I'm using natbib for my bilbiography (and I'm working on Overleaf), and I want to have the same format as Harvard style for this, so I use the style agsm, but I want to have the first name then the last name and I want to remove comma between this. So for example: I have this in my .bib file

    author  = {Daniel Aubier and Nicole Silvie and Jean Tetrae}
    % ....}

And I have this kind of result actually:

Aubier, D., Silvie, N. and Tetrae, J.

But I want this:

D. Aubier, N. Silvie and J. Tetrae

I know this isn't the real Harvard style, but I want to keep the essential of Harvard style, with this particularity.

Thank for your help!


1 Answer 1


I suggest you proceed as follows:

  • Find the file agsm.bst in your TeX distribution. Make a copy of this file and call the copy, say, myagsm.bst. (Don't edit an original, unrenamed file from the the TeX distribution directly.) If you can't find the file inside Overleaf, you may try downloading it from

  • Open the file myagsm.bst in a text editor. The editor you use for your .tex files will do fine.

  • In myagsm.bst, replace both instances of the string

    "{vv~}{ll}{, jj}{, f.}"

    with the string

    "{f. }{vv }{ll}{, jj}" 

    There are two instances of this string: one each in the functions format.authors and format.editors.

  • Save the file myagsm.bst either in the directory where your main tex file is located or in a directory that's searched by BibTeX. If you choose the latter option, be sure to also update the filename database of your TeX distribution suitably.

  • In your main tex file, change the instruction \bibliographystyle{agsm} to \bibliographystyle{myagsm} and perform a full recompile cycle -- LaTeX, BibTeX, and LaTeX twice more -- to fully propagate all changes.

Happy BibTeXing!

Two final comments/notes: (a) There is no unique harvard style, and it's not clear what a "real" harvard style might be. (b) Harvard style, also known as author-year style, is generally considered to be about the formatting of the citation call-outs rather than about the formatting of the bibliographic entries.

A full MWE (minimum working example):

enter image description here

  author = {Daniel Aubier and Nicole Silvie and Jean Tetrae},
  title  = {Thoughts},
  year   = 3001,


  • Thank you, it works :D If I can take a little bit of your time, I would like to sort my bibliography by alphabetical order with the last name, is that possible ?
    – Apodeus
    Commented Mar 31, 2018 at 23:24
  • @Apodeus - agsm and myagsm automatically perform sorting of the entries, by alphabetical order of the surnames of the authors and editors.
    – Mico
    Commented Mar 31, 2018 at 23:51
  • Yes, but actualy it sorts with the initial of the First name, and I want it with last Name, with keeping the same format. Maybe in my .bib I'm wrong when I put author's names. I do it like this actually : author = {Aubier, D. and Blengino, J. M. and Brandt, A. C. and Silvie, N.}
    – Apodeus
    Commented Apr 1, 2018 at 7:02
  • @Apodeus - It definitely sounds like there could be some input errors in your bib file. Please post a new query to (a) post a couple of bib entries that aren't being sorted and (b) mention that you use the agsm bibliography style along with the natbib citation management package.
    – Mico
    Commented Apr 1, 2018 at 9:27
  • @Mico Thanks for the tip. Can you point me to the documentation to know how are the bst files exactly coded? I guess that ff (resp ll) stands for first (resp last) name and I guess vv and jj work in case the author's last name is "van Beethoven Jr."
    – EA304GT
    Commented Feb 1, 2020 at 3:49

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .