How to make custom citation style (author, year)?

I'm using Overleaf, the preamble related to my bib is:

\usepackage{natbib}
\bibliographystyle{plainnat}


In the document I'd like to call citation in the form of (Hoek, 2007). I've managed to do it, but it's a bit long and annoying to type in text:

(\citeauthor{hoek2007}, \citeyear{hoek2007})


I'm new to commands, I made an attempt but the Overleaf commands explanation is going over my head. What I tried:

\newcommand{\citeay}[1]{(\citeauthor{#1}, \citeyear{#1})}


But the result of \citeay{hoek2007} is just [1].

• Welcome to TeX.SX! With your \citeay command defined this way, there should be no problem and you should get the expected result. Could you post a minimal working example so we can see where the problem comes from? Working on a minimal example could even help you to solve the problem yourself! :) – Vincent Jan 9 at 4:45
• Load natbib as \usepackage[authoryear,round]{natbib} and use \citep. You shouldn't have to define something like \citeay natbib supports author-year citations out of the box. If that doesn't help I suggest you add a full MWE (tex.meta.stackexchange.com/q/228/35864, tex.meta.stackexchange.com/q/4407/35864) to your question that shows exactly what you are doing at the moment. – moewe Jan 9 at 7:23
• As an aside it is weird that (\citeauthor{hoek2007}, \citeyear{hoek2007}) in the text should work but \newcommand{\citeay}[1]{(\citeauthor{#1}, \citeyear{#1})} in the preamble and then \citeay{hoek2007} in the document not. They should give exactly the same result. (Unless something redefines \citeay later on. But we can only help with that if we see an MWE.) – moewe Jan 9 at 7:26
• Do make sure to load the natbib package with the option authoryear if you wish to get authoryear-style citation callouts. – Mico Jan 9 at 7:37

But the result of \citeay{hoek2007} is just [1]. :-(

You need to load the natbib package with the options authoryear and round:

\usepackage[authoryear,round,<other options>]{natbib}


In the document I'd like to [create citation call-outs of] the form of (Hoek, 2007).

No need to create the macro you call \citeay. Just use natbib's \citep macro (short for "parenthetic-style citation call-out", I suppose).

I was going to type this in a comment but I didn't know how to format comments on StackExchange.

In writing the MWE I found the source of the problem:

\documentclass{article}
%\documentclass{revtex4-1}

\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\usepackage[authoryear,round]{natbib}
\bibliographystyle{plainnat}

\begin{document}
Some words and stuff. \citep{hoek2007}.

\bibliography{sample}
\end{document}


When using \documentclass{article} \citep{...} produces the desired (Hoek, 2007). But when I used \documentclass{revtex4-1} for some reason it overrides it (I was using this documentclass because I was using a template). Hence that was, at least one of the things that clashed according to the error message on Overleaf:

LaTeX Error: Option clash for package natbib.