# Prefixes in author names in references and bibliography

I have a problem related to prefixes in the family names of researchers that I cite in my thesis. People whose names start with "van", "von, "den", "van der", and the like. I would want these to appear with the prefix in small letters in front of the family name in the reference in the running text, like (den Besten1983), then also in the same way in the bibliography, but not sorted after the prefix. So "den Besten, Hans" should be listed under B. With my current settings, I get (Besten1983) in the text, and "Besten, Hans den" in the bibliography. I have tried enclosing "den Besten" in curly brackets in the BibTex source (I use Jabref), like this {den Besten}, Hans. This gives the right result in the reference, but lists the name as "den Besten, Hans" under D in the bibliography.

Source in JabRef: author = {den Besten, Hans},

Here is a MWE:

\documentclass[12]{article}

\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\usepackage[english]{babel}
\usepackage [T1]{fontenc}
\usepackage[backend=biber, style=authoryear-comp]{biblatex}
\begin{document}
Blabla \cite{denBesten1983}.
\printbibliography
\end{document}


There are several ways to do this (see for example Biblatex handling of Dutch "van" prefix), but with a current biblatex I would do the following

1. Set the useprefix=true option. This tells biblatex to treat "den Boer" as the family name, always printing "den Boer" and sorting under "d".
2. Change the sorting so names are sorted by their family component first and only then by the prefix. Hence, contrary to what useprefix=true from point 1 would dictate, "den Boer" sorts under "B".
3. Modify the bibliography so that the prefix is not capitalised. (Since each bib item issues \bibsentence by default at a very late stage after the \AtEveryBibitem hook is processed, the cleanest solution I could find is to hook into the begentry bibmacro.)

\documentclass[12]{article}
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\usepackage[english]{babel}
\usepackage{csquotes}
\usepackage[backend=biber, style=authoryear-comp, useprefix]{biblatex}

\DeclareSortingNamekeyTemplate{
\keypart{
\namepart{family}
}
\keypart{
\namepart{prefix}
}
\keypart{
\namepart{given}
}
\keypart{
\namepart{suffix}
}
}

\renewbibmacro{begentry}{\midsentence}

\usepackage{filecontents}
\begin{filecontents}{\jobname.bib}
@book{besten,
author  = {Hans den Besten},
title   = {On the Importance of the Civil Service},
date    = {1980},
}
@book{boer,
author  = {Hans de Boer},
title   = {On the Importance of the Civil Service},
date    = {1980},
}
\end{filecontents}


• @EspenJK You are using an outdated version of biblatex. You should consider updating (as always, an update shortly before a deadline might be ill-advised, updates always have the potential to break stuff). In old versions \DeclareSortingNamekeyTemplate was called \DeclareSortingNamekeyScheme, so you could replace the new name with the old one, maybe it works for you then. – moewe Jul 11 '18 at 6:30
• @EspenJK If you replaced \DeclareSortingNamekeyTemplate with \DeclareSortingNamekeyScheme the error message can't be the same because there is no \DeclareSortingNamekeyTemplate any more. \DeclareSortingNamekeyScheme was introduced in version 3.3 back in March 2016, it was renamed to \DeclareSortingNamekeyTemplate in version 3.8 in November 2017. If your system is older than that, you can try tex.stackexchange.com/q/226893/35864. ... – moewe Jul 11 '18 at 6:45
• @EspenJK Even with \renewbibmacro{begentry}{\midsentence}? – moewe Jul 11 '18 at 7:46
• @svenper By default biblatex capitalises the beginning of a \footcite like the beginning of a sentence, hence the prefix comes out with a capital letter. It's the same for ibidem in a footnote citation, which comes out as "Ibid." if it is the first word. You can completely turn off this behaviour with \renewcommand{\bibfootnotewrapper}[1]{#1\addperiod}. If you want only your name prefixes to ignore capitalisation you need to remove the \MakeCapital from name:family-given and name:family (I wouldn't redefine \mkbibnameprefix` for that). – moewe Nov 18 '18 at 15:48