I noticed a strange citation key in my document. All citation keys with multiple authors are generated like this for example: [Ber+07]
Where does this + sign come from? I setup biblatex like so:

    andothers = {{et\,al\adddot}},             

Do I have to write my own biblatex style?

  • maxcitenames=3 has little effect with style=alphabetic, and is the default value anyway. maxbibnames=3 is also the default. (Indeed maxnames=3 is the default setting, which sets both of the mentioned values to 3.) sorting=nyt is unusual together with style=alphabetic, the standard for alphabetic is sorting=anyt, which sorts by label first.
    – moewe
    Dec 20, 2017 at 15:36
  • See also tex.stackexchange.com/q/130030/35864
    – moewe
    Dec 20, 2017 at 15:46

1 Answer 1


The "+" is just a signal that the list of authors/editors has been truncated to fit into maxalphanames (the default value is 3), it works just like "et al." (and maxcitenames) in other styles.

Uthor et al. 2006; Uthor and Riter 2006

would be

Uth+06; UR06

The exact symbol is controlled with \labelalphaothers, so you could say


to get



You can increase maxalphanames to a higher value if you don't want your list truncated.

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