# Do \parencite{<key>} and (\cite{<key>}) produce the same?

Are they the same?

\usepackage{biblatex}

testing123 \parencite{Author1} testing123
testing123 (\cite{Author1}) testing123


I just want to have

(Author1, 2001)

When I compiled my document the outcome is same.

• From page 100 of the biblatex manual: "\parencite These commands use a format similar to \cite but enclose the entire citation in parentheses." So, basically (\cite) and \parencite produce the same output. However, the latter is especially useful if you later on decide Tha you would like to replace () around citations with [] or something else. – leandriis Aug 18 at 21:55
• @leandriis, thanks. I just worry it will have a different output in term of cross-referencing for \parencite and (\cite) – aan Aug 18 at 23:04

No, in general we can't say that

(\cite{sigfridsson})


and

\parencite{sigfridsson}


give the same result. For many styles the result is the same, since \parencite is intended to produce parenthetical citations or at least citations in some kind of brackets, but this is nothing we can rely on.

For example

\documentclass[british]{article}
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\usepackage{babel}
\usepackage{csquotes}

\usepackage[style=numeric, backend=biber]{biblatex}

\begin{document}
(\cite{sigfridsson})

\parencite{sigfridsson}

\printbibliography
\end{document}


produces

([1])

[1]

But even for authoryear-type styles, where \cite doesn't come with parentheses of its own the output may be different. APA style, for example, requires that citation in parentheses be typeset different than other citations. With \parencite biblatex knows about the parentheses and can adjust accordingly, with (\cite{...}) not so much.

\documentclass[british]{article}
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\usepackage{babel}
\usepackage{csquotes}

\usepackage[style=apa, backend=biber]{biblatex}

\begin{document}
(\cite{sigfridsson})

\parencite{sigfridsson}

\printbibliography
\end{document}


(Sigfridsson and Ryde, 1998)

(Sigfridsson & Ryde, 1998)

There could be other more complex examples where \cite typeset additional brackets and (\cite{...}) and \parencite{...} would result in nested brackets. In that case \parencite will switch the types of brackets between round and square brackets to make it easier to spot the nesting level, but (\cite{...}) won't do that as the parentheses are invisible to biblatex.

I strongly recommend you use \parencite over (\cite{...}) since it is the semantically more meaningful command and knows about the parentheses. \parencite makes it easier to switch styles without bad side-effects.

I would even go further and recommend \autocite

\autocite{sigfridsson}


With authoryear-like styles \autocite usually behaves like \parencite, but its behaviour can be customised with the autocite option and switching styles becomes even easier, because you can just say autocite=footnote, to get footnote citations.