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I am using the jneurosci bibliography style. Everything works fine, except for the fact that I have some multiple-author entries which have the same first author and the same year, but for which BibTeX does not automatically change the year label, say 2010, to 2010a, 2010b etc. For some other multiple-author entries the extra labels "a", "b" are added, though. I have realized that in these cases the same-author-same-year entries occur immediately one after the other in the sorted bibliography. In contrast, in the cases where the extra labels aren't added, the initial same-authors-same-year entry is followed by a publication with the first-author group and a different year, followed by another entry of the same-author-same-year category. That's when BibTeX fails to add a,b,c to the years.

For example, I have two publications of the type Preller and others 2017; in the final bibliography, BibTeX does put

Preller and others (2017a)
Preller and others (2017b)

and the author-year citation call-outs feature the extra labels as well.

But when I have, for example, Deco and others 2017 followed by Deco and others 2016, followed by another Deco and others 2017 entry, I get:

Deco, Cabral, and others (2017)
Deco, Kringelbach (2016)
Deco, Van Hartevelt, and others (2017)

Here are the full bibliographic entries as printed in my final pdf file:

Deco G, Cabral J, Woolrich MW, Stevner AB, van Hartevelt TJ, Kringelbach ML (2017) Single or multiple frequency generators in on-going brain activity: A mechanistic whole-brain model of empirical MEG data. NeuroImage 152:538-550. 73, 85, 94

Deco G, Kringelbach ML (2016) Metastability and Coherence: Extending the Communication through Coherence Hypothesis Using A Whole-Brain Computational Perspective. Trends in Neurosciences 39:125-135. 31, 40, 41, 59, 66

Deco G, Van Hartevelt TJ, Fernandes HM, Stevner A, Kringelbach ML (2017) The most relevant human brain regions for functional connectivity: Evidence for a dynamical workspace of binding nodes from whole-brain computational modelling. NeuroImage 146:197-210. 84, 85

As you can see, both 2017 entries appear only with year label (2017), and not as (2017a) and (2017b). In contrast, the other same-author-same-year case I mentioned above is printed out fine, like this:

Preller KH, Herdener M, Pokorny T, Planzer A, Kraehenmann R, Stampfli P, Liechti ME, Seifritz E, Vollenweider FX (2017a) The Fabric of Meaning and Subjective Effects in LSD-Induced States Depend on Serotonin 2A Receptor Activation. Current Biology 27:451-457. 16, 21, 90, 92, 111, 114

Preller KH, Schleifer C, Stampfli P, Krystal J, Vollenweider F, Anticevic A (2017b) 951. Changes in Resting-State Global Brain Connectivity in LSD-Induced Altered States of Consciousness are Attributable to the 5-HT2A Receptor. Biological Psychiatry 81:S385. 16


Here are the same five entries in bibtex format, sorted alphabetically by authors' surnames for ease of reference:

@article{deco:2017a,
  author  = "Deco, G. and Cabral, J. and Woolrich, M. W. and Stevner, A.B. and van Hartevelt , T.J. and Kringelbach, M. L.",
  year    = 2017,
  title   = "Single or multiple frequency generators in ongoing brain activity: A mechanistic whole-brain model of empirical {MEG} data",
  journal = "NeuroImage",
  volume  = 152,
  pages   = "538-550",
}

@article{deco:2016,
  author  = "Deco, G. and Kringelbach, M. L.",
  year    = 2016,
  title   = "Metastability and Coherence: Extending the Communication through Coherence Hypothesis Using A Whole-Brain Computational Perspective",
  journal = "Trends in Neurosciences",
  volume  = 39,
  pages   = "125-135",
}

@article{deco:2017b,
  author  = "Deco, G. and Van Hartevelt, T. J. and Fernandes, H. M. and Stevner, A. and Kringelbach, M. L.",
  year    = 2017,
  title   = "The most relevant human brain regions for functional connectivity: Evidence for a dynamical workspace of binding nodes from whole-brain computational modelling",
  journal = "NeuroImage",
  volume  = 146,
  pages   = "197-210",
}

