I have a quick question for BibTeX wizards who are familiar with amsart class. Namely, I am writing a paper with my buddy who is a Geophysicist. On the other hand, I am a mathematician with a knee-jerk reaction to use amsart for everything I write. I need to comply with the following.

Citations. Citations in the text should appear by the name(s) of the author(s), followed by the year of publication in parentheses, e.g., Hough and Martin (2002).

To my limited knowledge, AMS doesn't have a style that conforms to the above specification. I tried natbib package and plainnat style and it seems to do the trick. Am I missing anything? Is there a simpler way to conform to the above specification without using a separate package for BibTeX styles?

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    The citation/bibliography requirements from the journal are not nearly enough to completely define a citation and bibliography style, so it's anyone's guess if plainnat will make the journal happy, but it should be able to produce citations like this. I guess the bigger question is if and how the journal you want to submit to accepts LaTeX submissions (often journals that do have a journal template or at least some guidance for LaTeX users telling them what to do with the bibliography)
    – moewe
    Aug 14, 2020 at 5:22
  • @Mico Now that is embarrassing but it is fixed now. Obviously English is not my mother tongue. Even after 25 years, I make silly mistakes. Please don't tell that to my daughters. They are trying really hard to fix my English. Aug 14, 2020 at 20:08
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    @moewe BSSA is a strange beast. They do accept LaTeX submission but they don't provide a template. seismosoc.org/publications/bssa-submission-guidelines Also LaTeX suggestions seismosoc.org/publications/latex-suggestions. I have never understood them. Aug 14, 2020 at 20:11

1 Answer 1


The site https://www.seismosoc.org/publications/bssa-submission-guidelines/, mentioned in your comment to @moewe, provides the following guidelines for how three types of bibliographic entries -- @article, @book, and @incollection -- should be formatted:

enter image description here

I don't think that either plainnat or abbrvnat provide decent approximations to these guidelines. The apalike bib style doesn't provide a perfect match either, but IMNSHO it does provide a reasonable first approximation. (If you need help adapting the apalike bib style to bold-face the volume number in entries of type @article, please post a separate question.)

Incidentally, for reasons I don't claim to understand, I could not get the code shown below to compile correctly when using the amsart document class. However, it compiles fine under the article class.

enter image description here

\documentclass{article} % select a suitable document class
  author   = "Hough, Susan E. and Stacey Martin",
  year     = 2002,
  title    = "Magnitude estimates of two large aftershocks of 
              the 16 {December} 1811 {New Madrid} earthquake", 
  journal  = "Bull.\ Seism.\ Soc.\ Am.",
  volume   = 92,
  pages    = "3259-3268",
  author   = "Gutenberg, Beno",
  year     = 1959,
  title    = "Physics of the Earth's Interior", 
  publisher="Academic Press", 
  address  = "New York", 
  pages    = "111-113",
  author   = "Laster, Stanley J. and Milo M. Backus and Richard Schell",
  year     = 1967,
  title    = "Analog mode studies of the simple refraction problem",
  booktitle="Seismic Refraction Prospecting",
  editor   = "Albert W. Musgrave", 
  publisher="Society of Exploration Geophysics", 
  address  = "Tulsa, Oklahoma",
  pages    = "15-66",

\setlength\bibhang{0pt} % optional
\setlength\bibsep{1ex}  % optional


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