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I am citing different authors with the same last name with biblatex and normally it adds initials to differentiate between them, but in the case of two authors with the same name in one citation, it only adds the initials for the first author. How can I add initials for the second author as well?

bib-file:

@Book{MuthenMuthen19982017a,
  title     = {{Mplus User's Guide}},
  publisher = {Muth{\'e}n \& Muth{\'e}n},
  year      = {1998--2017},
  author    = {Muth{\'e}n, L. K. and Muth{\'e}n, B. O.},
  address   = {Los Angeles, CA},
  edition   = {8},
}

@Article{Muthen1983a,
  author  = {Muth{\'e}n, B. O.},
  title   = {{Latent variable structural equation modeling with categorical data}},
  journal = {{Journal of Econometrics}},
  year    = {1983},
  volume  = {22},
  pages   = {43--65},
}

tex-file:

\documentclass{book}
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\usepackage[english]{babel}

\usepackage{csquotes}
\usepackage[style=apa, backend=biber, bibencoding=utf8]{biblatex}
\addbibresource{example.bib}

\begin{document}
\noindent
\parencite{Muthen1983a}\\
\parencite{MuthenMuthen19982017a}

\printbibliography
\end{document}

output:

enter image description here

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1 Answer 1

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If I understand the comments in https://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2014/01/when-to-use-author-initials-for-text-citations.html correctly, APA style only wants initials to disambiguate different authors with the same family name for lead authors. This would mean that the behaviour we are observing is the outcome the APA wants.

Fortunately, in this case it is quite easy to change the behaviour to disambiguate all names in citations. We only have to redefine labelname:doname a bit. Compared to the original definition (in the current version 7.7 of biblatex-apa it can be found in ll. 77-96 of apa.cbx) we removed the initial test involving \ifuniqueprimaryauthor.

In general it should be noted that it can be quite tricky to modify biblatex-apa even if 'it should be easy'. So if one does not intend to follow APA style it is usually more advisable to start from one of the standard styles and not from the heavily customised and hence complex biblatex-apa.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\usepackage[english]{babel}
\usepackage{csquotes}
\usepackage[style=apa, backend=biber]{biblatex}

\renewbibmacro*{labelname:doname}[8]{%
  \ifcase\value{uniquename}%
    \ifuseprefix
      {\usebibmacro{name:family}{#1}{#3}{#5}{\relax}}
      {\usebibmacro{name:family}{#1}{#3}{\relax}{\relax}}%
  \or
     \ifuseprefix
       {\usebibmacro{name:given-family}{#1}{#4}{#5}{\relax}}
       {\usebibmacro{name:given-family}{#1}{#4}{\relax}{\relax}}%
  \or
     \ifuseprefix
       {\usebibmacro{name:given-family}{#1}{#3}{#5}{\relax}}
       {\usebibmacro{name:given-family}{#1}{#3}{\relax}{\relax}}%
  \fi
  \usebibmacro{name:andothers}}

\usepackage{filecontents}
\begin{filecontents}{\jobname.bib}
@book{MuthenMuthen19982017a,
  title     = {{Mplus} User's Guide},
  publisher = {Muthén \& Muthén},
  date      = {1998/2017},
  author    = {Muthén, L. K. and Muthén, B. O.},
  address   = {Los Angeles, CA},
  edition   = {8},
}
@article{Muthen1983a,
  author  = {Muthén, B. O.},
  title   = {Latent variable structural equation modeling with categorical data},
  journal = {Journal of Econometrics},
  year    = {1983},
  volume  = {22},
  pages   = {43--65},
}
\end{filecontents}

\addbibresource{\jobname.bib}

\begin{document}
\parencite{Muthen1983a}

\parencite{MuthenMuthen19982017a}

\printbibliography
\end{document}

(B. O. Muthén, 1983)//(L. K. Muthén & B. O. Muthén, 1998–2017)

Note that the year field should only ever hold an integer. For year/date ranges, use the date field and ISO 8601 input format (e.g. date = {1998/2017},).

The explicit bibencoding=utf8 was not necessary in the MWE since biblatex auto-detects the bibencoding from \usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}. The .bib file didn't actually use any UTF-8 it was US-ASCII only, so I switched the MWE to UTF-8.

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