I am using the natbib package with the authordate3 bibliography style. I get this in the text: (First author et al. , date) and I would like to have this: (First author et al date), or even: (First author et al date), or: (First author et al, date). I tried to modify the bst file but wihtout any success.

Any help?

Thank you very much in advance.

  • 1
    Welcome to TeX.se. I don't think the authordate1-4 bibliography styles are designed to be used with natbib. They seem to require the authordate1-4 package. Is using biblatex a possibility?
    – Alan Munn
    Apr 27, 2020 at 22:06
  • @AlanMunn -- Not sure about the other bib styles of the authordate package, but the authoryear3 bib style seems to work just fine when used together with natbib.
    – Mico
    Apr 27, 2020 at 22:41
  • 1
    @Mico It wasn't clear, and since it has its own package code, it seemed likely that there were potential incompatibilities.
    – Alan Munn
    Apr 27, 2020 at 22:42
  • 1
    @AlanMunn - The topic of compatibility piqued my interest. I found the following sentence in the abstract of the user guide of the natbib package: "[natbib] is compatible with the standard bibliographic style files, such as plain.bst, as well as with those for harvard, apalike, chicago, astron, authordate, ..."
    – Mico
    Apr 27, 2020 at 22:46

1 Answer 1


I suggest you proceed as follows:

  • Find the file authordate3.bst in your TeX distribution. Make a copy of this file and call the copy, say, authordate3-mod.bst. (Do not modify an original, unrenamed file of the TeX distribution directly.)

  • Open the file authordate3-mod.bst in a text editor. The program you use to edit your tex files will do fine.

  • Inside the file authordate3-mod.bst, locate all three instances of the string {\em et~al.}. (In my copy of the file, they occur on lines 268, 1038, and 1042.)

    Change all three instances of this string to et~al. Basically, you're removing \em and the trailing "period" (aka "full stop").

  • Save the file authordate3-mod.bst either in the directory where your main tex file is located or in a directory that's searched by BibTeX. If you choose the second option, be sure to update the filename database of your TeX distribution suitably. If you don't understand the preceding sentence, you should probably choose the first option...

  • In your main tex file, change the instruction \bibliographystyle{authordate3} to \bibliographystyle{authordate3-mod}.

  • In the preamble, after loading the natbib package, issue the directive \setcitestyle{aysep={}}. This serves to eliminate the comma between author(s) and year in citation call-outs generated by \citep.

  • Run a complete recompile cycle (LaTeX, BibTeX, and LaTeX twice more) to fully propagate all changes.

Happy BibTeXing!

A full MWE (mininal working example):

enter image description here


   @misc{abc:3001,author="A and B and C",title="Thoughts",year=3001}

  • Thank you very much! It works fine with me.
    – JGonet
    Apr 28, 2020 at 17:30

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