Standard elsarticle-harv bibliography style reference lists look like this:

Minimum working example

\section{MWE Header}
Here are two citations \citep{Bear1970,Jetson1974}, Lorum ipsum.

However, I am trying to format references to look like this.

Peterson, G., Aslani, P. and Williams, K.A. (2003) E-scaped medicine? >Information, reflexivity and health, Critical Social Policy, 23, 2, 165-185.

Can I somehow change the bibliography style so that all of my references reflect the following three adjustments?

  1. I have added a period at the end of the final author's name
  2. The year is in rounded parentheses with no period after
  3. The "journal" "volume" and "number" fields are separated by commas
  • 1
    Off-topic: if you don't have to stick to the publishers standards, why would you choose elsarticle-harv? If you have to stick to them, is it a good idea to "customize" it? And, in general, if you don't need this particular style per publishers demands, wouldn't you be better off choosing one of the standard styles of biblatex or natbib?
    – gusbrs
    Jun 19, 2017 at 17:03
  • 1
    e.g. biblatex's authoryear style (ctan.sharelatex.com/tex-archive/macros/latex/contrib/biblatex/…) seems to comply with your requirements 1 and 2, and is close to complying with 3 (and can, of course, be configured to do so).
    – gusbrs
    Jun 19, 2017 at 17:23
  • These are great points! I'm going to take your advice and switch over to biblatex. If you'd like to post these comments as an answer I'll accept it.
    – AllanM
    Jun 20, 2017 at 12:22

1 Answer 1


This is not a direct answer to the original question. But, in the comments I invited the OP to take a broader perspective on the issue, which eventually led to a reconsideration by him on the most adequate approach to take. I'm including this as an answer at the OP's request.

In general, when you are trying to customize a publisher provided style, such as elsarticle-harv, you should think carefully about it. If the publisher supplied the style it is likely that "customizations" might break submission guidelines. I'm not saying there aren't cases in which such adjustments are considered legitimate and are accepted. But you should consider carefully what you are doing, why you are doing it and if such changes are indeed acceptable by the publisher.

But, if you are trying to adjust one of these styles just because it seems to you a "nice starting point" and the style itself is not required from you for reasons of submission, then you might well consider changing to one of the standard styles supplied by biblatex or natbib. There is plenty of styles for you to choose from, most likely one fits your bill. You will probably get better support on them and also have more flexibility in their use.

I suggested biblatex's authoryear style as an example. It indeed is close to the format you specified and because, as I am an humanities guy, biblatex is usually the best choice for me. But that might not be your case.

In choosing between biblatex(+biber) or natbib(+bibtex) you should weight their advantages and disadvantages for your case. Take a look at: bibtex vs. biber and biblatex vs. natbib

Summing up the main issues there, I think it is fair to say that biblatex(+biber) has a number of technical advantages, is in active development and is more easily customizable. On the other hand, a number of publishers do require that you stick to natbib(+bibtex). Anyway, more detailed info at the link.


You must log in to answer this question.

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