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In apacite package, when there are more than 6 authors, it will list the first six authors followed by "...others"

How can I change "others" word to "et al."

Following is my MWE:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[natbibapa]{apacite}
\bibliographystyle{apacite}
\usepackage{filecontents}

\begin{filecontents}{references.bib}
    @article{arnett1988american,
        title={The American Rheumatism Association 1987 revised criteria for the classification of rheumatoid arthritis},
        author={Arnett, Frank C and Edworthy, Steven M and Bloch, Daniel A and Mcshane, Dennis J and Fries, James F and Cooper, Norman S and Healey, Louis A and Kaplan, Stephen R and Liang, Matthew H and Luthra, Harvinder S, Arnett, Frank C and Edworthy, Steven M and Bloch, Daniel A and Mcshane, Dennis J and Fries, James F and Cooper, Norman S and Healey, Louis A and Kaplan, Stephen R and Liang, Matthew H and Luthra, Harvinder and others},
        journal={Arthritis \& Rheumatism: Official Journal of the American College of Rheumatology },
        volume={31},
        number={3},
        pages={315--324},
        year={1988},
        publisher={Wiley Online Library}
    }
\end{filecontents}

\begin{document}

\section{Introduction}

This is a simple citation \citep{arnett1988american}.

\bibliography{references.bib}
\end{document}

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    Off-topic: You should also encase the string American Rheumatism Association in curly braces, to prevent BibTeX from lowercasing the letters A, R, and A.
    – Mico
    Commented Dec 9, 2018 at 13:36

1 Answer 1

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You start your posting with the following sentence:

In apacite package, when there are more than 6 authors, it will list the first six authors followed by "...others"

This claim is not correct. According to APA guidelines, if an entry has more than 7 authors, the names of the first 6 authors are listed, followed by a typographic ellipse (i.e., ...), followed by the name of the final author. In contrast, if an entry has 7 or fewer authors, all authors are listed.

The reason your entry shows "others" as the final author is because that's what you wrote in the author field as the final "author". I suppose you could replace others with {et~al.}; however, this wouldn't look right as one would still get a typographic ellipse separating the first 6 authors from "et al.".

The real solution is to list a real name, rather than either "others" or "et al.", as the final author. According to the information available at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/art.1780310302, the last-listed author's name is Gene G. Hunder.

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  • I added others to illustrate that I do not want the last author name (which I added to be others). Is there a way to make it et al. Commented Dec 9, 2018 at 13:53
  • @Sari - Did you try what I suggested, viz., replacing "others" with "{et~al.}"?
    – Mico
    Commented Dec 9, 2018 at 13:56
  • Yes it will work. But the issue is I want it to be automated, without changing the bibtex file. This is what I am trying to achieve. Thanks. Commented Dec 9, 2018 at 14:06
  • @Sari - I don’t understand your claim that you want to get it done “without changing the bibtex file”. If you downloaded the entry from some website, you must already have edited the entry by hand, to replace the last few authors with “others”. Moreover, I don’t understand what you’re trying to achieve by messing with the very strict formatting guidelines of the APA. If a journal requires bib entries to be formatted according to APA guidelines, your paper will likely get rejected for failing to adhere to said guidelines — by writing either “others” or “et al.” instead of an actual name.
    – Mico
    Commented Dec 9, 2018 at 14:26
  • @Sari - And if you’re not required to follow APA formatting guidelines, following them anyway can only be regarded as an act of self-immolation. I don't think it's a good idea to assist in such a grisly affair.
    – Mico
    Commented Dec 9, 2018 at 14:38

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