@article{preller:2017a,
  author  = "Preller, K. H. and Herdener, M. and Pokorny, T. and Planzer, A. and Kraehenmann, R. and Stampfli, P. and Liechti, M. E. and Seifritz, E. and Vollenweider, F. X.",
  year    = 2017,
  title   = "The Fabric of Meaning and Subjective Effects in {LSD}-Induced States Depend on {Serotonin 2A} Receptor Activation",
  journal = "Current Biology",
  volume  = 27,
  pages   = "451-457",
}

@article{preller:2017b,
  author  = "Preller, K. H. and Schleifer, C. and Stampfli, P. and Krystal, J. and Vollenweider, F. and Anticevic, A.",
  year    = 2017,
  title   = "Changes in Resting-State Global Brain Connectivity in {LSD}-Induced Altered States of Consciousness are Attributable to the {5-HT2A} Receptor",
  journal = "Biological Psychiatry",
  volume  = 81,
  pages   = "S385",
}

Suppose these entries are placed in a file called mybib.bib. Then the following LaTeX document

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{jneurosci}
\bibliographystyle{jneurosci}
\hyphenation{neuro-image}

\begin{document}
\cite{deco:2016}, \cite{deco:2017a}, \cite{deco:2017b}

\cite{preller:2017a}, \cite{preller:2017b}
\bibliography{mybib}
\end{document}

produces this output -- note the two separate citation call-outs of the form "Deco et al. (2017)" as well as the absence of "a" and "b" extra year labels in the corresponding formatted entries:

enter image description here

  • 2
    Welcome to TeX.SE. Please edit your posting to show the full entries for Deco2016, Deco2017, and the other Deco2017. That would really help in figuring out what's going on. – Mico Feb 22 '18 at 22:04
  • 2
    Rather than an approximation of the output, the .bib source would be better, together with a simple LaTeX document that shows what you're doing. – egreg Feb 22 '18 at 22:42
  • I've taken the liberty of editing your posting to provide a fully compilable example that produces the issue you would like to fix. I've also edited the title and text of your posting to clarify that the issue is caused by the particular choice of bibliography style, viz., jneurosci. – Mico Feb 23 '18 at 6:21
  • Thanks a lot for editing my post! I am not a frequent user of Latex, and I have especially never used this forum for asking any questions. I really appreciate the help!! – bea87 Feb 23 '18 at 10:39
2

It very much looks like you've come across a bug in the jneurosci bibliography style. I can think of four possible solutions:

  1. Contact the journal that's making you use this bibliography style, point out the issue (by all means, with a link to this query), and ask for (or, demand!) that they provide a fix. Chances of near-term success: Likely very low. Chances of success in the longer run: Completely Unknown. Neither jneurosci.bst nor jneurosci.sty (the citation management package you should be using) look like they've been updated in the past dozen years at least.

  2. Hack the file jneurosci.bst and fix the labeling bug directly. This will require modifying the functions forward.pass and reverse.pass as well as changing the usage of variables such as last.sort.label, sort.label, and last.extra.num in various other places throughout the entire file. Not recommended, in part because it's likely very tricky.

  3. Run the makebst utility (part of the custom-bib package) to create an entirely new, bespoke bst file that formats all entry types according to your (or the journal's...) requirements. makebst is a menu-driven, multiple questions/multiple choice utility (type latex makebst at a command prompt to get started), and at the end of the process you have a bug-free bibliography style file that does the extra-labeling work correctly and, as a bonus, works with the natbib citation management package. (In contrast, the jneurosci bib style should be used with the jneurosci package, which is much less versatile and far more inflexible than natbib.) Long-term outlook: Excellent. In the short term, though, in order to answer the questions that the utility will pose, you will likely have to spend some time figuring out how jneurosci formats not only entries of type @article, but also those of type @book, @misc, @unpublished, @techreport, @incollection, etc etc.

  4. Edit the file \jobname.bbl -- where \jobname is the name of your main tex file -- and add the missing letter labels yourself. Important: After you apply the required edits as shown below, do not rerun BibTeX; just re-run LaTeX twice. (If you rerun BibTeX, the bbl file will be overwritten and you have to restart from scratch.) Advantage: Quick and easy short-term fix. Disadvantage: Do this only when your document is mostly finished, i.e., when you won't have to rerun BibTeX anymore.

