How do I use multiple authors in a .bib file?

I have the following type of .bib file.

    author ={Doherty J P and Moore M A and Kim J M and Bray A J},
    year =1994,
    journaltitle ={Phys. Rev. Lett.},
    author ={M Kardar and Zee A},
    year =1996,
    journaltitle ={Nucl. Phys. B},
    author ={L V Bork  and Ogarkov S L},
    year =2014,
    journaltitle ={Theor. Math. Phys.},
  • Each field (author, year, journaltitle) can only appear once in an entry. So the code as shown in the question will probably not work as expected. If you want to combine several entries into one, look at @set and \defbibentryset. See §3.14.5 Entry Sets of the biblatex documentation.
    – moewe
    Commented May 6, 2021 at 12:10
  • @moewe: I have studied you mentioned section and not understood. I am new to biblatex. You can provide one sample please
    – Balaji
    Commented May 7, 2021 at 6:11

1 Answer 1


A field can only be used once in an entry. Subsequent uses of the same field in a single entry will overwrite each other or will be ignored (depends on whether you use BibTeX or Biber; either way I would say this is 'undefined behaviour' and your entries should never repeat a field, I would rely on the backed ignoring or overwriting fields).

So you have to use different entries for different works. For a single work you have to concatenate the fields into one yourself.

It is not quite clear what exactly you had in mind with your example in the question, but if the aim is to show several papers in the same "bibliography entry", then you may want to look into entry sets.

biblatex has two kinds of entry sets,

  • static sets that are defined as entries in the .bib file,
  • and dynamic sets that can be defined with \defbibentryset in the .tex file.

A set (dynamic or static) can be cited as a single unit and appears as a single unit in the bibliography, but it consists of several separate entries.

This is explained in §3.14.5 Entry Sets of the biblatex documentation, but I guess an example is more helpful to demonstrate what is going on.

Note that set entries are only well supported for numeric and alphabetic styles, for other styles it is a bit tricky to determine what the proper behaviour would be (the related feature often gives a better result).


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

  author       = {Sigfridsson, Emma and Ryde, Ulf},
  title        = {Comparison of methods for deriving atomic charges from the
                  electrostatic potential and moments},
  journaltitle = {Journal of Computational Chemistry},
  date         = 1998,
  volume       = 19,
  number       = 4,
  pages        = {377-395},
  doi          = {10.1002/(SICI)1096-987X(199803)19:4<377::AID-JCC1>3.0.CO;2-P},
  author       = {Worman, Nancy},
  title        = {The Cast of Character},
  date         = 2002,
  publisher    = {University of Texas Press},
  location     = {Austin},
  author       = {de Geer, Ingrid},
  title        = {Earl, Saint, Bishop, Skald~-- and Music},
  type         = {phdthesis},
  institution  = {Uppsala Universitet},
  date         = 1985,
  subtitle     = {The {Orkney Earldom} of the Twelfth Century. {A} Musicological
  location     = {Uppsala},
  author       = {Nussbaum, Martha},
  title        = {Aristotle's \mkbibquote{De Motu Animalium}},
  date         = 1978,
  publisher    = {Princeton University Press},
  location     = {Princeton},
  author       = {Pines, Shlomo},
  editor       = {Twersky, Isadore},
  title        = {The Limitations of Human Knowledge According to {Al-Farabi}, {ibn
                  Bajja}, and {Maimonides}},
  date         = 1979,
  booktitle    = {Studies in Medieval {Jewish} History and Literature},
  publisher    = {Harvard University Press},
  location     = {Cambridge, Mass.},
  pages        = {82-109},
  entryset  = {sigfridsson,geer,nussbaum},


Lorem \autocite{staticset}
ipsum \autocite{dynamicset}
dolor \autocite{sigfridsson}


1 Emma Sigfridsson and Ulf Ryde. ‘Comparison of methods for deriving atomic charges from the electrostatic potential and moments’. In: Journal of Computational Chemistry 19.4 (1998), pp. 377–395. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1096- 987X(199803)19:4<377::AID- JCC1> 3.0.CO;2- P; Ingrid de Geer. ‘Earl, Saint, Bishop, Skald – and Music. The Orkney Earldom of the Twelfth Century. A Musicological Study’. PhD thesis. Uppsala: Uppsala Universitet, 1985; Martha Nussbaum. Aristotle’s ‘De Motu Animalium’. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1978.//2 Nancy Worman. The Cast of Character. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2002; Shlomo Pines. ‘The Limitations of Human Knowledge According to Al-Farabi, ibn Bajja, and Maimonides’. In: Studies in Medieval Jewish History and Literature. Ed. by Isadore Twersky. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1979, pp. 82–109.

The static @set entry staticset defined as

  entryset  = {sigfridsson,geer,nussbaum},

combines the three entries sigfridsson, geer and nussbaum into one in the bibliography. So this is a way to give several authors, titles etc. in one printed entry.

The dynamic set dynamicset defined with


combines the two entries worman and pines.

Note that in all cases the entries that are combined all only have one author field (etc.).

The subentry option (only available in styles where it makes sense) determines the result of a citation to a set member instead of the whole set.

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