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I am using natbib with apalike for my thesis. I have two references from the same year, from different authors with the same surname and different initials. Even though these references are from different authors, a letter label is added to the year and they are referenced as if they were from the same author. I would like to avoid getting the letter label added to the year and instead get the initials of these references in the in-text citation.

This is an extract of my ref.bib

@article{li2015progressive,
  title={A progressive model to simulate the full mechanical behavior of concrete segmental lining longitudinal joints},
  author={Li, Xiaojun and Yan, Zhiguo and Wang, Zhen and Zhu, Hehua},
  journal={Engineering Structures},
  volume={93},
  pages={97--113},
  year={2015},
  publisher={Elsevier}
}

@article{li2015behaviour,
  title={Behaviour of cast-iron bolted tunnels and their modelling},
  author={Li, Zili and Soga, Kenichi and Wright, Peter},
  journal={Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology},
  volume={50},
  pages={250--269},
  year={2015},
  publisher={Elsevier}
}

The in-text citation call-outs currently are

Li et al. (2015a) and Li et al. (2015b)

and I want them to be

X. Li et al. (2015) and Z. Li et al. (2015)

The formatted entries currently are

Li, X., Yan, Z., Wang, Z., & Zhu, H. (2015a). A progressive model to simulate the full mechanical behavior of concrete segmental lining longitudinal joints. Engineering Structures, 93, 97–113.

Li, Z., Soga, K., & Wright, P. (2015b). Behaviour of cast-iron bolted tunnels and their modelling. Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology, 50, 250–269.

and I want them to be

Li, X., Yan, Z., Wang, Z., & Zhu, H. (2015). A progressive model to simulate the full mechanical behavior of concrete segmental lining longitudinal joints. Engineering Structures, 93, 97–113.

Li, Z., Soga, K., & Wright, P. (2015). Behaviour of cast-iron bolted tunnels and their modelling. Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology, 50, 250–269.

I would like to keep using apalike because I have made several modifications to the apalike.bst file and also keep the addition of the year-letter for other references from the year that actually correspond to the same author. Any help would be much appreciated.

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1 Answer 1

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There may be other ways to achieve your formatting goals, but one way I can think of involves a combination of (a) using \defcitealias to create customized citation call-outs (and using \citetalias instead of \citet) and (b) modifying the entries of the publications' first-named authors to {Li, X.} and {Li, Z.}, respectively, to trick BibTeX into thinking that they are "corporate" authors with no first-name component.

enter image description here

\documentclass{article}
\begin{filecontents}[overwrite]{mybib.bib}
@article{li2015progressive,
  title  ={A progressive model to simulate the full mechanical 
           behavior of concrete segmental lining longitudinal joints},
  author ={{Li, X.} and Yan, Zhiguo and Wang, Zhen and Zhu, Hehua},
  journal={Engineering Structures},
  volume ={93},
  pages  ={97--113},
  year   ={2015},
  publisher={Elsevier}
}
@article{li2015behaviour,
  title  ={Behaviour of cast-iron bolted tunnels and their modelling},
  author ={{Li, Z.} and Soga, Kenichi and Wright, Peter},
  journal={Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology},
  volume ={50},
  pages  ={250--269},
  year   ={2015},
  publisher={Elsevier}
}
\end{filecontents}

\usepackage{natbib}
\bibliographystyle{apalike}
\defcitealias{li2015progressive}{X.~Li et~al.\ (2015)} % avoid inopportune line breaks
\defcitealias{li2015behaviour}{Z.~Li et~al.\ (2015)}

\begin{document}
\noindent
\citetalias{li2015progressive}, \citetalias{li2015behaviour}
\bibliography{mybib}
\end{document}

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