# Change automatically created name appearing in square brackets when citing

I'm using bibtex and I'm facing a problem with the automatically created name which appears in square brackets when citing (e.g. "... not my idea [xyz17]").

My bib entry has 4 authors (see code below), and all four have a double name! This creates the name [EBCBGMZM11] (how is this thing called? bibtex tag?) which does not look very good because it is very long. Is there a way to override this, i.e. by specifying the name directly (e.g. [EBCB+11] would be ok)?

@article{boquera2011,
title={{Improving offline handwritten text recognition with hybrid HMM/ANN models}},
author={Espana-Boquera, S. and Castro-Bleda, M. and Gorbe-Moya, J. and Zamora-Martinez, F.},
journal={IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence},
volume={33},
number={4},
pages={767--779},
year={2011},
publisher={IEEEs}
}


I take it you are using the alpha bibliography style; for sure, the alpha bibliography style produces the citation call-out label EBCBGMZM11 for the entry you provided in your posting.

I suggest you enclose the two-part surnames in curly braces. That way, BibTeX will produce ECGZ11 as the citation call-out label -- much more manageable, right?

Incidentally, the sample bib entry you provided contains several errors. Most importantly, only two of the four two-part surnames are hyphenated; the other two are separated by a space character. Also, don't forget to track down which characters are accented -- it's a very important part of Spanish surnames and given names. Finally, since the alpha bibliography style does not truncate given names, you should probably make an effort to provide the full forms of the given names, not just "S", "M", etc.

\RequirePackage{filecontents}
\begin{filecontents}{mybib.bib}
@article{boquera2011a,
title  = {Improving offline handwritten text
recognition with hybrid {HMM/ANN} models},
author = {Espa{\~n}a Boquera, Salvador and
Castro Bleda, Mar{\'i}a Jos{\'e} and
Gorbe-Moya, Jorge and
Zamora-Mart{\'i}nez, Francisco},
journal = {IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis
and Machine Intelligence},
volume  = {33},
number  = {4},
pages   = {767--779},
year    = {2011},
publisher={IEEEs},
}
@article{boquera2011b,
title  = {Improving offline handwritten text
recognition with hybrid {HMM/ANN} models},
author = {{Espa{\~n}a Boquera}, Salvador and
{Castro Bleda}, Mar{\'i}a Jos{\'e} and
{Gorbe-Moya}, Jorge and
{Zamora-Mart{\'i}nez}, Francisco},
journal = {IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis
and Machine Intelligence},
volume  = {33},
number  = {4},
pages   = {767--779},
year    = {2011},
publisher={IEEEs},
}
\end{filecontents}

\documentclass{article}
\bibliographystyle{alpha}
\hyphenation{off-line}

\begin{document}
\noindent
\cite{boquera2011a}, \cite{boquera2011b}
\bibliography{mybib}
\end{document}

• that solved it - thank you very much! – Harry Nov 29 '17 at 18:21
• @Harry - You're most welcome! – Mico Nov 29 '17 at 18:32