    • Taking the code you posted as a starting point, run LaTeX, BibTeX, and LaTeX twice more. Open the file \jobname.bbl. The two Deco-2017 entries will look like this:

      \bibitem[\protect\citeauthoryear{Deco  \bgroup et al.\egroup
        }{2017}]{deco:2017a}
      Deco G, Cabral J, Woolrich MW, Stevner A, van Hartevelt T, Kringelbach ML
        (2017)
      \newblock Single or multiple frequency generators in ongoing brain activity: A
        mechanistic whole-brain model of empirical {MEG} data.
      \newblock {\em NeuroImage}~152:\mbox{538--550}.
      
      \bibitem[\protect\citeauthoryear{Deco  \bgroup et al.\egroup
        }{2017}]{deco:2017b}
      Deco G, Van~Hartevelt TJ, Fernandes HM, Stevner A, Kringelbach ML (2017)
      \newblock The most relevant human brain regions for functional connectivity:
        Evidence for a dynamical workspace of binding nodes from whole-brain
        computational modelling.
      \newblock {\em NeuroImage}~146:\mbox{197--210}.
      

      (For simplicity, I've omitted the intervening Deco-2016 entry.)

    • Change these entries so that they look like this instead:

      \bibitem[\protect\citeauthoryear{Deco  \bgroup et al.\egroup
        }{2017a}]{deco:2017a}
      Deco G, Cabral J, Woolrich MW, Stevner A, van Hartevelt T, Kringelbach ML
        (2017a)
      \newblock Single or multiple frequency generators in ongoing brain activity: A
        mechanistic whole-brain model of empirical {MEG} data.
      \newblock {\em NeuroImage}~152:\mbox{538--550}.
      
      \bibitem[\protect\citeauthoryear{Deco  \bgroup et al.\egroup
        }{2017b}]{deco:2017b}
      Deco G, Van~Hartevelt TJ, Fernandes HM, Stevner A, Kringelbach ML (2017b)
      \newblock The most relevant human brain regions for functional connectivity:
        Evidence for a dynamical workspace of binding nodes from whole-brain
        computational modelling.
      \newblock {\em NeuroImage}~146:\mbox{197--210}.
      

      I.e., add "a" in two places for the former entry and "b" in two places for the latter entry.

    • Save and close the bbl file and re-run LaTeX twice more. During the first LaTeX run, the year labels in the formatted entries in the bibliography will be updated; during the second, the year labels in the citation call-outs will be updated. Again, be careful not to re-run BibTeX, lest your edits in the bbl file be overwritten.

  • OK, so it is only the jneurosci style file, I've just tried out another style (abbrvnat) and it works well with that. I actually don't need to use the jneurosci style, it is not for a publication but for my thesis, where there are no restrictions. I just liked the jneurosci style better than the others (still do), but if it's that much of a hassle I'll just take another one. It didn't occur to me that it was only fault of the style file I used. – bea87 Feb 23 '18 at 10:25
  • @bea87 - If you don't have to use the jneurosci bibliography style, then by all means avoid it. That's great that your university doesn't require the use of a particular bibliography style. For sure, abbrvnat is known to work very well with the natbib citation management package. It'll also give you the freedom to switch between numeric-style and authoryear-style citation call-outs, just in case you need this freedom. – Mico Feb 23 '18 at 10:28
  • Yes, that is exactly what I have done, I am now using the abbrvnat style with authoryear-style, which is exactly what I wanted. So all good now! I am not using Latex frequently, so it never occurred to me that it's only fault of the style file, so thanks for that! – bea87 Feb 23 '18 at 10:37
  • @bea87 - Regarding bibliographies, a useful thing to be aware of is that the formatting of the bibliography is governed entirely by the bibliography style. BibTeX, not LaTeX, is the program that reads in the bst file and creates the .bbl file. – Mico Feb 23 '18 at 10:41

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