I have been fighting quite a while with the following problem (which might be related to some strange previous errors in my document):

I use authoryear-icomp with the following options and XeLaTeX (all packages up-to-date):


I have two references in my bibfile that share the first five authors and the year. In my cite I get:

(author1,author2,author3,author4,author5 year; author1,author2,author3,author4,author5,author6 year)

which is really ugly.

Does anybody have a hint for me how to get that fixed? I'd like to have something like

(author1,author2,year-a; author1,author2,year-b)

I tried to gamble around with the uniquename option without any results also.

  • You can fix the rest later -- and don't forget to add a minimal working example (MWE) that illustrates your problem.
    – lockstep
    Jan 21, 2012 at 23:17
  • I tried to describe it by examples since the tex file is really huge (should be split but it is an automatic export from orgmode resulting in 157 pages of pdf and the bib file has 461 entries) I thought it is a question of understanding biblatex and not some syntax errors in my entries. Ebib doesn't complain and normally it does quite a bit ;-/ Jan 21, 2012 at 23:22
  • Read again about the "minimal" in "minimal working example". Providing a MWE saves potential answerers work, so the likelihood of getting useful answers increases.
    – lockstep
    Jan 21, 2012 at 23:25

1 Answer 1


Here's one more MWE showing a solution. Note especially a) that the problem is not related to Xe(La)TeX b) how I used the filecontents package/environment to add a .bib file and make the exampe compilable.

Your desired citation format boils down to turning off name list disambiguation (uniquelist=false). See section 4.11.4 of the biblatex manual for details. I didn't try to remove "et al." because one (IMO) should at least display that there are other authors, if not their names.




  author = {A and B and C and D and E},
  year = {2001},
  title = {A bibentry},
  author = {A and B and C and D and E and F},
  year = {2001},
  title = {Another bibentry},



Some text \autocite{A01x}.

Some text \autocite{A01y}.



enter image description here

  • 2
    It's worth mentioning that this makes it, from the citations, look like exactly the same list of authors wrote two papers in 2001 which isn't the case. This is why we made uniquelist=true the default in most styles but it's a matter of taste to some extent if you think that the purpose of citations is just to get to the right reference.
    – PLK
    Jan 22, 2012 at 14:15
  • Thanks a lot! That is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks also for making the purpose clear to me. I agree about that and therefore I'll let it the way it is if my professor agrees. Best Markus Jan 22, 2012 at 16:04

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