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I use natbib compatibility code with biblatex and it should produce a capital letter but it does not. I even tried another representation of the name but this got worse: The van got dropped. biblatex has the command defined \newrobustcmd*{\Citet}{\bibsentence\citet} but somehow \bibsentence seems to be broken. Is there any way to fix this and get the functionality?

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{filecontents}
\begin{filecontents*}{\jobname.bib}

@article{vanTrijp2013a,
        Author = {Remi {van Trijp}},
        Year = {2013}
}


@article{vanTrijp2015a,
        Author = {van Trijp, Remi},
        Year = {2015}
}



\end{filecontents*}
\usepackage[backend=biber,natbib=true,
  citestyle=authoryear-comp]{biblatex}
\addbibresource{\jobname.bib}
\begin{document}

\Citet{vanTrijp2013a} should come out as Van Trijp (2013).

\Citet{vanTrijp2015a} drops the \emph{van} alltogether.
\printbibliography
\end{document}
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  • 2
    The input of vanTrijp2013a is wrong. You want the input of vanTrijp2015a and (very) probably the option useprefix=true
    – moewe
    Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 16:30
  • Thanks this did the job. You should add it as an answer. Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 17:08

1 Answer 1

5

If you give a name as

author = {van Trijp, Remi},

in the .bib file, Biber decomposes this name into three parts.

  1. family name: Trijp
  2. given name: Remi
  3. name prefix: van

The output of names with 'prefix' part is controlled with the useprefix option.

  • With useperfix=false (the default) the 'prefix' is essentially treated like a first name. You get 'Trijp, Remi van' for family-given order and 'Remi van Trijp' for given-family. The name is alphabetised under 'T'. Naturally then, mr. R van Trijp is cited only as 'Trijp'.
  • With useprefix=true the prefix is essentially treated as part of the last name. You get 'van Trijp, Remi' for family-given order and (again) 'Remi van Trijp' for given-family. The name is alphabetised under 'V' and cited as 'van Trijp'.

If you write the name as

author = {van Trijp, Remi},

in your .bib file and add useprefix=true to biblatex's options you get what you want.


Why does author = {{van Trijp}, Remi} not work? This is parsed as

  1. family name: {van Trijp} (note the braces!)
  2. given name: Remi

Since we don't get to see braces in the output, for most intents and purposes then, this gives the same results as author = {van Trijp, Remi}, with useprefix = true.

You found one of the differences, though, if a name is printed in a context where the start of a sentence is detected (as is the case with \bibsentence), only the name prefix is capitalised, all other name parts are left as they are. This means that the family name {van Trijp} is not capitalised and comes out as 'van Trijp' with a lowercase 'v'. You may ask why biblatex does not automatically capitalise the family name as well. I don't know why, but I guess it is safe to assume that normally the family name starts with a capital letter anyway, so it would be a wasted macro call. Automatic capitalisation is really hard and should only be employed when absolutely necessary.


\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{filecontents}
\begin{filecontents*}{\jobname.bib}
@article{vanTrijp2015a,
  Author = {van Trijp, Remi},
  Year = {2015}
}
\end{filecontents*}
\usepackage[backend=biber, natbib=true, useprefix=true,
  citestyle=authoryear-comp]{biblatex}
\addbibresource{\jobname.bib}

\begin{document}
\Citet{vanTrijp2015a} vs \citet{vanTrijp2015a}
\printbibliography
\end{document}

enter image description here

8
  • Thank you for this very detailed answer! But if I want to cite him as Trijp, I would have to state {Trijp, Remi van}, wouldn't I? Or can I specify this option per BibTeX item? This would be something I need. Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 17:18
  • @StefanMüller Sorry, I don't quite understand what you mean. If you want to cite him as 'Trijp', write him as author = {van Trijp, Remi}, (still!) and use useprefix=false (as I wrote above "Naturally then, dhr. R van Trijp is cited only as 'Trijp'."). useprefix can indeed be set on a per-entry basis (but that would probably be inconsistent).
    – moewe
    Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 17:20
  • To be fair though, there are differences/inconsistencies between the Netherlands and Belgium here. If mr. Van Trijp is from the Netherlands he would be author = {van Trijp, Remi},, but if he were Belgian, he would be author = {Van Trijp, Remi}, and 'Van Trijp' would always be treated as a single unit (and there would always be a capital 'V').
    – moewe
    Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 17:26
  • Yes, let's assume I have von Humboldt in addition and I want to cite van Trijp and Humboldt. So I have a mix of conventions. Is this possible? Or do I have to trick around with making Alexander von the first name of Humboldt? Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 17:29

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