For some years, I've been using the following biblatex configuration in my LaTeX class:


\DefineBibliographyStrings{german}{andothers = {et al.}}

Today I compiled a document with biber and the most recent TexLive version 2017 and was amazed that citing two different articles from the same author in the same year resulted in the format (Author 2017[a]) and (Author 2017[b]) rather than (Author 2017a) and (Author 2017b) as it used to.

Did I miss a change here or was the former style never intended to look like that? How would I have to change the configuration in order to remove the square brackets around the appended letters for articles of the same year and author?

  • 1
    There should be no intentional change here. There was github.com/plk/biblatex/issues/603 a while ago that arose in very specific situations. The problem will be fixed in the upcoming version 3.8 of biblatex. Please provide a full MWE/MWEB so we can investigate your problem in more detail. We will need to see the offending .bib entries as well as the full document setup.
    – moewe
    Oct 1 '17 at 17:39
  • 1
    Note that in new versions of biblatex \DeclareNameAlias{sortname}{last-first} should be \DeclareNameAlias{sortname}{family-given}. And that \DefineBibliographyStrings{german}{andothers = {et al.}} should ideally be \DefineBibliographyStrings{german}{andothers = {et\addabbrvspace al\adddot}}.
    – moewe
    Oct 1 '17 at 17:40
  • thank you moewe, I'll provide an MWE as soon as possible. Oct 1 '17 at 18:00
  • moewe, thank you again for the hints. Your linked github issue pointed to the other question at texwelt.de and I figured out I had the exact same problem: The date attribute of the reference was missing. As a fallback, biblatex seems to use urldate but doesn't treat it exactly the same as date. Oct 1 '17 at 18:49

This was a bug that has been resolved in version 3.8 of biblatex. If you still have this problem, check your version and do an update.

As confirmed in the comments, this is the issue described in "biblatex: Eliminieren der Klammer um Kleinbuchstaben hinter Jahreszahl" over at TeXwelt.de

A simplified MWE would be

\usepackage[style=authoryear, backend=biber]{biblatex}

    author = {FSC},
    title = {Die Regeln für den Wald. 10 Grundsätze -- weltweit},
    url = {http://www.fsc-deutschland.de/de-de/der-fscr/prinzipien},
    urldate = {2017-07-31}

    title = {Facts and figures},
    type = {Report},
    institutions = {FSC International},
    date = {2017-07-04},
    url = {https://ic.fsc.org/file-download.facts-figures-july-2017.a-2020.pdf},
    urldate = {2017-07-12},
    author = {FSC}



MWE before fix

The issue was reported https://github.com/plk/biblatex/issues/603 with a suggested fix https://github.com/plk/biblatex/pull/604. The problem should be resolved in version 3.8.

Until then you can add


to your preamble. Upon which you will get MWE after fix as expected.

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