# Sorting Dutch surnames with 'van' and 'van der' in bibliography

In my document I use natbib package with apalike style. I really enjoy the citation style and would prefer not to change anything. However, there is a small issue: Dutch second names with van and van der appear in Bibliography with second names starting with V. For example, von Wright is a neighbour of Vardi in bibliography. Is there any way to have it sorted by the main part of second name? So that von Wright will appear together with Walter, rather than Vardi. Cheers!

• What about names that contain de (as in, say, Casper de Vries or Kevin de Bruyne)? Should they be sorted under D (for "de") or (here) V or B, respectively? Please advise. – Mico Jun 28 '18 at 18:41
• Under V and B. Ideally, I would like to have second names sorted by capitalised part of the name with van\van der\de, etc. preserved. E.g. ... Bruegel, P. <reference>; de Bruyne, K. <reference> – Charles Bronson Jun 28 '18 at 18:54
• The answer I just posted modifies BibTeX's sorting method, so that it sorts first by surname and only then on the "von" component. – Mico Jun 28 '18 at 19:01

I suggest you proceed as follows:

• Locate the file apalike.bst in your TeX distribution. Make a copy of this file and call the copy, say, apalike-nl.bst. (You're obviously free to select another file name.)

• Open the file apalike-nl.bst in a text editor; the program you use to edit your tex files will do fine.

• Locate the function sort.format.names in the bst file. (In my copy of this file, this function starts on line 914.)

• In this function, locate the following line:

      s nameptr "{vv{ } }{ll{ }}{  f{ }}{  jj{ }}" format.name$'t := % <= here  Change this line to  s nameptr "{ll{ }}{vv{ }}{ f{ }}{ jj{ }}" format.name$ 't :=


I trust you can guess what the ll and vv components of a full name denote.

• Save the file apalike-nl.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 update the filename database of your TeX distribution appropriately.

• In the main tex file, change the instruction

\bibliographystyle{apalike}


to

\bibliographystyle{apalike-nl}


and rerun LaTeX, BibTeX, and LaTeX twice more to fully propagate the change.

Happy BibTeXing!

Here's a minimal working example (MWE). Observe that "van Bronckhorst" is listed before "de Bruyne"; with the standard version of apalike, "de Bruyne" would come before "van Bronckhorst".

\RequirePackage{filecontents}
\begin{filecontents}{mybib.bib}
@misc{kdb, author="Kevin de Bruyne", title="Thoughts", year=2018}
@misc{gvb, author="Giovanni van Bronckhorst", title="Thoughts", year=2018}
\end{filecontents}

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[round,authoryear]{natbib}
\bibliographystyle{apalike-nl}

\begin{document}
\nocite{*}
\bibliography{mybib}
\end{document}


No need to change the bibliography style; recycling https://tex.stackexchange.com/a/40750/4427 should work:

\begin{filecontents*}{\jobname.bib}
@article{vannoort,
author={{\VAN{Noort}{Van}{van}} Noort, Thomas},
title={An important paper},
journal={Journal},
year=2010,
}
@article{kdb,
author={{\VAN{Bruyne}{De}{de}} Bruyne, Kevin},
title={Thoughts},
journal={Journal},
year=2018,
}
@article{gvb,
author={{\VAN{Bronckhorst}{Van}{van}} Bronckhorst, Giovanni},
title={Thoughts},
journal={Journal},
year=2018,
}
\end{filecontents*}

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[authoryear]{natbib}
\usepackage{hyperref}

% #1: sorting key, #2: prefix for citation, #3: prefix for bibliography
\DeclareRobustCommand{\VAN}[3]{#2} % set up for citation

\begin{document}

\citet{vannoort}
\citet{kdb}
\citet{gvb}

% here we change the meaning of \VAN to use the prefix for the bibliography
\DeclareRobustCommand{\VAN}[3]{#3}

\bibliographystyle{apalike}
\bibliography{\jobname}

\end{document}


If you don't need to uppercase “Van” or “De”, you can just set

\DeclareRobustCommand{\VAN}[3]{#3}


in the preamble and comment out the second setting. One could also go with just two arguments, but being redundant can save later troubles.

With the change one gets

• It might be useful, for casual readers of this posting, if you pointed out explicitly that even though the approach proposed in your answer requires more work up front, compared with making a copy of a bst file and modifying a single line in the new bibliography style file, it has the following considerable advantage: It is compatible with any bibliography style, not just apalike. Put differently, simply by changing the definition of \VAN, one can go back and forth between including and not including the von-component of an author's name in the sorting process. – Mico Jun 29 '18 at 7:24