Is it possible to include the issue number, besides the volume number, in article references with \bibliographystyle{elsarticle-harv} and \usepackage[round, authoryear]{natbib}? Thanks!

Here is an example:

\documentclass[11pt, twoside]{book}
\usepackage[round, authoryear]{natbib}
\def\urlprefix{doi: }
Cite \cite{Zsidisin.2001}

The entry in file References is:

   author = {Zsidisin, G. A. and Siferd, S. P.},
   title = {Environmental purchasing: a framework for theory development},
   journal = {European Journal of Purchasing \& Supply Management},
   volume = {7},
   number = {1},
   pages = {61-73},
   DOI = {10.1016/S0969-7012(00)00007-1},
   year = {2001},
   type = {Journal Article}

And the result I am getting:

enter image description here

Should I be doing something else/different?


  • I have checked and I am using the same version of the bst file. FUNCTION {article} includes "format.vol.num.pages output" so I should be getting the issue number but it is not happening...? I am using Windows 10. Commented Sep 19, 2018 at 17:25

1 Answer 1


It would appear that with the latest version of the elsarticle-harv bibliography style -- version 2.1, dated 2018-06-29 04:55:48Z -- the number field of an entry of type @article is deliberately no longer printed. To wit, inside the article function in the file elsarticle-harv.bst, one does find the following line:

format.vol.num.pages output

Elsewhere in the file, the function format.vol.num.pages is defined as follows:

FUNCTION {format.vol.num.pages}
{ volume field.or.null
  duplicate$ empty$ 'skip$
      "volume" bibinfo.check

Essentially, this function first checks if the volume field is either empty or duplicate. If that condition is true, the built-in function skip$ is executed. (You can probably guess what skip$ does...) If the condition is false, the contents of the volume are typeset. Observe that despite the presence of the string "num" in the function's name, format.vol.num.pages, the number field is not processed in any way.

You may quite likely point out that the pages field isn't processed either by the format.vol.num.pages function shown above. That's indeed true. However, later on in the article function, one does come across the line


and you would be correct in assuming that this function processes the contents of the pages field in the @article entry type.

What to do? You are presumably using the elsarticle-harv bibliography style because (a) you're preparing to submit a paper to an Elsevier-stable journal and (b) this journal requires you to use just this bibliography style. Since it's the journal's choice how the formatted bibliographic entries are supposed to look like, I would not mess about and modify the file elsarticle-harv.bst.

  • Well, it's for a thesis so I could adapt the style if I knew how. But that's OK - it's not critical. Thanks, Mico! Commented Sep 20, 2018 at 6:13
  • @CarlosMartins - If you don't have to use the elsarticle-harv bibliography style, I wouldn't spend any time editing it. Instead, I would run the makebst utility, which is part of the custom-bib package, to create a bespoke bibliography style from scratch. The makebst utility is menu-driven, with multiple-choice for each question. The output of the process is a bst file. It's fairly straightforward to use it. For each question, there's a default choice, and for most questions the default answer will do just fine.
    – Mico
    Commented Sep 20, 2018 at 6:43

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