I have a document, using footnotes for citations and a custom bibliography style, where the footnotes need to be given with the author's name in the order "Name Surname" (example "John Doe"), but the entries in the bibliography need to follow the "Surname, Name" format (example "Doe, John"). I've figured out the part how to change the order of names/surnames in the .bst file. However, that doesn't solve the issue of the differing citation styles.

What I should have is, for footnotes(sorry for the image quality): footnote citation example And in the bibliography: bibliography citation example

Of course, it's possible to manually enter the reference in the footnotes each time, but given the length of the work, and the fact I will have to do similar things in the future, I'd like to see if there is a solution which doesn't require me to do it manually.

I've tried a few things (putting the bibliography in a separate file with a different citation style, but that doesn't work); but I'm not even sure if this is quite possible. The other solution I have is just doing the two files separately (i.e. the main text with the author name first citations; and then a separate file for the bibliography only with surname first, and then merging the two PDFs together, but that feels a bit like cheating, and probably removes bookmarks and links to the citations (and the document needs to be handed in electronically, so although this would work on actual paper, ...).


Minimum working example:



Some random text.\footnote{\bibentry{Webber1996}, p. 37-40}

\bibliographystyle{plainnat} %%not quite the exact style I need, but whatever

1 Answer 1


With bibentry you can only get the bibliography item exactly as it appears in the bibliography, so generally there is no way to slightly change the formatting between citations and bibliography.

bibentry is already quite a clever way to get around the fundamental limitation of the classical BibTeX/thebibliography approach that means that entry data is practically not available outside of the bibliography unless it is specifically "smuggled out".

While there are BibTeX-based solutions like jurabib that manage to overcome the limitations inherent in the BibTeX approach, the most flexible (and currently maintained!) solution is probably biblatex. biblatex's approach is quite different, but it makes all entry data available in both citations and the bibliography, which means that you can easily obtain the effect you are asking for.

There are even standard styles that come pretty close to what you seem to want

\usepackage[backend=biber, style=verbose]{biblatex}


Some random text.\autocite[34-37]{nussbaum}


1 Martha Nussbaum. Aristotle’s « De Motu Animalium ». Princeton : Princeton University Press, 1978, p. 34-37.

Nussbaum, Martha. Aristotle’s « De Motu Animalium ». Princeton : Princeton University Press, 1978.

  • That might work. Now, I assume my natbib custom .bst would need some reworking to work with biblatex? How exactly would I go about doing that?
    – AlexJ
    Apr 26, 2022 at 23:05
  • @AlexJ .bst files cannot be used with biblatex. You'd probably end up customising one of the standard styles (cf. tex.stackexchange.com/q/12806/35864 and the many, many biblatex questions on this site).
    – moewe
    Apr 27, 2022 at 4:58

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