This questions regards the Bibliography/Reference List at the end of the document NOT the in-text citation.

I want to use apa-good.bst as my bibliography style. Some of my references have way more than 7 authors. Following the guidelines for APA style citations, the first 6 authors should be listed followed by "..." and then the last author. After intense googling I did not find a sufficient solution. My plan would be to modify the FUNCTION {format.names} but my coding knowledge in LaTeX is quite bad. I only managed to enter the part, where it reduces the total author list to 7 authors. It now reads:

FUNCTION {format.names} 
{ 'bibinfo :=  
duplicate$ empty$ 'skip$ {  
's := 
 "" 't :=
 #1 'nameptr :=
 s num.names$ 'numnames :=
 numnames 'namesleft :=
{ namesleft #0 > }
{ s nameptr
  "{vv~}{ll}{, f.}{, jj}"
  bibinfo bibinfo.check
  't :=
  nameptr #1 >
    nameptr #7
    #1 + =
    numnames #7 
   > and
    { "others" 't :=
    #1 'namesleft := }
       namesleft #1 >
        { ", " * t * }
          "," *
          s nameptr "{ll}" format.name$ duplicate$ "others" =
            { 't := }
            { pop$ }
          t "others" =
              " " * bbl.etal *
              space.word * t *
  nameptr #1 + 'nameptr :=
  namesleft #1 - 'namesleft :=
}  while$
  } if$

This reduces the authors list to max 7 authors but instead the "Author 6, ..., Author 70" it gives "Author 6, et. al".

Do you have an idea how, respectively where to change the Function to match the guidelines? [APA-style 6thedition, 7or more authors1

Thank you for your time and ideas,


  • Doesn't actually answer your question, but could you move to biblatex? biblatex-apa supports this out of the box. – David Purton Apr 8 at 10:40
  • Also where can we find apa-good.bst? It does not appear to be in CTAN. – David Purton Apr 8 at 10:47
  • Dear David, thank you for your pompt response. I will look into biblatex, does it also support \citep{} and is the ciation in text also following the apa-style guidelines? (all authors for one or two,First Author et. al. for 3 and more authors) in the in-text-citations? regarding the apa-good.bst file, I got it from here github.com/unaguil/thesis-latex/blob/master/Latex/StyleBST/… – Lucy Apr 8 at 11:08
  • As far as I know biblatex-apa has been written to adhere to the requirements of APA very closely. biblatex is much more flexible than natbib and the output of biblatex-apa should be superior to any bst file. biblatex uses \parencite and \textcite in place of \citep and \citet, but the latter can be used with a natbib compatibility option to biblatex. Note that you can not load the natbib package with biblatex. They are incompatible. – David Purton Apr 8 at 11:24
  • Thank you for all this input David, I tried a little but have the feeling I have to read myself a little into the whole biblatex mechanic to proper use it. since I have a lot of chapters and hundreds of citations I would have to replace the shortcuts in all chapters, so I will have to see if I have the time to explore the biblatex option. But still, thanks a lot! – Lucy Apr 8 at 12:22

I wouldn't perform the equivalent of reinventing the wheel by hacking the apa-good bibliography style. Instead, I'd use apacite LaTeX package and the apacite bibliography style. They jointly implement exactly what you're looking for in terms of typesetting bibliographic entries with eight or more authors/editors.

If you want to be able to use the natbib-style citation commands, such as citet and \citep, simply load the apacite package with the option natbibapa.

enter image description here

  author = "A and B and C and D and E and F and G and X and Y and Z",
  title = "Thoughts",
  year  = 3001,


  • Dear Mico, thank you very much for this hint. I changed to \usepackage[natbibapa]{apacite} and YES it solves the issue for my Reference list/Bibliography at the end of document. BUT unfortunately I now have the issue with the in text citations, where no "et al." is displayed for more than two authors. If you are experienced with apacite, do you maybe know a solution for that out of your head? Cheers, Lucy – Lucy Apr 8 at 12:20
  • @Lucy -- The current APA formatting guidelines for citation call-outs to bib entries with between 3 and 5 authors state that (a) the first time a piece is cited, the citation call-out should list all authors and (b) from the second citation call-out onward, the "first-surname et al" truncation convention should be used. Separately, If an entry has more than 5 authors, even the very first citation call-out will use the truncation convention. – Mico Apr 8 at 15:31

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