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apacite always writes a citation with 3 or more authors in full (e.g. "Author1, Author2 & Author3, year") the first time they are cited, and the second time that reference is cited it abbreviates the citation to "Author1 et al., year".

How to force apacite (with natbibapa) to always abbreviate to "Author1 et al., year"?

2 Answers 2

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As far as I know, there is no good solution to your formatting objective if you load the apacite package with the option natbibapa.

If this option is not enabled, you may achieve your objective by changing (a) all instances of \citet to \shortciteA and (b) all instances of \citep to \shortcite.

You may verify this by running the following sample code.

\documentclass{article}
\begin{filecontents}[overwrite]{mybib.bib}
@misc{abcd, author={A and B and C and D}, title={Thoughts},year=3001}
@misc{efgh, author={E and F and G and H}, title={Thoughts},year=3002}
\end{filecontents}

\usepackage{apacite}
\bibliographystyle{apacite}

\begin{document}
\shortcite{abcd}, \shortciteA{efgh}.
\bibliography{mybib}
\end{document}
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Found a very sketchy solution that is sufficient for now: just cite all sources with more than 2 authors in white on a blank page at the beginning of the document, then delete that page afterwards.

\textcolor{white}{\citep{source1, source2, source3, ...}}

Every time those sources will appear in the document will be the second time they are referenced, so apacite will abbreviate them to "Author et al., year".

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