I have a little problem with the model5-names bibliography style in the elsarticle document class. Instead of getting

(author, year)

citation call-out I'm having

author (year)

How to get a parenthesis-style citation call-out?

  • 2
    Try using \citet. natbib discourages use of the generic \cite and recommends either \citep or \citet.
    – moewe
    Feb 11, 2019 at 16:04
  • Oh, sorry, it should have been try \citep with p in my comment above. I think you could also try \cite[]{key}, but really using \citep is the better option.
    – moewe
    Feb 11, 2019 at 17:00

1 Answer 1


The issue you're experiencing is not related directly to either the elsarticle document class or the model5-names bibliography style. Instead, it is caused by the following twin facts: (a) the elsarticle document class automatically loads the natbib citation management package; (b) if an author-year citation style (as is appropriate for the model5-names bibliography style) is in use, the natbib package treats \cite{...} (though not \cite[]{...}!) as an alias for \citet{...}, or "text-style citation".

What to do if you want to get a "parenthetic-style citation" rather than a "text-style citation"? Just type \citep{...}.

  • Point (b) is not entirely accurate. \cite actually behaves like \citep for numeric styles and its behaviour for author-year styles depends on the presence (or absence) of the optional argument, compare \cite[]{sigfridsson} and \cite{sigfridsson}.
    – moewe
    Feb 11, 2019 at 17:04
  • @moewe - I've edited the answer to state explicitly that \cite is an alias for \citet if the authoryear option is passed to natbib (as should be done for the model5-names bibliography style). The fact that the outputs of \cite[]{...} and \citep{...} look the same is, in my opinion, more likely to be a fluke than a conscious design choice. At any rate, if the natbib package is in use -- as is the case if the elsarticle document class is employed -- one should be purposeful about the citation call-out forms and therefore not use \cite, but only \citep and \citet.
    – Mico
    Feb 11, 2019 at 17:25

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