir}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\usepackage[british]{babel}
\usepackage[style=apa, sortcites=true]{biblatex}
\DeclareLanguageMapping{british}{british-apa}
\begin{document}
Just a basic test of some an APA reference \cite{wheeler_self-recording_1991}.
\printbibliography
\end{document}


and here the contents example of the exported bibliography from Zotero in biblatex-format (biblatex.bib)

@article{wheeler_self-recording_1991,
title = {Self-recording of everyday life events: origins, types, and uses},
volume = {59},
issn = {1467-6494},
url = {http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-6494.1991.tb00252.x/abstract},
doi = {10.1111/j.1467-6494.1991.tb00252.x},
shorttitle = {Self-Recording of Everyday Life Events},
abstract = {Some abstract text},
pages = {339--354},
number = {3},
journaltitle = {Journal of Personality},
author = {Wheeler, Ladd and Reis, Harry T.},
urldate = {2017-04-07},
date = {1991-09-01},
langid = {english}
}

• Which versions of biblatex and the APA style are you using? Can you also give a complete MWE we can try? It is possible that you are using an older version of the style from before this issue was fixed. – PLK Apr 8 '17 at 14:34
• @plk I can replicate this with the most recent versions of biblatex (3.7) and biblatex-apa (7.4). The language mapping (american or british doesn't matter either.) – Alan Munn Apr 8 '17 at 18:39
• You have to ping people with an at symbol e.g. @PLK. – cfr Apr 8 '17 at 21:17
• But you can only ping one person per comment, so @AlanMunn must be pinged in a new comment. – cfr Apr 8 '17 at 21:17
• thanks @cfr, learned something new and guess you pinged them for me in that case :) – Tina Apr 8 '17 at 21:41

This is fixed in version 7.5 but it's not released yet. As a workaround for now, you can add this to your preamble:

\AtEveryCite{%
\clearfield{labelmonth}%
\clearfield{labelday}%
\clearfield{labelendmonth}%
\clearfield{labelendday}%
}

• We will probably have to wait for the OP to confirm that, but I think she also wants the month and day gone in the bibliography. – moewe Apr 10 '17 at 10:06
• Given what I could find at research.moreheadstate.edu/c.php?g=107001&p=695198 and probably more importantly blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2010/01/… maybe you could automate month day deletion for most types except for the exceptions listed in the links. – moewe Apr 10 '17 at 10:15
• BTW: Regardless of what was actually wanted, don't you need \AtEveryCitekey in order to access entry fields? Deleting fields in \AtEveryCite should not work. – moewe Apr 10 '17 at 16:25
• @Tina Of course not, \AtEveryCitekey is still for citations. For the bibliography you would need \AtEveryBibitem instead. – moewe Apr 11 '17 at 8:11
• @Tina Actually, I would use labeldate=year. There is one catch with that though, the links in my comment above indicate that in a few rare cases the APA wants to see full dates. With labeldate=year it is hard to get the full date back, while with the \clearfield approach it is easy to do that conditionally on entry type or something else. – moewe Apr 11 '17 at 9:10

I just got this issue when I updated biblatex (3.9) and biblatex-apa (7.5) with Miktex on Windows 10. For the bib entries I use Zotero with BBLatex export tool.

I used to have the date= year package option and :

\AtEveryBibitem{\clearfield{month}}
\AtEveryBibitem{\clearfield{day}}


Replacing month by labelmonth and day by labelday solved the problem. It is confusing as month and day are not fields in the bib entry.